After the owner of the Nets minority, Joe Tsai, bought the Liberty, he told The Post that his main job was to find a way to put people in the seats. It can mean finding a new home for your team. Or two.
A great performance at the door during Sunday's unique match at Barclays Center showed why the move to Brooklyn was at the top of Tsai's wish list. And sources told The Post that there is even talk that the Liberty potentially divides the games between Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum.
"It's a possibility. As an agreement with the islanders, "said a source.
The Liberty drew 7715 spectators in Sunday's loss to Seattle, four times the average since moving to the tiny county of Westchester County last season. They had 4,155 spectators for a demonstration match against China at Barclays Center in May, and they far exceeded that result with this WNBA match.
A source told The Post that there were very few free tickets in Sunday's crowd, a positive sign. However, the problem is whether this crowd is sustainable enough to make the tallest building viable. The wheelhouse of the WNBA being a family entertainment – and Long Island providing this base – there is currently talk of a Barclays and Coliseum combo.
"We have to find a solution when it's about playing a place, a place where fans can get excited," Tsai told The Post. "Westchester Stadium is currently limited to 3,000 seats. It's tiny and hard to reach. If you live in New York, it is quite difficult to go to White Plains. This is the first order of the day. As the owner, I consider my most important responsibility is to bring more fans into the arena to watch the team. "
Or bring the team to an arena where fans will go. The purchase of 49% of mosquito nets by Mikhail Prokhorov by Tsai did not include Barclays Center; but now sources have told La Poste that he was about to close a deal to buy the arena. This would also allow him to accelerate his takeover of the remaining 51% of the Nets, which was initially not planned until January 2021.
"I do not own this building," Tsai said in May. "So there are things left to settle. Of course, I will consider Barclays Center as one of the options, but no promise at the moment. The Colosseum is far away. I would say we are trying to explore all the options. At present, the current situation is not ideal. Barclays Center would be great.
The Liberty is ranked among the top four of the WNBA over the 18 seasons at Garden, with an average of 9,888 in 2017 before owner Jim Dolan moved out. team in Westchester. But he has never been better ranked seventh in four complete seasons outside the city.
The Liberty were only 12th last season with 2,823 goals against 1,886 in 15 dates in Westchester. Their fall was so precipitous that it accounted for about half of the WNBA's fall to a record of 6,721 fans per game in the league.
With discussions on a new collective agreement looming, the concerned owners will surely keep a close eye on where the Liberty ends up playing.
Michael Zavodsky, revenue manager of BSE Global, Nets' parent company, is about to become sales president of Roc Nation, which has just signed a long-term partnership with the NFL.