"Very strange watching @LongIslandNets play in empty Barclays," tweeted NetsDaily (aka "Net Income," or Bob Windrem) on 1/25/17, with the photo at right.
That's not how it was supposed to be. On 11/20/16, NetsDaily reported that there would be 22 afternoon games (of 24 home games) before Brooklyn Nets games, albeit with separate ticketing.
Hopes dashed quickly
With general admission seats at $15--that was the price for much-ballyhooed Brooklyn Nets discounts the first year!--team officials were hopeful. “There’s an opportunity for schools, there’s an opportunity for colleges, there’s an opportunity for folks who may do shift work to come to a game at 1:30 or noon or 2 o’clock,” team VP Alton Byrd told Newsday.
That didn't work. As NetsDaily responded to my query, "We reported it's a money issue. First few games were poorly attended-- less than 1300-- so they decided to only open it for select games." Arena capacity for basketball is 17,732. So much for arena CEO Brett Yormark's gush about people coming for the "experience" of Barclays.
Indeed, the Long Island Nets, with tickets ($15 general admission, $50 courtside) for sale Monday against Greensboro--a rare evening game--will have sold tickets to only four home games, including the first two, and one against the regional rival Westchester Knicks. (So, do those count as arena events?)
There was a benefit to the Nets organization--players in the D-League could be observed by the Brooklyn Nets coaching staff, and then be called up to the major league without traveling--but not for fans.
If the arena priced tickets to stimulate demand--say, $5 each--it likely wouldn't be worth it to fully staff the arena. (People paying $5 may not want to pay big money for food and drink.)
Let's face it. Not many people want to pay $15 to see the Long Island Nets--even if they could likely move to best available seating--when tickets for the Brooklyn Nets on StubHub can be gotten for $11 or $13.
In this list of Long Island Nets' home schedule attendance, the three previous events for which tickets were sold exceeded 1,100 attendees. The negligible gate count for the rest surely reflects team staff and friends/affiliates:
- 11/23/16, Canton: 1298
- 11/27/16, Grand Rapids: 1377
- 11/29/16, Windy City: 269
- 12/1/16, Santa Cruz: 249
- 12/5/16, Sioux Falls: 289
- 12/7/16, Erie: 189
- 12/14/16, Maine: 225
- 12/19/16, Los Angeles: 182
- 12/22/16, Grand Rapids: 246
- 12/26/16, Westchester: 1189
- 1/2/17, Delaware: 339
- 1/4/17, Erie: 219
- 1/6/17, Maine: 187
- 1/10/17, Fort Wayne: 229
- 1/12/17, Greensboro: 319
- 1/25/17: Delaware: 224
There are three more home games in February, and four in March.
Tickets for next year
But the Long Island Nets are moving ahead.
As Nets Daily reported 1/27/17, season tickets for the Coliseum stint go on sale Monday, with lower-level season tickets starting at $14, and upper level ones at $10. (Presumably, single-game tickets will cost more.) Most games will be at night, which is when families can attend.
“While we are moving to Long Island, we are delighted to have developed our fan base in Brooklyn and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to play at Barclays Center,” said Byrd, according to Nets Daily.
Oh, "delighted to have developed our fan base in Brooklyn"? Yeah, sure.