Moda Center has the fourth-best popcorn of any NBA arena in the country, according to a true authority on the subject: Golden State Warriors' point guard Stephen Curry.
The slightly more famous brother of the Trail Blazers' Seth Curry was outed as a popcorn fiend by the New York Times, which asked the superstar to spend the season analyzing and ranking the offerings in all 29 basketball arenas he visits throughout the year. With the regular season concluded and the playoffs beginning this weekend, the country's newspaper of record revealed Curry's findings.
Curry rated each arena's offerings for freshness, saltiness, crunchiness, butter and presentation. The American Airlines Center in Dallas finished in the top slot, scoring 24 out of a possible 25 points. But Portland acquitted itself well, finishing with 20 points, good enough for fourth place.
What's the secret to Moda Center's success? According to representatives, they've actually put some effort (and money) into improving the offerings.
"Over the past three years, we've invested about $75,000 in new equipment which has improved the taste and quality of our popcorn," says Moda Center spokesperson Michael Lewellen.
(I can personally attest to this: A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, kept the bag they serve the popcorn in and brought it to every game so he could get free refills for like three whole seasons, until the butter eventually ate a hole in the bottom.)
Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Miami's American Airlines Arena and Sacramento's Golden 1 Center round out Curry's top five.
In last place? Staples Center in Los Angeles. As if this Lakers season couldn't get any worse.
The Warriors' own Oracle Arena ended up in a four-way tie for sixth—not bad, but when you're home to the league's preeminent popcorn addict, and he also happens to be one of the greatest players of his generation, you should probably do whatever you can to meet his highest standards. No wonder they're moving to San Francisco next year.