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Brooklyn Nets seek capacity crowd

Brooklyn Nets seek capacity crowd

By J. Alan Hayes

The inaugural season for the Brooklyn Nets has gotten off to a fair start in regards to action on the court. Including the preseason games, the Nets have won seven out of their twelve games, with four of those wins taking place in their brand new home stadium at the Barclays Center. Regardless of the recent victories, fans throughout the tri-state area may not yet be convinced of the hype surrounding the team's much anticipated move from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The Brooklyn Nets have still not managed a sell-out for any of their home games, leaving open seats scattered throughout the $1 billion arena.

The recently-constructed Barclays Center boasts 18,200 seats for sporting events. The Nets' first preseason home game was against the Washington Wizards on Monday, October 15, and the team was able to draw a crowd of 14,219 for their debut in Brooklyn. According to the New York Times, Coach Avery Johnson said, the fans "were terrific," and when the Nets are able to draw in bigger crowds, "it's going to be crazy." Basketball fans and New York residents may still be on the fence. The Nets are ranked last in attendance, according to ESPN's statistics, averaging 13,061 spectators at home games so far in 2012.

The closest the Nets have come to a sell-out was for their first home game of the regular season, a 107-100 win against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, November 3. Attendance for the game was 17,732, according to statistics from The Sports Network, almost 1,000 fewer than the first game of the 2011-12 regular season back in New Jersey. The Nets' second home game, played against the Minnesota Timberwolves, drew only 14,017 fans, the lowest amount for their regular season thus far. Attendance increased for the third and fourth home games, peaking at 17,032 for Brooklyn's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, November 14. Despite not being able to sell-out their new home stadium, the Nets have increased their attendance average by 800 tickets over the statistics for last year at this point in the season.

According to the New York Times, Jerry Stackhouse, shooting guard for the Nets, acknowledges that Brooklyn is a tough town. "The fans aren't going to just hand their loyalty over," Stackhouse said, "we got to earn it and I appreciate that. We might be able to recruit some true Brooklynites, but you have to earn the respect of New York fans first," as reported

Brooklyn Nets tickets are currently available for all scheduled home games. Team owner Mikhail Prokhorov has undoubtedly been hoping that a rivalry between the Nets and the New York Knicks would inspire a loyal following, but only time will tell if that will push ticket sales and fill the seats. The Nets lost to the Knicks 95-97 during the preseason, and the two are first scheduled to face each other in the regular season at the Barclays Center on Monday, November 26. The Brooklyn Nets are next set to play a home game against the Boston Celtics on Thursday, November 15, before hitting the road to play in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Oakland.

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