This is the home venue for the Brooklyn Nets and for this season only the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn’s d-league affiliate).
I’ve been to the venue a few times already – during All Star 2015 and more recently for a Knicks @ Nets game. On those occasions I had a good experience of the venue however when I attended yesterday for a Long Island Nets game they really let themselves down.
They decided to open the doors only 30 minutes before tip. This is not really a problem except that fans had arrived for doors being an hour before tip, and box office staff confirmed this time. Making people wait in the cold for 30 minutes with no explanation is not good customer service.
When they finally let us in there was only one open concession stand. In fairness this was probably enough given the small numbers in attendance but it was clear that the focus of the day was on setting up for that evening’s Brooklyn Nets game.
The staff in the venue were all really friendly, I genuinely don’t think the bad experience was anything to do with them. The problem is that the Barclay Centre is too big a venue for a d-league game and it is clearly costing the owners too much to keep using it as one. This does seem like an issue that would have been obvious at the start though.
Venue – this is an NBA venue and holds just over 18,000 people. It’s a well designed venue and I’m don’t think here would be a bad view regardless of where you were sitting and of course there is a jumbo tron as well.
The layout does mean that the lower bowl experiences drafts though this is only really noticeable during games with low attendance.
Accessibility- the venue has its own station so is accessible from most parts of New York. As I am usually based in Manhatten I take the 2 or 3 and it’s about 30 minutes to the venue. Once you get off the train the exit to the venue is well signposted.
You could drive but given the range of public transport options I think it would be easier to use public transport, especially for big games. Having left the venue to head to the subway after big games I can say that the station is well managed and it does not take long to get on a train.
Merchandise- on Brooklyn game days there are multiple points on the concourse to purchase team merchandise. On Long Island days there is one which has limited stock.
Concessions – Barclays Centre has put some thought into this. There is a large bar area as well as numerous stands selling beer, popcorn, hotdogs, pizza etc. All the usual stuff you would expect from an NBA venue. We got 2 hotdogs and 3 small soft drinks for $24
Just remember that on Long Island days your options are more limited and I don’t think they sell alcohol.
Entertainment- the NBA is known for the entertainment that happens around the game with cheerleaders, t-shirt giveaways and on court competitions adding to the fun. At the Brooklyn games you can definitely expect all of this so you won’t be bored if you stay in your sat during breaks in play.
For Long Island Nets games do not expect any of this. You might get the odd opportunity to watch two fans challenge each other to take free throws but that’s about it. Which is a shame as other d-league franchises put the effort in here and make sure the fans energy levels stay high.
Ticket prices – Brooklyn tickets are typical of NBA tickets in a big market. Book in advance if you want to guarantee attendance and be prepared to pay upwards of $60 (and even then you will be in the back row).
Long Island Nets play nose games behind closed doors but when they do open them a general admission ticket will cost you $15 and a courtside seat is $50.
All in all go for a Brooklyn game but if you want to see Long Island Nets is skip the limited open games and wait until they get to their permanent home.