Will Brooklyn Nets' Barclays Center Be Best Arena in NBA? (Take a Video Tour!)
Arena announcer/most interesting man in Brooklyn, David Diamante
Barclays Center better be ready to open on September 28th, because Jay Z lifts the lid that night.
What will it take to make good on this promise?
(Begin your video tour!)
Barclays Center Promising Best Sightlines, Top Atmosphere
Barclays Center video tour from May 16, 2012
When it comes to claiming the top arena out there, the Nets can only make promises at this point. Much work remains with four months to go.
But you can see they're putting a premium on sightlines, with the seats right over the action on the sunken court. The hanging scoreboard will be at street level, so those passing by the arena on game days will be able to see the score through the glass.
With so many beautiful new arenas around the NBA, and with the legendary Madison Square Garden just a few miles away, what else will it take to separate Barclays Center?
A New Arena Must Show Noise Potential Right Away
It's only fun if there's a buzz
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
As beautiful as new arenas, ballparks and stadiums are these days, there's a sinking feeling when the noise just isn't there.
Fans do their part, but design and acoustics play a huge role in arena buzz. In the NFL, Cowboys Stadium was instantly received as a Super Bowl-worthy Texas Taj Mahal, but their cavernous home doesn't get as loud as their old place.
Cranking up the hoops decibel meters are the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, and Portland Trail Blazers. The Sacramento Kings brought it before their team fell apart and threatened to leave. The noisy fanbases are loyal and tightly knit with the team, and the arena designs allow fans to be heard.
That architectural part of the equation will be impossible for Barclays Center to guarantee until seats are filled on September 28th. And soon after, the Nets know they need to give fans a reason to leap out of those seats and make that noise.
Deron Williams the Only Hope? No...
Deron Williams: Barclays Center will be the best arena in the NBA
Barclays Center blueprints have No. 8 as their foundation, but the arena won't come crumbling down if D-Will bolts.
Fans want FUN year one of a new arena; it's not until year two they'll demand wins and a little more star power. Yes, even in New York, fans will give their team a break as long as the new guys in town are entertaining.
Brooklynites will pay just to see top-level pro sports in their borough. They'll pay to experience the newest arena in the country. They'll pay to be part of the scene.
So Deron Williams can stay or go, and fans will still show up in year one. It'll just be a lot easier to reach that year two goal if D-Will is running the show.
Fans Want the Experience to Be Easy and Subways Keep It Simple
Eliminating the "where'd I park my car" factor
Sometimes the hassle of going to a ballgame is more prohibitive than the ticket cost.
The Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway hub will feed fans from all over NYC and Long Island directly to the entrance of Barclays Center.
People who decide to drive will experience traffic and parking frustrations, just as they would at any sporting event in a major city—but Barclays Center subways offer an alternative.
And there's no drunk driving after the game!
Here's the final ingredient to put Barclays Center in the running for best NBA arena...
Barclays Center Can't Just Be Run by Knicks Fans
Barclays Center can't be the top arena if their neighbors always crash the party
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
When the Nets last hosted the Knicks, orange and blue filled Newark's Prudential Center.
Noise was on the Knicks' side.
In fact, the crowd largely booed the home Nets.
New Yorkers love the Knicks, and Barclays Center is in New York. Yes, most of the fans going to the games this fall will have called themselves Knicks fans at some point.
So expect another strange Nets road game in their own arena when they host Carmelo and company.
Just remember...that's okay in year one. By year two, the Brooklyn Nets need to have locked in their own fanbase to give Barclays Center a true shot at best arena in the NBA.