On Saturday, November 3, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors in the first regular season basketball game at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The opening game was actually scheduled for the previous Friday in a New York bragging rights showdown with the Knicks. However, the game was postponed as a result of Hurricane Sandy – giving proper perspective of what really matters.
I was fortunate enough to attend the first game and I actually left the game with a new appreciation for my graduate program. I used to just be a fan. I would sit back, watch and analyze the players and the game at hand. Now, I can’t stop thinking about everything but the game itself. Literally from the moment I walked into the venue, I took notice of everything: ranging from staff and their ability to provide assistance, the various concession and merchandise offerings, the mascot, on court entertainment and all the way down to the lighting on the court.
I was in awe of the new venue, and thanks to my classes I had a much better understanding of the decisions that the developers of the Barclays Center had to make along the way. They have done such a great job of building a stadium that creates a great fan experience and captures the city of Brooklyn. They even took time to recognize former Brooklyn Dodgers’ greats before tipoff, as the game marked the first Brooklyn sporting event since the Dodgers left in 1957. In addition to connecting with the borough of Brooklyn and its sports history, the organization absolutely nailed their marketing initiative. It was clear that the city and fans are excited about this team…because I know I am!
Photo by Peter Stein