As the Brooklyn Nets make a monumental move across the Hudson, it’s a given that pretty much everything will change.
Fans? Increased by thousands.
Community? More diverse.
Logo and Jerseys? Re-designed by Jay-Z.
Colors? Simplified to black and white.
In the midst of all this development and renovation, it’s easy to overlook a small change to the new Barclays Center- the food. While many may consider a minor change, food has an undeniable impact on one’s experience at a game, or any event for that matter.
Last year, I was lucky enough to be one of the few fans that attended the Nets’ final home game in New Jersey. And despite the Nets trailing by double digits for most of the game, I will always remember that game as being one of the best basketball experiences of my life; not because of how well the Nets played, or because the game was intense, but because of the food. That sounds extremely corny, but to a certain extent, it’s true.
Towards the end of the second quarter, my brother and I, along with a couple of friends, made our way to the buffet inside the Prudential Center (the Nets’ previous arena) to try something new, rather than eating $15 frozen cheeseburgers every game. The buffet turned out to cost $30 a person, and after debating whether it was worth it for a good 10 minutes, we decided to try it out. What we got in return was an experience that was worth way more than $30.
Watching the game from the upper level with unlimited food and drinks, I experienced something that I can only describe as watching TV but in real life. That description only sounds so vague because it’s something that one needs to experience rather than hear about. It’s basically like eating in a restaurant and watching people play basketball 50 feet in front of you- plus the fact that these “people” are professional basketball players. 30 minutes into the unique experience, the great Darryl Dawkins walked into the room and I came out with both an autograph and a picture.
Like I said before, the Nets were out of the game for the last three quarters, but because of the great dining experience I had, I will never forget that game.
With the impact of food in mind, it is important to analyze the Barclays Center’s food and how good it will be. To start off, the Nets front office has collectively agreed to stop selling drinks over 16 ounces, with the goal of limiting sugar intake of fans. While I don’t see any point in this rule (you could just get two 8 ounce drinks), it should generally have a good impact and reinforces the idea of staying healthy.
Other than the vendors, and more importantly, the Nets will offer a great dining experience to fans who are looking to eat more than just pizza. To fans who are willing to pay the price, Barclays will offer the premium-quality food of Levy Restaurants. Levy Restaurants operates in over 100 locations throughout the country, including the Walt Disney Resort, Staples Center, American Airlines Arena, the Grammy Awards, and much more. With a 5 star rating on Yelp, fans will not be disappointed with this year’s food at the new arena. Prices are said to be fair and the food is “delicious.”
Food too often ruins precious experiences at events, but that should not be a problem this year for Nets fans. Expect great food and great games at Barclays. And who knows?…you might meet a Hall of Famer.