Is A Basketball Game A Good First Date? [A Surprising Answer]

First dates are exciting, but they can also be nerve-wracking. Picking the restaurant, deciding what to wear, what to talk about, doubting whether or not they actually like you; the list goes on. It’s almost par for the course. Or is it?

Is a basketball game a good first date?

Quick answer: Yes, a basketball game is a good first date as long as both partners enjoy basketball.

Going to a basketball game takes a lot of the anxiety and decision-making out of a first-date experience. It’s a great way to make the first move in a relaxed, fun, and bold way. 

It can also make you look good if you are a basketball expert. Demonstrating your knowledge of a subject without it coming across as bragging will surely score you points, and I’m not talking about baskets. 

Let’s take a closer look into why I swear by basketball games as an unforgettable first date experience. 


Is A Basketball Game A Good First Date?

Yes, a basketball game makes for a good first date. Basketball is a game with a variety of activities as well as food and drink options. Games offer a less formal and intimidating atmosphere, provide great, ongoing conversation, and have unique, unrepeatable outcomes.

couple kissing on a basketball date

If you’re both fans of the sport, a basketball game is an unforgettable way to bond over shared interests. Root for your favorite teams while turning the game into a night of lasting memories.

Pros Of Going To A Basketball Game On A First Date 

Let’s weigh our options and take a diplomatic look at this because I know some of you are skeptical or may need to convince your significant other.  

  • Less formal 
  • Great conversation starter
  • Unique
  • Variety
  • Bonding 

Less Formal 

A basketball game doesn’t necessitate an evening gown or tuxedo, nor does it mean you have to dress completely down like you’re watching the game from the couch. Basketball games have an implied smart casual dress code, while you should always opt for your team’s merch and/or jerseys. 

basketball game

You’re able to look good, feel confident, and be ready to meet someone new without having to hit the dry cleaners or worry about if you’re dressed appropriately. You can fit in with the rest of the fans at the stadium while standing out by adding your own unique style to your fit. 

A Conversation Piece 

Have you ever been on a bad date where you have no idea what to talk about with your partner? Of course, you have. At a basketball game, the event practically does the talking for you. 

For nervous romantics, you can always fall back on talking about the action on the court. Discuss the players, stats, coaching, and play-by-plays; there will be quite a lot to talk about over the course of the game without the constant pressure and the implied interrogation of a first date icebreaker. 

Be Extraordinary 

Taking your date to a basketball game as a first impression is a surefire way to get a callback. 

nba game

First-date ideas can verge on the ordinary, rarely offering a new, unfamiliar experience. The bill is paid, the credits roll, the score is tallied, and chances are your date has been here many times before. 

To get a 2nd date, you have to be extraordinary; what better way to stand out than by thinking outside the box?  

Going to a game is an adventurous way to make an impression and shows your partner you can be both fun and creative in planning your time together. From the pre-game hype to the raucous crowd to the post-game celebrations, a basketball game is an experience unlike any other and creates lasting memories with the people you choose to go with. 


Every game has its own unique story and stakes on the line; the energy is palpable as fans watch their favorite team perform under pressure. Basketball games are incredibly unpredictable, as you never know which way the pendulum will swing, be it towards a blowout or a comeback. 

basketball game

Plus, NBA games offer a variety of performances and prizes to play for. From halftime musical guest performances to dance numbers to free-throw contests and catching T-shirts from a cannon, there’s enough to chat about and enough at play to keep everyone interested and engaged.

And you won’t have to worry about hunger or thirst, either. There are tons of vendors at every level, with most arena’s even featuring sit-down bars and restaurants. 

Swing by the wood for a cocktail before watching your favorite athletes pound the parquet on the court; you and your date will have many delicious choices ahead of you. 

With as much variety as going to a game gives you, you’re able to either make basketball the focus of your evening or more of a side character. It’s entirely up to you, and there’s sure to be something to love for everyone.

Love & Basketball 

If you want to answer the question “Is a basketball game a good first date”, then think about Monica and Quincy from the movie “Love & Basketball.” Just like Monica and Quincy, if you’re both avid fans of basketball, there really isn’t a better way to bond over your mutual interests than going to a game. 

love and basketball movie poster

If you’re both fans of the same team, even better, as you can connect on a deeper level about something you both enjoy, with each team possessing its own culture and rich history. 

If you’re fans of opposing teams, you can talk strategy and share a little playful, competitive banter with each other. A teasy, lighthearted sense of humor—where your date doesn’t take themselves or their team too seriously—is a huge green flag in a partner. 

Cons Of Going To A Basketball Game On A First Date

  • No privacy; noisy
  • Expensive 
  • Lengthy 

No Privacy And Noisy 

If you’re looking for a spot or event that could be a little more intimate or private, a basketball game may not be the way to go. 

noisy basketball game

More often than not, you’ll be crammed shoulder-to-shoulder no matter the seats, with the average NBA arena capacity standing at a staggering 18,790. 

It certainly won’t be a candlelight dinner where you can expect some personal space to delve into each other’s lives. Because of the sheer number of fans attending NBA games, you can expect the arena to be both crowded and noisy. 

A Basketball Game First Date Could Be Costly 

Let’s cut to the chase; going to a basketball game, and especially an NBA one at that, will be expensive.

For average seats, the avid NBA fan going to a regular season game can expect to pay roughly $94 a seat. If it’s in the playoffs, expect as high as five times that number; if you’re going for courtside or box seats, you could be looking at even more. 

Check out the video below to get a glimpse into the experience you could expect from those high-end ticket prices. 

Access to quality tickets is entirely dependent on what you and your date are able to afford. While $94 at the most budget-friendly price doesn’t sound too steep, keep in mind any drinks or snacks you’ll be buying, not to mention travel to and from the game or extra expenditures like raffle tickets, merch, parking, etc. 

Because of the steep price of tickets and the overall experience, the risk of getting ghosted by your date means you’ll be dolling out the cash for the extra seat for nothing.

If your date gives you enough notice ahead of time that they can’t make the game, you’ll have to try to flip the tickets or find someone else to go with you in a hurry. Scrambling to find someone or coordinating a resale may be stressful and give you a headache. 

Ultimately, if your date no-shows or is unavailable for the game, you’re stuck with the tickets and will be out a minimum of $94 (per ticket). 

A Basketball Game Could Be Lengthy For A First Date

If you or your partner aren’t the biggest basketball fans but still want to try going to a game, you should know that basketball is a lengthy sport. You’re looking at four 12-minute quarters with intermittent commercial breaks, time-outs, and a 15-minute half-time intermission. 

basketball clock

All in all, an NBA game can easily be almost two and a half hours, and that’s not counting if the game goes to overtime. Take into account arriving early at the arena, finding your seats, and traveling home, a basketball game as an event can easily stretch over 4 hours. 

There’s plenty of entertainment to keep the energy alive, but for some, NBA games are just too long and tend to drag on, not to mention if basketball as a sport just isn’t your forte. 

Which Sport Is Good For A First Date 

Playing sports as a first date is a fun way to break the ice and get to know someone better through friendly competition in a light, playful, competitive setting. 

The best sport for a first date entirely depends on the two of you and your desired level of physical activity. Some crowd-favorite suggestions are hiking, ice skating, pool, tennis, or bowling. 

And here’s a short list of some sports that are good to watch on a first date:

How To Make A Basketball Game The Perfect First Date 

Here’s a confession. Once, I took my first date to a basketball game. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Pick The Right Game—Pick beefing teams with a storied rivalry, your favorite opposing teams, or the game’s featuring players you both idolize. Picking the right game with an added sense of theatrics can make the stakes higher and the excitement more intense. 
  • Dress To Express—Yourself, that is. Dress in your favorite team’s merch or jersey, and wear the fit that makes you feel the most confident. 
  • Bring Gifts—Bring a thoughtful gift for your partner that shows you’re excited about the date, and you’ve been thinking about them. It could be a new jersey, flowers, team swag, etc. Keep in mind, most arenas will not allow bags inside; you may be required to coat-check them, which leads us to our next point:
  • Punctuality—Always make sure you arrive at the game with more time than you think you’ll need. Account for traffic and long lines to enter, as well as finding your seats in the arena; better to be early than late. 
  • Explore The Arena—If you’ve arrived at the game early enough, explore the arena. Try out one of the in-house restaurants or bars, visit the team store, or head straight to your seats and watch the player’s shootaround for 30 minutes prior to tip-off. 
  • Enjoy The Game—Cheer, hoot, holler, and participate; show your date you really care and are passionate about the game. Check in with your partner, ask questions, comment on the on-court action, and enjoy yourself. Remember not to take the game, or yourself, too seriously. 


Are Sports Games A Good First Date?

Yes, sports games are a good first date for hopeful couples looking for love. With unpretentiously delicious food and drinks, a relaxed, less formal atmosphere, and the exciting, high-intensity energy of a live event, sports games make for a memorable first date that’s both fun and entertaining.

Is Going To A Baseball Game A Good First Date?

Going to a baseball game is a good idea for a first date for a number of reasons. Baseball shares the same sentiment as basketball games in the sense of a more casual, relaxed atmosphere. Baseball is a slower-paced game that leaves more room for dialogue and getting to know your partner in a less noisy or distracting space. It’s also an incredibly cost-effective first date for the summer, as you’re often able to purchase seats at the last minute and for a low price. 

Is A Basketball Game A Good Second Date?

Yes, a basketball game is a good second date. Besides the traditional dating options like going to the movies or for dinner, a great way to stand out and show your adventurous side is taking your date to a basketball game. With a variety of prizes and performances, as well as restaurants and in-house bars, basketball games have something to love for everyone, while if you’re both already fans, it’s a great way to bond over shared interests.

Is Going To A Hockey Game A Good Date Idea?

Yes, a hockey game is a good date idea. An unforgettable date is electric, lively, and fun without the stress and anxiety inherent to a first date experience. Hockey provides just that with intense, rigorous action on the ice and high-stakes suspense as you wait for your favorite team to beat the opposing goalie.  


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