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Arena's quarterly report indicates ticket sales are up, but suite and sponsor revenues haven't rebounded much (because of pandemic-related credits?)

The Barclays Center operating company recently released, to bondholders, quarterly results for ticket sales and suite and sponsor installments for the first quarter of FY 2023 (or the third quarter of calendar 2022).

The results indicate $22.4 million in ticket sales and $7.1 million for suite and sponsor installments.

Is that progress? 

Well, yes, compared to last year's results, as shown in the screenshots further down, when the arena was still slowly emerging from the pandemic.

Ticket sales up

Also, the $22.4 million in ticket sales exceeds the $21.1 million in the first quarter of FY 2019, though less than the $25.85 million in FY 2020, both of when the schedule was more full, since the New York Islanders played at Barclays until March 2020, after which the pandemic shut things down.

That suggests that higher-priced tickets for the Brooklyn Nets are contributing to the arena's gross revenues. Still, note that higher revenues do not necessarily translate into higher profits, given (unspecified, for now) operating costs. 

In the past two fiscal years, Joe Tsai, who owns the Nets and the arena company, has had to backstop arena finances.

Reasons for concern

While ticket sales have nearly doubled since the first quarter of FY 2022, the cash receipts for suite and sponsor installments have increased more modestly, from $5.9 million to $7.1 million.

As I wrote in August 2021, suite and sponsor installments similarly had not recovered as much as ticket sales, which likely reflects the reported role of make-goods, or adjustments/credits given in place of a refund.

Do current results meet the arena operator's goals? Unclear.

Has the arena schedule revived yet? No. Many musical acts have either not resumed, or postponed, their tours.

The cloud over the Nets

Has the cloud over the Brooklyn Nets, involving star Kyrie Irving and the response from the team and the league, affected the arena? It's certainly possible--some sponsors might become wary, just as Irving has already lost a Nike sponsorship-- but it's too soon to tell, at least based on publicly available information.

So far, though season-ticket sales are way down, the Nets have reported full houses (some surely related to freebies) at home, and have won two games without Irving and injured Ben Simmons, thanks to Kevin Durant and a decent supporting cast. 

So if the Nets win, or at least put out a compelling product--and KD is compelling unto himself--that might be less of an issue. But there are other components of revenue.

How much will the Nets’ bottom line suffer because of Kyrie Irving?, asked Daily News columnist Bob Raissman yesterday, noting the Nets are, to quote ESPN pundit Jay Williams, “the most unlikeable team in the NBA."

Raissman cited the potential impact on TV ratings, both locally and nationally, as well as the potential loss of advertisers. As of now, though, it's all speculation.

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022