Darren Rovell: Nets fans spend more money at arena than any other NBA fans

Bruce Bennett

In a story about the positive financial picture the Nets are painting in Brooklyn is this line... talking about the dramatic increase in Nets' merchandise sales.

"That's one of the reasons why the average fan will spend -- aside from tickets -- more money at Nets games this season than any other team," writes Rovell.  He doesn't explain the basis for the comment, but notes as well, " In 2011-12, the team's last year in New Jersey, the team was 27th in the league in ticket revenue. This year, a league source pegs them at No. 5."

Brett Yormark has spoken about how arena food sales are among the highest in the league.  While good for the team, many fans have suggested prices are getting too high.

Bottom line for management is this: the product on the floor is selling big time. The Nets are yet to be profitable. By one public accounting, from the parent company of Forest City Ratner, the Nets lost $23.3 million last year. But another report from the same company suggests the arena is profitable with "net operating income" of $34.4 million last year.

Rovell also writes that the Nets are improving on last year's numbers, in a variety of ways: only 2 percent of the arena's 104 suites (presumably two suites) remain unsold, down from eight percent last year. He adds, "Despite a $1 billion renovation to Madison Square Garden, the Nets say they had a 14 percent increase in ticket buyers from Manhattan this season."

Indeed that is reflected in the New York Times survey of Facebook "likes" for NBA teams per zipcode. The Manhattan Financial District, zipcode 10004, is near even between Nets and Knicks in the Times survey. It's 26-to-20 this season. Hard to imagine it was anywhere near that close when the Nets played in Newark.

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