Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nets' access to unemployed does not include arena food vouchers

A recent New Jersey Nets p.r. move almost read like something out of the Onion, which recently deadpanned, "American Airlines Now Charging Fees To Non-Passengers."

As New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yormark explained last month, "Our philosophy for years has been about providing access, but it’s no longer about access to the paying customer, it’s now about access to the people who need us most, and those are the unemployed."

The Nets gave away 300 free tickets to each of five games, surely no big burden at a time when the Izod Center features large numbers of empty seats. (More impressive is the Nets' willingness to match jobless workers' resumes with employers.)

Could it be that giving away tickets to the unemployed, or (virtually) giving tickets away through a seat-filling service, at least helps make the arena seem full on TV and brings in some concession revenue?

I can say that my group of four, attending the game last Wednesday, spent a lot more on food and drink than on tickets. Those $7.75 beers add up, as do the $4.25 hot dogs.

If the Nets ever try again to offer access to "the people who need us most," those free tickets ought to come with arena food vouchers.

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