Budget tix cut at Barclays

Busy weekend at the Barclays Center
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Cheap Nets fans have lost their seats.

The Barclays Center is no longer selling the 2,000 $15 tickets per game it promised in 2012 because scalpers were buying up the cheap ducats as fast as they could and flipping them, a company representative said.

“Last year, we found that many of our $15 tickets were being resold for a higher price on the secondary market, which was against the spirit of our initial offer,” said Nets spokesman Barry Baum.

Barclays Center head Brett Yormark told basketball magazine Slam in 2012 that the bundles of affordable tickets proved the “commitment we’re making to the borough.” The individual stubs are no longer for sale, but the arena is still offering the bargain seats to big groups, though this season’s have been sold out since August, Baum said.

“This year we decided to offer $15 seats through our group sales department as a way to ensure that the tickets were being used by people who bought them at the original price.”

The Nets’ 2012–2013 season, its first, saw some fans snap up the bargain basement admission slips while others were stonewalled and blamed scalpers, the watchdog website Atlantic Yards Report wrote. This season, Nets tickets started out at a base price of $25, but the team has since played some terrible basketball and executives have quietly introduced a dynamic pricing scheme that sets values based on likely demand, the website first noted. Under the new system, for instance, tickets start at $15 (plus a $5.35 fee) for next Wednesday night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats, while the cheapest you can get into the Friday, Jan. 31 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which more working people will be able to attend, is $75 (plus another so-called “service fee” this one for $11.70).

A longtime Atlantic Yards opponent said the Barclays Center could combat scalping by forcing buyers to pick up their tickets at a will-call box office and that the failed delivery is only the latest in a string of broken promises.

“The Nets average close to 900 unsold tickets a game, and the Nets are infamous for understating the number of unsold tickets” said Eric McClure, president of the group Park Slope Neighbors.

Barclays honchos are in fact giving away tickets to winners of an obscure monthly lottery run by Rev. Herbert Daughtry, an activist and pastor at the House of the Lord Church on Atlantic Avenue, but only 54, plus a sky-box seat for one lucky winner. The giveaway is part of the Community Benefits Agreement developer Forest City Ratner signed to get the arena built.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Night moves: The Barclays Center stopped offering $15 tickets to every Nets game after one season.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini