Even though the friendly confines of ARCO Arena hasn't equated into NBA championships (yet) for the Sacramento Kings, ARCO stands as one of the toughest - if not the toughest - places to play in the entire league. The Kings sported a 36-5 home mark in 2003, the best home record in the NBA. All five losses came at the hands of eventual playoff teams, including two of them against the eventual NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. The Kings record in ARCO over the last three seasons is an amazing 104-19, another NBA best. The Pistons are 75-48 over that same span at the Palace at Auburn Hills, a full 29 games worse.

ARCO Arena was built on 105 acres of undeveloped land just outside the Sacramento city limits. The arena cost 40 million dollars to build, and none of the cost came by way of taxpayer money. ARCO was built primarily for basketball, so all 17, 317 seats have great sight lines for watching a game. The outside of the building is in no way what someone would call attractive.

Basically, it is a tan square in the middle of nowhere. However, it do sen't seem that the repulsive outside looks of ARCO affect Kings fans from coming to the games. Every Kings' game has sold out since ARCO was opened in 1988. What really makes ARCO the best venue in the NBA is the Sacramento fans. The combination of the stadium seating having a 'right on top of the court' feel along with ARCO dubbed as the loudest stadium in the NBA causes havoc for visiting teams. Just ask the Lakers.

As fans enter ARCO, they see many television screens showing the Kings' in-house pre-game show. The Kings are one of very few teams with that perk. The convenience do sen't end when the game is over, either. ARCO has over 12, 000 spaces in close proximity to the arena, and the waiting time to leave the lot is always kept to a minimum. The Palace at Auburn Hills seats 4, 000 more fans than ARCO, yet has two-thirds the parking. Combine that with two different interstates that weave around the Palace, and you have a parking nightmare.

Another thing that makes ARCO a better arena is having better comfort in the fact that you won't be attacked by a hobo on the way to the car. Criminals in Detroit and Los Angeles probably make six figures annually by ruthlessly mugging some 12-year-old of his only 14 dollars that he made by opening a lemonade stand. Let's face it, NBA ticket prices are preposterous. But for being one of the NBA's best teams, the ARCO ticket prices are very reasonable compared to other venues that house successful teams. The price for an average ticket (lower level, in the corner) at ARCO is $71. 50 Compare that to the Staples Center - Home of the L.

A. Lakers - where the same seat would cost you $115. 00. Is it really worth $45. 00 to see Jack Nicholson from a distance?.