The Brooklyn Nets will finally welcome the New York Knicks to their new arena tonight, almost one month after their season-opening game was rescheduled in the wake of superstorm Sandy.
Tickets for the game at the Barclays Center were being re-sold for an average of $584 apiece on the secondary market, according to ticket-aggregator TiqIQ.com, the third-highest in the National Basketball Association this season.
While the average price is down about 36 percent from the high of $913 for the original Nov. 1 opener, tickets remain at a premium for the matchup between the two top teams in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division. The Knicks have a 9-3 record, while the Nets are 8-4 and have won five straight games in Brooklyn, where they’re now 6-1 on the season.
“This is a game that a lot of people have been waiting for,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said yesterday at a news conference. “We’re excited about it, we’re at home and I know our guys are jacked up and ready to play.”
The only two NBA games with a higher resale price for tickets involve the Knicks, defending NBA champion Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Jan. 17 matchup between the Heat and the Lakers in Los Angeles currently has the highest ticket prices on the secondary market at $633, according to TiqIQ, followed by a $599 average for the Knicks-Lakers game at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 13. The highest secondary-market average ticket price for a game that’s been played was $548 for the Knicks’ Nov. 2 opening game against the Heat in New York.
The top-priced Nets’ ticket in Brooklyn has been for a Nov. 23 game against the Los Angeles Clippers, with an average re-sale price of $465, TiqIQ said.
Prices had climbed to almost twice that for the originally scheduled Nets-Knicks game, which was postponed after Sandy made landfall Oct. 29 near Atlantic City, New Jersey, and killed more than 100 people in 10 states. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said this month that Sandy had cost his state about $33 billion.
While there hasn’t been the same buildup for tonight’s rescheduled game, Nets center Brook Lopez said there’s going to be a special atmosphere in the Barclays Center. The game will be nationally televised on Turner Sports’ TNT network.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Lopez told reporters. “I’m sure there will be a number of Knicks fans, but there’s definitely going to be Nets fans as well. It’s going to be an interesting dynamic and I know our guys can’t wait for it.”
The Knicks yesterday ended a two-game losing skid with a 121-100 home win against the Detroit Pistons. While New York remains unbeaten at home at 5-0, they’re 4-3 on the road.
The Nets have gotten off to a hot start in their debut season in Brooklyn and yesterday pulled away for a 98-85 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in their new $1 billion arena.
The Nets had a 9-24 home record last season in their final campaign in New Jersey before moving to Brooklyn.
“It’s fun to play at home, we have confidence,” Lopez said yesterday, when the Nets outscored Portland 28-15 in the fourth quarter. “We really enjoy going out there and playing together on our floor.”
The Knicks have won six of seven meetings between the area rivals over the past two seasons.
“If we don’t get up for this game, then I don’t know what game we’re going to get up for,” said Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who grew up in Brooklyn. “For me, going back home to that borough, playing my first game over there, it’s a very special moment.”