The Nets' opening night in Brooklyn isn't set but October 31, 2012 is what the construction schedule is aiming for. Of course, there's a full season left to play in Newark and Deron Williams hasn't committed to an extension. But the Nets are out Wednesday with their Barclays Center ticket plans, featuring some unique aspects--and price increases less than what the Knicks recently announced.
Among the novel aspects of the plan is the Nets All-Access Pass which will give holders the right to purchase tickets to Non-Nets events before the general public, among other things, says Brett Yormark.
In an interview with NetsDaily, Yormark also said the arena will open in stages with the Nets Opening Night following a "soft opening" and a "Grand Opening". Not long after the Bruce Ratner-Mikhail Prokhorov partnership takes over the arena in the summer o 2012, it will be the site of the "soft opening," perhaps a reception; followed by a "Grand Opening Weekend" of concerts, the lineup of which will be announced in the coming weeks. Yormark declined to comment on who might be the opening act in the "Grand Opening" series of events, but Jay-Z joked at the Barclays Center ground breaking, "if that doesn't happen, then something's wrong. I'm not doing my job."
Then the Nets will have their own "soft opening" with preseason dates followed by the Opening Night celebrations.
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Brett Yormark said a lot of the thinking that went into the plan was "instinctive" but other parts were based on focus groups. The decision to give pass holders access to concession stands, for example, was based on his own experience with his young son who'd rather grab an ice cream at a concession stand than eat at one of the clubs.
"We have a lot of kids in the arena on weekends. On weekdays, we have business clients. Giving fans choices is what this is all about," Yormark told NetsDaily. "We are about volume and variety."
The focus groups, he said, wanted one thing above all: price certainty. "The All-Access Pass will give them price certainty for three years," he said, noting that fans won't be hit with surprise increases if they commit.
Additional All Access Pass benefits will include: a private entrance, dedicated VIP speed lines at all entrances, concierge service, early access into the Barclays Center, membership to the Barclays Center Business Alliance - a corporate networking program exclusive to sponsors and season ticketholders.
All Access season tickets start at $99, with 20 price points overall. In an effort to give customers cost certainty amidst a trend of rising ticket prices, prices for the All Access premium season tickets will remain flat during the three-year required commitment.
So far, Barclays has booked 149 dates out of a planned 200+, including events like Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, 25 college basketball games, tennis and boxing matches.
Beyond the All-Access Pass, the Nets announced that 50 percent of all season tickets will be priced at $55 or less per game, and lower level season tickets will start at $65. Overall, Nets officials say the average price of a season ticket in 2012 will be $130, which they point out is less than 30% higher than the Nets last playoff season, 2006-07. The Knicks recently announced that they will raise prices next season by an average of 49%.
"We feel our pricing is appropriate," said Yormark. "This is a business. We think we strike the right balance."
Two thousand tickets will be priced at $15 and under for each game, and an allotment of tickets for all events at the Barclays Center will be made available to the community, which was committed to in the Community Benefits Agreement of 2005. There will be no Personal Seat License (PSL) for Nets tickets.
At the other end of the ticket spectrum are the suite plans. So far, 40% of the 104 suites have been sold, including all of the high-end "Brownstone" suites which seat 16 and cost $450,000. In the fall, the arena's nine "Jay-Z suites", designed by man the Nets call the "global icon" go on sale. They are "event-level" and be at the high end. Jay-Z himself has already committed to one of them.