The 1-1 Nets are hitting the road on Monday night for their third game of the NBA season. They’ll be facing the 2-1 Memphis Grizzlies. After a disappointing 2021-22 campaign and a rough summer, there’s hope that Brooklyn’s Big Three of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons can help the organization take a step forward.
Brooklyn opened its home schedule last Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans in front of a packed Barclays Center. They watched the Nets lose 130-108, but Steve Nash’s squad looks to make it two straight wins on Monday. However, it seems like the emotional roller coaster of the past few months has made an impression on fans. And the impression isn’t a good one.
According to Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Nets season-ticket sales are down significantly compared to last season. This report says Brooklyn sold between 8,000 and 9,000 season tickets in 2021-22. That number is currently sitting at 5,500, which is not only a huge decrease from the year prior, but also the lowest figure in the NBA.
The team stated they don’t depend on season-ticket sales as much because they can make more money with same-day sales. Plus, since they charge more than other teams, Brooklyn’s revenue puts them in the middle of the league.
But still, any entertainment-based business likes to count on guaranteed revenue each year. That’s what season-ticket sales do for pro sports teams. There’s no way this is just no concern to those in power for the Nets.
Let’s look at a quick timeline that led to these lackluster sales, shall we?
Kosman and Lewis note the Nets drew just under 15,000 fans per game in 2021-22. That was a spike of 26.3% from the previous non-pandemic year. So, team owner Joseph Tsai took that opportunity to raise ticket prices substantially, with some seats getting 50% more expensive.
This increase happened before the NBA Playoffs. Brooklyn was swept out of the first round by the Boston Celtics before a drama-filled offseason. Although the Nets lowered prices for some long-term season-ticket holders, it clearly didn’t happen for everyone.
Tsai has a net worth of $8 billion, but even with solid ticket revenue last season, the Barclays Center lost somewhere between $50 and $100 million.
You can’t blame fans for not wanting to shell out even more money for a team that looked to have no real direction over the summer. There’s one thing that’ll solve the problem here, though: just win baby. If the Nets start racking up W’s and are a title contender, seats in the Barclays Center will be mostly full when Brooklyn is in town.