Hurricane Sandy is knocking down the price of tickets to Brooklyn’s first regular-season National Basketball Association game.
The least-expensive secondary market ticket for the Nov. 1 game between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn is $200, according to TiqIQ, an aggregator of the ticket resale market. That’s 13 percent less than the cheapest “get-in price” of $230 for tickets at the end of last week.
The lower prices probably stem from falling demand amid concerns about how the weather will affect people’s ability to get to the game, said Chris Matcovich, a spokesman for TiqIQ. Sandy, the largest tropical storm on record in the Atlantic, led New York City to close the Hugh Carey Tunnel, formerly the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, and the Holland Tunnel connecting Manhattan and New Jersey, the Nets’ former home.
The arena is located next to the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center stop that serves nine New York City subway lines and also is adjacent to the Long Island Rail Road’s Atlantic Terminal. All service on the subways and the LIRR has been suspended due to the storm.
“Dependent on level of disruption of mass transit, I could see these tickets decreasing significantly, 20-50 percent,” Matcovich said. “If the bridges and tunnels are still closed or there are downed trees and flooding, it’s going to be hard to get to Brooklyn, if you have your own vehicle or are relying on mass transportation.”
Tickets are being purchased for an average of $322 on TiqIQ. The average list price of $892 is 31 percent higher than it was on Oct. 1.
Matcovich said in a telephone interview that a number of factors have heightened interest in the game, including the new arena, the absence of professional sports in Brooklyn since Major League Baseball’s Dodgers left for Los Angeles in 1958 and the proximity of the Knicks, whose Madison Square Garden is a six-mile drive from the Barclays Center.
The average price for a game between the Nets and Knicks in April at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, was $115, with the least expensive going for $42, according to TiqIQ. For some, selling their seats to the game in the 18,000-seat Barclays Center is not an option, regardless of weather.
“There’s no way on God’s green earth I’d sell them for any amount of money,” said Anthony Davenport, a Brooklyn resident. Davenport, 36, who owns a credit-restoration company, moved to Brooklyn in 2000 and said he’s been anticipating the Nets’ arrival since reading news reports in the year after he relocated.
Davenport’s tickets have a face value of $200. He said his biggest dilemma has been whether to take his 3 1/2-year-old son, Jackson. Though the boy would probably forget the moment, he’d be able to say he was at the first regular-season game in Brooklyn Nets history.
“I took him to the Nets’ first preseason game,” Davenport said in a telephone interview. “I’m taking his mommy instead.”
What the couple could face is as many Knicks’ fans as Nets’ fans.
Of those who have already bought tickets on the secondary market, 62 percent are from Manhattan, home of the Knicks, and 21 percent from Brooklyn, according to TiqIQ.
The Knicks went 36-30 during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, falling in five games to the eventual-champion Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. The Nets went 22-44, finishing last in the Atlantic Division, which also includes the Knicks.
“I expect that there’s going to be a lot of Knicks fans there,” Davenport said. “The only way that I’m prepping for that is warming up on my trash talk.”
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