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Is the Smoothie King Center set to move up ranking lists?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With the recent completion of Phase II, the Smoothie King Center has visually changed again. A new coat of paint on the exterior, a splashy new sports bar and a larger team apparel sports shop were just some of the improvements.

The new floor during a preseason game. (Thanks Will.)

With the improvements, and now an expectation of wins, prices have gone up. According to Nerd Wallet, ticket prices have increased by 7%. The Smoothie King Center checks in at the 21st most expensive NBA venue, based on total family cost:

We calculated a "Total Family Cost" (TFC) for each team to assess the cost for a family of four to attend a home game: the total price of four tickets purchased on the secondary market, beers for Mom and Dad, sodas for the kids, four hot dogs and one parking space.

Some other interesting notes include the fact that a 16 ounce soda is the most expensive at SKC than in any other arena. However, the price of a pint of beer costs less than the NBA average. (Win, right!?)

Last season, Stadium Journey rated the Smoothie King Center as the 21st best arena experience.

The 2014 season saw the NBA All-Star Game take place in New Orleans. Less than a month before the festivities, local beverage maker Smoothie King, realizing the potential for some nationwide exposure during one of the most popular sporting events on the calendar, negotiated the naming rights to the basketball venue and the rather dully dubbed New Orleans Arena was suddenly the Smoothie King Center. This was not the only recent change in New Orleans, as the Hornets became the Pelicans during the off-season, leading to some raised eyebrows in other NBA cities. Well, the brown pelican is the state bird of Louisiana, so the new moniker made sense to the locals, who generally don’t care about the opinions of outsiders much anyway.

There were also some physical changes made to the arena, with the first phase of a $50 million renovation program having been completed in time for the 2013-2014 season. Most of the changes affected the club spaces, but there were also additions of a Party Perch, loge seating, as well as larger locker rooms.

Both Matt and Will of the blog have promised to take several shots of whatever catches their fancy during the first week of the regular season. However, it would also be neat if at least several members got in on the action. Pelican fans exist all over the world, and for many, our pictures would give them a more intimate experience.

Feel free to post any pictures here, or you can email/tweet me and I'll go ahead and post them. At the very least, please chime in about any recent experiences or recap ones you may have in the near future.