Barclays Center On Schedule
A construction update on the Nets’ new home arena.
The Nets’ 41 games per regular season, along with three home preseason games and potential playoff games, are the arena’s main draw. Yet there is a boxing deal Barclays Center made with Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions that should make the arena a consistent host to boxing matches. Baum said that Barclays will hold at least one major fight card per month. “We think boxing is going to be a major attraction at the Barclays Center,” Baum said.
A deal with IMG College will bring at least 25 college basketball games per year to Barclays, according to Baum. “It’s going to be a big deal,” Baum said. He sidestepped the possibility of Kentucky playing the first college basketball game at Barclays; Kentucky head coach John Calipari is on record stating he wants that scenario to play out. Still, Baum admitted that Barclays will look into hosting NIT and/or NCAA tournament games. “We want to be apart of postseason [basketball] tournaments,” Baum emphasized.
Tennis, college hockey and family events will be among the other events to be held at Barclays. Baum pointed out the U.S. Open in Flushing, Queens isn’t played too far from Barclays Center, and that the Nets and Barclays want the arena to be a “center for tennis.”
College hockey was noted by Baum as an unusual venture for New York City yet one that could prove successful once fans have a chance to experience it. And family events, including the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice, are a way for Barclays to separate itself as a family-oriented venue. At least 48 events through an alliance with Field Entertainment will be held annually at Barclays.
Baum said the arena will be confirmed for at least 150 dates per year with the desire to grow to more than 200 annually. Whether people will continually travel from other boroughs, upstate New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and pay for tickets is another matter.
Baum estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the Nets’ current season ticket holders are from New York City. That number can certainly grow once they’re based in New York.
The Nets offered 4,400 premium seats to its current season ticket holders for season tickets at Barclays Center beginning with the 2012-13 season through its All Access Pass, which requires a three-season commitment. The pass includes the opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public to non-Nets events and unlimited food prepared by Levy Restaurants, which will provide the food at designated clubs and all fixed concession stands during Nets games, which the team said is a first-time offering for a major New York metropolitan area sports team.
Baum said the Nets have been very happy with how sales have gone, although he wouldn’t provide figures to support that. He did say that spectators will see the action better than ever before.
“I can assure people that the sightlines will be the best in sports,” Baum said. Sports fans will surely want the best view when they get the chance to view a major professional sports team for the first time in Brooklyn since the Dodgers left in 1957.
Two more notes: the narrow dimensions of the site have forced the service entrance below street level. All vehicles delivering equipment for events will go onto one of two elevators that can hold up to 60,000 pounds. A turntable below will literally turn the vehicles around so that they can drive into the arena and load back on the elevator to be taken up to the street.
Two thousand tickets for Nets games at Barclays Center will be prices at $15 and under per game. Fifty percent of all season tickets will be prices at $55 or less per game and lower level season tickets start at $66 per game. All Access Pass season tickets begin at $99. The average ticket price for all seats in Barclays for Nets games will be $132.