As a nightlife writer for Charlotte’s most prominent weekly paper, I have come to the conclusion that Time Warner Cable Arena is the biggest bar in Charlotte. Granted, it’s a sporting complex and family friendly environment… but it has several bars within it that when combined, equates to being the biggest and best bar in Charlotte (Bar Bobcats). In addition to the many watering holes located all around the arena, there’s Back Court… a bar located behind the players tunnel on the floor level, Front Court… a bar located on the Founders level for club seat holders and those lucky enough to score a VIP pass, and Rock the Roof Top… a bar open to everyone and located on the 200 level outside section 217.
But the cocktails at the concession stands have very little to do with the overall appeal of the arena. The music they play is better than that of any club’s DJ or bar’s jukebox. I always find it hard to remain seated; I want to rush the court and dance with the Lady Cats. There’s even cool sound effects – especially when the Bobcats dunk the ball. It makes you feel like you’re in a video game. I found myself reaching for the B button to slam dunk… SWOOSH! But it’s not just a party, it’s a show … oh, and a game.
At the last party-show-game against the Portland Trailblazers, the Bobcats brass arranged for recording artist Mike Phillips to perform the National Anthem with his saxophone. He held a key for so long I thought he was going to pass out. I was applauding and cheering along with the rest of the arena. At halftime, he was back and performed for the arena along with a band.
I spent most of my night in Rock the Rooftop, which was… rockin’! I had lower level tickets, and I still opted to go to the 200 level because there’s not a bad seat in the house. Granted, I am a midget (or vertically challenged if you want to be PC about it), but the Bobcats are giants, thus from up high they look normal sized.
Across from the rooftop bar is a mini basketball court where kids can play full-on mini games of basketball. I wanted to play and was actually tempted to stand in line with the kids, but then realized that not only would I most likely be dominated by a 10-year-old, but that I would probably weird out the kids and their parents.
As for the game… it was a close one, which resulted in a very dramatic finish. When a fourth quarter battle for the ball escalated into a bit of a frenzy between the players, the savvy Bobcats production team started playing “Why can’t we be friends?” I admire how the Bobcats promote peace. But the highlight was when Greg Oden from the Trailblazers fouled out. I was singing “Hit the road Jack” with the rest of the arena.
Even though the Bobcats lost, they played hard… and the crowd still had a great time.
The next home game is Sunday, Nov. 22 (which is SpongeBob Square Pants night at the arena). Now I know it’s for the kids, but don’t pretend like you’re not excited too. Because I know I am.
"The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of Brittney Cason and do not necessarily reflect those of the Charlotte Bobcats, its staff, management, or ownership."