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Nets Marketing Team, Barclays as Worthy Option to Knicks, Garden

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment

The airwaves, print press and blogosphere were filled this past week with news that James Dolan had once again enraged New York fans by unceremoniously dumping Donnie Walsh, architect of their recent revival. But at the same time, there was a more subtle counter theme out there: The Nets want you!

Commercials within the NBA Finals; positive media from the latest tour of the Barclays Center, the Nets' "Taj Mahal" to the Knicks' "Mecca"; constant talk of a more fan-friendly experience in Brooklyn all sent a message intentionally echoing the boss' comments from last May: "We will turn Knicks fans into Nets fans."

One way, Nets officials tell Stefan Bondy, will be cheaper, more accessible ticket packages. Another is portraying the iconic Barclays Center design as something different and better than the staid, if venerable, Garden. "We wanted to be something very different from (the Garden)," said architect Gregg Pasquarelli, calling MSG a "giant, impenetrable box." Another big difference: Unlike MSG, half the seats at Barclays will be below street grade, meaning fans will walk down, not up, to their seats. In other words, 15 months prior to opening night, "it's on."

Meanwhile, arena critics continue slamming the arena using the opening of a new documentary, "Battle of Brooklyn" to promote their cause. Daniel Goldstein told viewers of one local TV program, "Nobody likes it, nobody wants it."