There was a professional basketball game in the Brooklyn Nets’ arena last week and nobody showed up.(Emphasis added)
Really—nobody. It was 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, and the Santa Cruz Warriors and Long Island Nets were supposed to be playing a NBA Development League matinee. But tickets weren’t sold to the public. It made the most sense to play in an empty arena.
This is the peculiar situation for the players who are almost on the best team in basketball. The line between the Santa Cruz and Golden State Warriors can be the line between playing in empty arenas and playing with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
It didn't make the most sense for the players, or for the potential audience (retirees? school groups if they got a field trip?) who might enjoy $5 tickets.
It made the most financial sense for the arena, which didn't have to staff the building with ticket-takers, ushers, security guards (beyond the minimum), and concession workers. The arena operating company and the Brooklyn Nets/Long Island Nets are owned by Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim.
The people's arena!
(The Long Island Nets next year will move to the Nassau Coliseum, where, presumably, there will be cheap seats for sale.)