IPB Fan Reviews: The Barclays Center Scores Mixed Reactions

Kevin Schultz

At the end of the Islanders/Devils game in Brooklyn on Saturday night, we asked you to rate and respond about your experience at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The reviews, suffice to say, were a mixed bag. Some fans loved it, some hated it but it seemed like there was a good deal of reviews in the middle. The majority of the reviews came online in this comment thread.

In all, we got 34 responses that were lengthy and passionate. Out of those 34, 28 rated the experience on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the best rating. The average rating of those 28 respondents came out to exactly 2.996, or 3-out-of-5. Fans are literally divided about the arena (however, they are united in agreement that the urinals have some cool features).

Of those 34 respondents, 18 included the price they paid for the ticket and that came out to an average of $57.80 per seat. The highest price paid was $120 and the lowest were two people who paid $20. One of those who said they paid $20 said they specifically picked the unobstructed side and loved their seats. The other did just about the opposite.

The following are some excepts from the reviews we received, along with that person’s rating of the entire experience. When possible, we’ve hyperlinked to the full review so that you can read the person’s entire comments to give them more context.

A lot of people noticed that the concessions on the upper level of the facility were packed…

“My only complaint was the congestion at the entrance when walking through the concourse trying to get to the food courts on the 2nd level.  There is a narrow entrance plus the food line for the concession as you walk in makes the entrance even smaller.  Otherwise I enjoyed the experience except that the Isles played like crap.”
- Scott D, No Rating

About those urinals…

“The beer selection is good though, and in the bathroom they have a ledge above the [urinals] to rest drinks which is a really smart idea…  Navigating around the lower concourse during intermission was pretty easy which was nice.  However, going around upstairs it was terrible!  … Overall, while it certainly wasn’t perfect, it could’ve been worse.
- Scott C, starstarstar

It could’ve been worse. Not sure that’s the feeling one should have after visiting a brand new arena.

The train works out really well if you live in NYC limits…

I live in Jamaica and the trip was all of 20 minutes and simple. I was home in 45 minutes including train/walk. It really is easy to get to, for me at least. Can’t say that for everyone else that were going out into LI.
- Mike, starstarstar

But we had a lot of people who didn’t enjoy the train….

The train station from Merrick was packed with isles fans, but when we got to Jamaica it was packed beyond belief.  There was no room whatsoever to move or breathe on the train… Train ride home was same issue.
- Ethan G, starstarstar

It seems like it may have depended upon which train line you were on, and the further out you were in LI, the worse off you were.

Scouting out your tickets may be the way to go…

“I made sure to buy tickets on the side of the arena where I knew I’d have zero chance of an obstructed view. My sightlines were flawless and even though I was in the very last row I had no problem seeing who was on the ice and following the game.”
- Dan C, starstarstar star star

No seriously, it’s probably the way to go…

Granted I was in an obstructed view section so I saw everything but the closest corner which was very annoying. The screen [on the scoreboard] is a square so where I was sitting I didn’t have a straight view of either screen so following the game when it was in the defense end was not great… IMO sit center ice. Otherwise watch from home.
- Rob, starstar

Seriously, about those trains:

…After the game I missed the 9:45 train to Hempstead. The next one was at 10:50 which is ridiculous. So I got on the train to Jamaica and waited till 11:13 to get on. I got back to my car at 11:50 and got home at 12:15. If they dont have more trains when the move there I will probably go to maybe 1 or 2 games a year. I’m not interested in 10 hr gamedays, when I used to get to the Coli in 15 minutes. Overall it was fine for game 1 but, alot of work to do to make it feel like home.
-Chris, starstar

Delaware approves:

Thought the sight lines were good. Building was awesome. Drove 2 1/2hrs from Delaware and it was easy in, easy out. Prices were certainly of the GARDEN variety, that being MSG for food and drink. Staff was extremely friendly. I am proud of the hard choice Charles made, but it was necessary. Good move for the Isles, even though it felt like cheating on the old barn. It was very nice.
- Will, starstarstarstar

But really, those urinals are fancy:

Positives- Bathroom lines moved quick, there are shelves to put your beer at the urinals and dividers between the urinals. The scoreboard was nice. Everything was new…
- John, starstar

Let’s pick it up at #10 on the complaints list…

10. My seats were not even listed as obstructed view and my seat was facing in the direction of the wall behind the section next to me, not the ice. At the end of the game, my neck hurt because it was turned the entire game in order for me to see the game.
11. Yes, my seats were toward the top, but soo much higher than those seats in the coliseum.
12. When you look down at the ice it just looks like it doesn’t belong there…
13. There is going to be a brand new coliseum built and they are going to be stuck in a basketball arena with no seats behind a net? It’s absurd. It really is. Yes it’s a nice building, the concourse is wide, it has good food and theres public transportation. Thats wonderful, but it doesn’t mean anything if the actual game experience sucks…
14. I have season tickets right now and if this is how it is going to be there is no chance in hell i am buying tickets for the barclays center…I will watch the games on tv.
- Dan, starstar

New Jersey weighs in:

Your Thoughts: I was right behind the Devil’s goal for the first and 3rd periods and got a great view of the game and the excellent jumbotron was right in front of me. I felt it was a great first game for the fans and it was not just Isle, Devils and Rangers fans but some Nordiques, North Stars, Whalers and Thrashers gear was out there as well. I can’t wait for this to be their full-time facility as it was 30 mins on the train from Elizabeth on Nj transit and a short ride on the 2 train and it made life easy.
- Tom, starstarstarstar

Those customer service folks were cheery. Almost too cheery…

Also: the word was clearly out to all service people to announce to everyone how excited they were to host a hockey game… (continued below)

The description “movie theater-like” also came up a couple times…
…It is definitely darker, movie-theater like, in the entryway and concourse (the bit that I saw). Sounds like everyone’s experience varied widely based on where they sat. For me, sightlines were pretty good. In terms of other factors, another commenter hit on the perfect word: disconcerting. Scoreboard, seating arrangement, bowl configuration, rink being off center, etc. Not bad, necessarily, but different. I wasn’t bothered by it enough to be distracted from the game but I do find myself wondering what, if anything, can be done to fix it. I had no problems being able to watch the game at Barclays but i splurged on those tickets, and based on everyone else’s complaining, I wonder what it will be like when I go into “regular” (ie, affordable) seats.
- Rob, starstarstar

Unfortunately, it might be a problem if you’re not willing to pay for the seats with the view…

Seats weren’t as bad for only 20 bucks, although trying to see Nabby for 1st and 3rd was a struggle. The defensive zone looks terrible, the ice is literally under the seats. I can’t believe they actually sell seats where you can’t see one net. Certain sections are closed to try and get better views for fans but didnt work well. I was very pleased to see such a great turnout. Scoreboard wasnt an issue, looked nice and big…Commuting to the game was great, coming home was awful. Took me 2 hours to get home to Oceanside, with 1/2hr transfer in Jamaica. I wont be making many trips come 2015.
- Mike B, starstar