First Person

Barclays reviewed: uncomfortable for the tall and broke

They may look unassuming, but these nosebleed seats are a nightmare.

I recently took my first trip to the Barclays Center to see my new neighborhood team, the Brooklyn Nets, play my hometown team, the Boston Celtics. It took less than a quarter for me to realize that a.) I can’t afford to be a Nets fan and b.) I’m too tall to be one, anyway.

Thanks to the Boston Celtics being a draw, price gouging ticket vendors acted accordingly, and charged me $45 for a $30 ticket, that was really worth $15. What does a $45 ticket get you at a Nets game? An obstructed view in Section 221, of an already terrible view, in an uncomfortable seat with no leg, elbow or fat room. Section 221 was designed for pre-teen Chinese gymnasts. The lack of walkways and cramped seating, give the section a cozy claustrophobic, buried alive feeling. If you get stuck in the middle of the row, simply curl up in a ball and scream for help.

Poor Man’s Tip: To subvert price gouging ticket vendors for sold out games like Celtics/Nets or Heat/Nets, watch the first half from a bar and buy tickets from desperate scalpers at halftime.  Classic drunk fan move.

Food concessions throughout the arena are above and beyond most professional sports venues. Thirty-seven local vendors including Calexico, Fatty Cue and Blue Marble, offer a variety of real tasty shit. You’ll enjoy the food, but it will cost nearly twice as much as it would on the street.

Poor Man’s Tip: If you’re gonna want a snack, do like you do at the movie theater and hit the bodega for some Skittles and Combos beforehand.

The claustrophobic rows make beverage schlepping a treacherous venture. If you’re brave enough to tight-rope a tray of unfortunately priced $9.50 Coors Lights, try not cascade down the near vertical upper deck steps.

Poor Man’s Tip: If you don’t want to pay $40 to get a solid buzz, duct tape a plastic flask of Jameson to your inner thigh.  They WILL search you with metal detectors, but keep a cool head and you’ll be fine.

Overall Game Experience
Outside of the bad view and inflated prices, I received an incessant ear-drilling by Hot 97/bodega hits from megaton speakers, ten feet from my head. I felt like I was trapped in the trunk of a 17 year-old’s tricked out Toyota Corolla. The unrelenting soundtrack to my suicide, accompanied a Chuck-E-Cheese brand of ADHD pandering, Jumbotron dance offs, Ellen Pompeo sightings, t-shirt gun volleys and Jay-Z sound bites. So yeah, I had a terrible time.

Overall Costs
Tickets: $45 gets you a bad seat to a good game.
Food: $10 for crappy Nathan’s Hot Dog and soggy fries, $10 for soggy veggie burger and fries from Brooklyn Burger
Drink: $10.50 for tall Bud Light
Total cost for an overall bad experience: $76


  1. Lauren

    OR you can buy your tickets off a cheap scalping website (I got three $50 tickets for $15 each), get drunk at home first, and eat a cheap piece of pizza on the way. Boom.

    I, clearly, enjoyed my time there. But it’s true: buying regular price tickets is absurdness on a level that I cannot believe. I don’t know who they’re kidding.

  2. I’m sorry, but are you somehow *surprised* that a game against a Boston sports team in New York featured secondary ticket prices above face value? Are you new here?

  3. the play is to just pre-game a little bit, get secondary tickets to the lesser in demand games for the cheapest possible price, and then simply move up to a closer section. If you’re going to an arena and expecting cheap beer / food you’ve never gone to an arena.

  4. XlizellX

    I disagree with so much of what you say. Honestly, though, it seems like you’ve never been to a sporting event before. Sure, you paid $10 for a just ok veggie burger but you know what you just bought? A veggie burger at an arena. That is rare. There is great food – great vegetarian nachos, awesome Mac and cheese…compare that to The Garden, or anywhere, and Barclays wins.

    You chose those seats. The corner sections are the worst. But they are not obstructed. That’s bull. The next section over, 222, has awesome views for the game. Yes, the seats are tight – but again, you’re at an arena. No tighter than any other basket ball stadium. And while you complain that it’s steep, that means you can be in the last row and have a MUCH MUCH better view than the back row from a more sloped arena layout. So walk carefully…but then sit down and enjoy the game in a much better seat.

    Yes, beers are $9.50. For 22 oz. Meaning it is more like $4.25 per bottle of Bud – which is a normally crappy price for many bars. Not a good deal, but not a horrific thing to rant about. Again, though, we are at a stadium

    Here’s the best night EVER:

    – leave work at 5. Travel to Woodwork on Vanderbilt and Dean
    – arrive at Woodwork and order a USA USA (shot and a beer for $6). Slam both. Then order their phenomenal truffle Mac and cheese ($10 most days, $6 on Mondays). Order a Fuck It Bucket with your friend. (6 beers for $15). Enjoy them while you wait and then during your eating.
    – head over to the arena on Dean. Use that back entrance since the lines are shorter.
    – grab 1 large Bud and get to your seat. Enjoy a fantastic game.
    – after the game, walk to Bark (Began and Flatbush) and order a Bark Red and the dog of your choice.
    – go home. You’ve kept a heavy buzz on all night, you ate great food, you watched great basketball, and you spent $45 plus the price of your ticket

    • Justin Wilson

      Honestly, though, it seems like you work PR for the Barclays Center. It’s true, this was my first sporting event, unless you count the World Series, NBA Finals, Big East Championship, GAA All Ireland Hurling Finals, Roma/Lazio, World Baseball Classic, Grapefruit League Baseball, Jets, Patriots, Providence Friars, Celtics, Mets, Yankees, Cubs, Angels, Bruins, Rangers, Brewers, etc. My lack of experience in attending sporting events makes me ill-suited to write a review, but I figured, what the heck, people love to talk incessantly about things they know nothing about.
      1: I totally agree with you that the food concessions throughout the arena are above and beyond most professional sports venues. So much so, that I wrote, ‘Food concessions throughout the arena are above and beyond most professional sports venues.’ But let’s be honest, comparing food at arena’s is like comparing semen from homeless men. Overpriced and way too salty.
      2: How hard is it to make a good veggie burger?
      3: I didn’t exactly choose those seats. More like settled. Sure, I could pay the same to sit closer for a Nets/Cavs game, but I could also pay $45 to watch my neighbor lick his dog’s balls.
      4: Engaging in comment board fodder is more fun than I though it’d be.
      5: My seats in Section 221 were most certainly obstructed by the people walking in the aisle. It is not ‘bull’. But I’m sure you thought I was talking about a giant pillar that extended from the heavens.
      6. If Section 222 offers an ‘awesome’ view, how would you describe Section 122? Earth shattering? Orgasmic? 222 offers ‘good’ views. Ease up on the awesome.
      7.Yes, the seats are tighter than ‘any other basket ball stadium’. They’re tighter than any every other basket ball stadium.
      8. You say the views in the back row are MUCH MUCH better than the back row of a more sloped arena. You really shoot from the hip with your use of upper case letters and repetitive hyperbole. I will give you ‘better’. One ‘much’, let alone 2 capital ‘MUCH”s. C’mon.
      9. ‘So walk carefully…but then sit down and enjoy the game in a ‘much’ better seat’. There it is again. Another ‘much’. ‘Much’ better than what? A seat on the roof. Once again you’re comparing bum semen with bum semen.
      10. Why should it be my job to ‘walk carefully’? I could get a great view hanging from the jumbotron, but I’d prefer to pay $45 for shitty seats and the courtesy of safety, over the allure of a good view and a broken spine.
      11. I’m sorry, but your ‘best night EVER’ is terrible. If you’re going to stick your neck out again with the upper case, you better be pretty damn sure you mean it this time. When you say ‘EVER’ I assume you’re talking about the time from when you were born to when you will die. Which in my estimation, can’t be soon enough. I don’t mean than. it just sounded funny.
      12. My best night ‘EVER’:
      I meet up with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to pre-game at the top of the Eiffel tower with a mountain of cocaine and a bottle of the finest whiskey, mixed with a pint of Gandhi’s blood and tablespoon of the prophet Muhammad’s sweat. We pal around for a few hours then head out on Mick’s jet for a spin around Europe. Lo and behold, Scar-Jo and Lizzy Kaplan (I have a thing for her), emerge from the cockpit laboriously dragging a gigantic oversized bucket of Popeye’s Fried Chicken. I dive into the bucket, and when I come out on the other side, I’m in a Malibu swimming pool filled with Skittles. My best friends are there; John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, George Carlin, Richard Pryor and young Eddie Murphy. We jump in my flying limo made out of Teddy Graham’s, with my life-size Teddy Graham driver and bodyguard, named Winthorpe Teddletons, and we dip on down to the Staples Center, where I suit up in my Celtic Green, and drop 101 points on the Lakers. After the game, I give Kobe a ‘psy-che’ high five and crop dust a disgruntled Jack Nicholson in the front row. It’s a game we play. After I’ve showered, and been scrubbed down by my entourage of Emmanuel lewis impersonators, I fly, yes I can fly, and my penis is now 9.5 inches, I fly back to Brooklyn to pick up my laundry and get my mail. I need to work on the ending.

      13. I’m sure your a really nice person, but I needed something to write about today, and you inspired me.

      14. Try not to be alarmed, but I googled you and found out that you’re a 2nd grade teacher. I come from a family of teachers and I respect the work you do more than just about any other occupation. Keep up the good work.

      15. I know I should never read message boards, but I just couldn’t help myself. I’m self centered and care way too much what other people think about me. I know I’m taking a lot of what you said out of context. That seems to be procedure on these things.

      16. One day I’d like to sit down and have coffee and laugh with you about all of this. Now I’m going to go and feel bad about manically writing about an argument I created in my head.

      17. Enjoy the holidays and

      18. Have a Happy New Year

      19. You can see this whole thing on my blog:

      • Is this English or were you drunk when you posted this rebuttal? No matter how many sports events you claim to have attended, your whiny complaints in this post make it sound like you have literally no perspective on arenas.

      • In terms of actual logic, I think you lost the argument. But that response was incredibly funny, and toed the snark/obnoxious line very well, if I do say so myself. Well done. I don’t understand why people blow so much money on sports games; Broadway shows are fucking expensive, but at least you can’t just watch those on TV (with a better view, cheap/free food, and a more comfortable seat, to boot).

  5. Couch Potato Cop

    Thanks for mentioning about the lack of legroom up in some of the 200 sections. At a recent game, I was smack dab in the middle of the row and had a really difficult time making it to the aisle due to lack of leg room, foot room & big cup holders on the seats in front blocking my way. It’s a big issue at the Barclays Center. I’ve been to hundreds of games & concerts at numerous arenas & venues around the country, and never had so much trouble getting out of my row, even with my fellow guests standing to allow me to pass. (that was a run-on sentence, but you get the point).

  6. Bunko929

    I one hundred percent agree with XlizellX. You can see from every seat at The Barclay Center, rarely an obstructed view compared with The Garden AND the tickets cost less than any other major sporting venue. The food options are delicious, varied and reasonably priced. It’s a professional sporting event! Everything costs more! Have you never been to a sporting event, convention center, theme park or NYC before?!? Geez! Welcome to 2013. And the music/DJ situation is fantastic in my opinion. Makes you excited to be there! It’s like being at a bar. Why must you be so negative?

  7. Literally one of the funniest and most helpful reviews I’ve ever read. I’m in tears as I write this. I was going to get tickets for my boyfriend in the 200s, but I think I’ll spend the extra money to sit in the 100s now. Thanks.

  8. matt mc

    first off you guys suck who wants to go to an overpriced shit hole of a venue in a shitty neighborhood do evertone a favor shut down YOU GUYS SUCK DICK

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