I just got back from my first Nets game at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Here’s what I took from my experience:
The outside of the arena is spectacular. I have never seen anything like it. You feel you are going into a special place when you go in. There’s an energy outside that the Nets haven’t seen in their history. It’s especially cool at night with the way it’s lit up.
Walking in to the arena is an experience in itself. As soon as you enter, you see the huge LED scoreboard and you get a view of the entire playing area. I’ve never seen an arena that has something like this. It’s easily one of the best entrances I’ve ever seen.
Now is where it starts getting worse. The concourses are extremely narrow and it is very difficult to navigate through them. When I go to an arena, I like having space, but during halftime, you can basically forget moving around without having a problem. I understand it’s in the packed New York City, but c’mon.
Once you make your way to your seat, you have literally no room. Everyone is sitting on top of each other. You would think that they would actually give their fans space. If you sit normally, your arms will hit the person next to you. I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe it was so tight. If you make it to a game, you had better hope there are empty seats to both sides of you or else it will be a nightmare. The only sporting arena that is comparable is Fenway Park, but that was built in the 1900s. The Barclays Center was just completed this past year.
A really annoying aspect of the arena is when the Nets have the ball on offense, there is constant music playing. This drives me crazy. I wished that they just let the players play the game. This is the first time I have ever witnessed actual music while a team is trying to run an offense. Hopefully this changes very soon. I simply don’t see any reason for this to occur, and if anything, it hurts both teams because they most likely have trouble with communication.
Unfortunately for me at the Nets game, there was a little boy directly behind me who was screaming the entire game. He would consistently scream at the top of his lungs “DEFENSE!!!” for the duration of time the Nets were on defense, and then the music took over once they were on offense. I understand that you are a spirited fan and want your team to win, but boy did this drive me insane.
The last terrible thing Barclays Center did was have a sing along to “Call me Maybe” during one of the timeouts. This song should be BANNED from sporting arenas (No disrespect to Carlie Ray Jepsen). I get it that they are trying to appeal to little kids, but this made me nauseous and feel like I wasn’t at a sporting event. You’re better than that Barclays Center.
As tight as you are going to be in your seat, the one thing Barclays Center nailed was the sight lines. No matter where you sit, you have an excellent view of the court. This is something that I value greatly when going to a game, and the Barclays Center has just that. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting court-side, or in the last row of the arena, you will have a great view no matter what.
Overall, there are lots of ups and downs with the arena. I think it’s cooler just to walk around, then to actually go in, especially with the price of the tickets.
You can follow the writer of this story Lucas Frankel on twitter @lucasfrankel