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Brett Yormark: Attendance bad, but Nets will be "major player" in free agency

Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

The Daily News' Michael O'Keefe and Nathaniel VInton sat down this week with Brett Yormark to talk about the Nets declining attendance, which is now near New Jersey levels. Yormark admitted there are issues, particularly with no-shows, but said he expects the franchise will rebound and be a "major player" in free agency next summer.

Yormark admitted that to put more fannies in the seats, as George Steinbrenner used ot say, the Nets have instituted a ticket giveaway through Play-by-Play, a Broadway seat-filler service.

"This is a way to grow the base," said Yormark. "It’s a way to get new faces in the building."

Yormark told the Daily News earlier this week that the Nets have provided about 100 free tickets to eight home games this season, which is just a fraction of Barclays Center’s 17,732-seat capacity for NBA games. But he acknowledged that the 7-18 Nets, 28th in NBA attendance so far this season, are struggling to draw fans.

His big concern? No shows, fans who buy tickets or have season tickets and then don't show for the games.

Yormark said. "You want people to come out and enjoy the Nets, enjoy the investment (in tickets) they’ve made."  And he noted, help the sales of food and other concessions.

The team and arena CEO said he does NOT expect the team's woes on the court to factor into their pursuit of free agency this July. The team is expected to have between $40 and $44 million in cap space, enough for two max players if that's the route they want to take.

He said free agents will be drawn to the team’s youthful core and its $50 million Sunset Park training facility, scheduled to open in February, will attract top players. In other conversations, Yormark has said the team will also benefit from its Brooklyn cache' and New York location.

"We will be a major player there (free agency)," he said. Still, It didn't work all that well for the Knicks, who've been saved by a lottery pick the Nets are unlikely to have for years.