How to Propose at a Basketball Game—and How Much It Costs

Shoot your shot.
Man proposing to woman on basketball court
Photo: Dmitry Niko / Getty Images
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by
Jenn Sinrich
Jenn sinrich headshot
Jenn Sinrich
The Knot Contributor
  • Jenn writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in planning advice and travel.
  • Jenn also writes for a myriad of other large-scale publications, including SELF, Women's Health, and more
  • Prior to becoming a freelance writer, Jenn worked as an on-staff editor at WhatToExpect.com, American Baby, Fit Pregnancy and FreshDirect.
Updated Dec 06, 2023

If you and your partner are big into basketball and you've been thinking about dropping down on one knee for some time, it may have crossed your mind to combine these two elements and plan a basketball proposal. As it turns out, proposing at a basketball arena is a lot more popular than you might expect. Seeing the words "Will you marry me?" in big lights or on a big screen get the butterflies going—for us all.

As the name suggests, a basketball proposal takes place before, during or after a professional basketball game, which is typically in front of an audience of not hundreds, but hundreds of thousands of total strangers. For this reason, these bigger-than-life proposals often make the news—so you better be confident that the love of your life is going to give you a resounding "yes!"

Just recently, a couple became engaged at a New York Knicks game—with a heated exchange between Knicks players and the referee being caught in the background just a few feet away. Despite the distraction, the proposal went on without a hitch and the couple are now happily engaged. This proposal was done right on the court, but this kind of proposal can be carried out in many different ways.

In this article:

How Much Does it Cost to Propose at a Basketball Arena?

As with any type of proposal, there's a lot that goes into proposing at a basketball arena, especially due to the fact that it's a public event. The cost to have a proposal of this scale can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the location of the arena, the novelty of the sports team and how in-demand it is, the ticket sale cost, as well as the type of package or services the arena offers for marriage proposals. A study conducted by Betway, which analyzed the best valued arenas in which to become engaged, found that, on average, the cost to propose at a basketball arena can run on average between $300 to $1,000.

Since many people want to become engaged at a basketball arena, many basketball arenas actually offer proposal packages that are curated for these occasions. These types of packages can include a myriad of offers and additions that make the occasion even more memorable, including scoreboard messages, in-game experiences, special announcements made over the public address system, a designated area for the proposal itself (sometimes on the actual court) as well as add-ons like photography or videography.

Basketball Proposal Costs by Arena

Here's a look at the average cost to carry out a basketball marriage proposal at each NBA arena (includes two tickets).

  • Paycom Center (Oklahoma City Thunder): $324
  • Fedexforum (Memphis Grizzlies): $359
  • Scotiabank Arena (Toronto Raptors): $412
  • Little Caesars Arena (Detroit Pistons): $406
  • Capital One Arena (Washington Wizards): $411
  • Gainbridge Fieldhouse (Indiana Pacers): $400
  • Footprint Center (Phoenix Suns): $436
  • Delta Center (Utah Jazz): $446
  • Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse (Cleveland Cavaliers): $418
  • Golden 1 Center (Sacramento Kings): $484
  • Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia 76ers): $447
  • Moda Center (Portland Trail Blazers): $472
  • Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee Bucks): $466
  • Toyota Center (Houston Rockets): $557
  • Ball Arena (Denver Nuggets): $502
  • Target Center (Minnesota Timberwolves): $343
  • Spectrum Center (Charlotte Hornets): $333
  • Amway Center (Orlando Magic): $372
  • State Farm Arena (Atlanta Hawks): $376
  • Smoothie King Center (New Orleans Pelicans): $391
  • Barclays Center (Brooklyn Nets): $556
  • Frost Bank Center (San Antonio Spurs): $404
  • American Airlines Center (Dallas Mavericks): $444
  • Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles Clippers): $647
  • Kaseya Center (Miami Heat): $468
  • Crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles Lakers): $722
  • United Center (Chicago Bulls): $741
  • TD Garden (Boston Celtics): $807
  • Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks): $816
  • Chase Center (Golden State Warriors): $964

How to Plan a Basketball Proposal

As with any type of proposal, creating a basketball proposal can involve a lot of forethought—not to mention a great deal of planning on your part. Here, we're sharing some tips for how to pull it off and make for a memorable and unforgettable experience that both you and your partner will treasure for years to come.

Choose the right arena.

Does your partner have a favorite basketball team? A favorite player? Make sure that you choose a basketball court that's not only convenient or, ideally, local to you, but also one that holds special meaning to you and your partner. Consider what matters most to your partner and try to weave in romantic innuendos into the proposal.

Cross-check your venue's policies.

Once you've decided to have a basketball proposal, research who at the arena you should be in touch with to help make your basketball proposal dreams come true. You want to make sure, not only that the date is available, but that you're speaking to the right person at the venue to help you pull everything off to a tee. Often professional basketball arenas have an events or hospitality department who you can be in touch with to direct any and all inquiries about proposal packages, available dates and any specific rules or restrictions they may have.

Select a date and a time for your proposal.

Once you've gotten in touch with the right person at the arena, make sure you lock in a specific date and time and, if possible, get it in writing. Make sure that this date works for both you and your partner and consider all of the factors such as which teams are playing, what day of the week it is and any additional events happening at the arena.

Decide on a location within the arena.

Some arenas give you options for where to get down on one knee. Make sure to ask the person you're in touch with at the venue what locations are available for you to propose. Some great ideas include dropping on one knee in the middle of the court, in a private box or another area that holds significance.

Customize your proposal.

Some arenas will allow you to customize or personalize your proposal by incorporating team members or coming up with a personalized message on the scoreboard. You may even be able to get an announcement made over the loudspeaker.

Invite friends and family.

Whether or not to invite friends and family to your proposal is a personal decision that depends on a variety of factors—but if you plan on proposing in front of a big group of strangers, it would at least be a courtesy to give your friends and family the option to attend. Tell them well in advance so that they have time to purchase tickets to the right game. After the game, you can all go out for dinner or drinks nearby and continue the celebration.

Have a back-up plan.

Luckily, with a basketball game, you don't have to worry about the weather, since pretty much all basketball arenas are indoors. However, it's a good idea to have a back-up plan in case of game delays. This might look like proposing on a different day or time.

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