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As Barclays Center faces "winter of discontent"--Nets seem to draw 12,319, Isles 10,976--CEO claims arena remains "destination"

Newsday sports columnist Neil Best 1/26/17 wrote With Nets and Islanders struggling, Barclays Center is having a winter of discontent, observing a "mostly young, mostly fashionable, ethnically and racially diverse" crowd on Pride Night--but not watching the Brooklyn Nets play the Miami Heat.

Both the Nets and the New York Islanders are doing so badly it's likely the arena--for the first season--won't host any playoff games.

The ever-spinning Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, says the gate count--though he wouldn't share numbers to Best--is up 6 percent compared to last year for the Nets and down 2 percent for the Islanders.

That's interesting. The announced attendance, meaning tickets distributed, is 15,442 for the Nets and 12,858 for the Islanders. Last season, it was 15,125 for the Nets and 13,626 for the Islanders.

But actual gate count last season, as disclosed in a report to potential bond buyers, was 11,622 for the Nets and 11,200 for the Islanders.

So let me try to do that math. If gate count is up 6 percent, then the Nets are drawing 12,319 attendees. If gate count is down 2 percent, then the Islanders are drawing 10,976,

More spin

“The building isn’t based on wins and losses,”  Yormark claimed. “What we’re selling every day is the experience of Barclays Center. That experience hasn’t changed.” Of course, if they really wanted to sell that experience, maybe they'd sell tickets to the Long Island Nets D-League games.

"For now, well, at least the food is interesting," Best concluded his column. As one commenter riposted, "I go to an arena to watch a game. Not the experience of over priced food."

A few fan comments

On NetsDaily, a fan called Jerseyjon wrote:
If there's 12 k people a game attending at Barclays center,
I will say at least half are for the visitors.
It's so hard
Constantly being surrounded by opposing fans, many of which are very very obnoxious.
 A columnist weighs in

Though he wasn't writing about attendance, but rather the Nets-Knicks rivalry, New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro had some harsh, sobering words about a ærivalry that went from boom to bust." The first Nets' season, he recalls, was fun, but Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov overpromised and under-delivered.

He writes about both teams:
Well, they’ve been epic in their awfulness.
And that’s a shame, because this really should be the one intramural rivalry in New York City that truly matters, that truly feels like it ought to be bigger than any rivalry we have with other cities and other teams.
...No, the Knicks and the Nets play in the same division, play each other four times a year, and play a sport vitally ingrained in the city’s fabric. That first year was a tease, a taunt, a brief preview of what could be. The past four have mostly been a reminder that you should be careful what you ask for, because you might get it.


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