Brooklyn Nets fans have begun to vote with their feet early into the 2022-23 NBA season. The New York Post's Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis reported Monday that the demand for Nets season tickets has fallen by more than 30 percent compared to last year.
According to the report, Brooklyn sold between 8,000 and 9,000 season tickets in 2021-22, while the figure sits at around 5,500 this season. That number was described as "dead last" in the league.
"The Nets declined comment," per Kosman and Lewis. "A source close to the team didn’t dispute the league-worst season ticket figures but said the club relies less on those sales to fill the Barclays Center than teams in other markets."
The Post cited cost as one factor behind the decrease. One courtside season-ticket holder told Kosman and Lewis the price to renew his package was $5,400 per ticket for each game, up from the $3,500 he had been paying.
There are almost assuredly other dynamics at play.
For the foreseeable future, the Nets will continue to play second fiddle to the New York Knicks in the Big Apple. And while the Knicks missed the playoffs last year, they made a big splash this offseason by signing Jalen Brunson away from the Dallas Mavericks.
New York City is a massive market, which can be a double-edged sword. While teams have a massive pool of prospective ticket-buyers, the people who might consider coming to a game have no shortage of other entertainment options.
Some within the Nets fanbase have probably grown tired of the drama that has engulfed the franchise within the past year as well.
Kyrie Irving missed more than half of the 2021-22 campaign after declining to get the COVID-19 vaccine and was the subject of trade speculation for much of the summer. James Harden successfully sulked his way out of Brooklyn ahead of the 2022 trade deadline. Kevin Durant requested a trade this offseason but eventually backtracked and reaffirmed his commitment to the Nets.
So far, Brooklyn hasn't had trouble with attendance to open the new year. It's averaging 17,867 fans through two games, which is basically Barclays Center's maximum capacity.