There are three food courts on both the Plaza and Mezzanine Levels that include a wide selection of items on the menu, including local favorites like Cuban sandwiches. You can also dine on the two Party City Patios outside the Plaza Level food courts. All food courts accept credit cards and general concessions do seem to be a little pricier than it probably should be.
As for bars, there's the Cruzan Rum Bar outside Section 116 on the Main Plaza Level, or the Heineken District outside Section 1111.
Before the game, you may want to stop by the Suite Terrace Bar open to all ticket holders. It's located above the main entrance on the Lexus Suite Level with a full service bar and live entertainment. Black Velvet Lounge is a sit down restaurnat also on the Lexus Suite Level serving up sandwiches, pizzas, and salds, and is a good pre-game stop as well.
Exlcusive to Club Level and full season ticket holders in the Lower Bowl is the Patron Tequila Platinum Club on the Suite Level.
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The Arena and Neighborhood:
Open since 1998, BankAtlantic Center (previously known as Broward County Civic Arena, National Car Rental Center, and Office Depot Center) is an 872,000 square-foot facility - the largest in Florida. It's a fairly attractive stadium from the outside (especially at night) but there haven't been a ton of renovations besides replacing the original green seats in the lower bowl with new red seats in the 2011-2012 off season. The building doors normally open one-hour prior to event time.
As for the neighborhood, it's surrounded by swamp and sprawling suburbs. Located in Sunrise, a suburb in Broward County (it's the one north of Miami-Dade County), it's about 20 miles from Ft Lauderdale Beach. It's really not the most exciting location by any means, however Sawgrass Mills - a massive mall that might as well have it's own zip code is across the street. You'll find pretty standard chain restaurants inside, and that will be mostly the case for the rest of the surrounding area. You can take a look at our "Before & After the Game" map if you're looking for some pre or post game spots to hit up, but nothing comes super highly recommended within a mile radius. South Florida suburbs are full of chain restaurants, but there a few decent spots near Weston Town Center, about 7-8 miles to the south if you're looking for a good dinner. (Did we mention suburban sprawl?) Luckily, there are also a few sit down restaurants and cool bars inside the arena.
Getting There and Parking:
It may be far from anything interesting (unless you count the Everglades), but it's pretty easy to get to. Located right off the Sawgrass Expressway (SR 869), traffic shouldn't be too terrible getting to the game.
From the North, take Sawgrass Expressway exit Oakland Park Blvd, after toll plaza turn left on Okalnd Park, right on Flamingo Rd, right at Panther Pkwy (136th Ave) and enter Gate 3 (or Gate 5 for club parking)
From the South - take Sawgrass Expressway exit Pat Salerno Drive after toll plaza exit to the right directly into the arena at Gate 1 or 2. (Gate 1 for club parking)
From Ft Lauderdale/Beaches - I-595 West to 136th Ave and proceed north and the road will turn into Panther Pkwy. Stay in left lane and enter through Gate 7 (Gate 6 for club parking)
The Center provides 7,600 on-site parking spaces, with 4,787 for general parking. Parking is included in all ticket purchases. It may have something to do with low attendance, but we'll take it. We have yet to see any other venue that essentially has FREE PARKING. If you drive a Lexus, you get extra special treatment with a lot right in front of the venue with its own escalator.
Be sure to also check out the "During the Game" section for info once inside the arena.