NETS Unveil 'The EXPERIENCE' Mobile Unit
November 15, 2011
BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, NETS General Manager Billy King, and NETS Head Coach Avery Johnson unveiled the Barclays Center and NETS Basketball mobile 'EXPERIENCE' on the plaza at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Tuesday. Fans were invited to visit The EXPERIENCE, where they participated in basketball shooting contests, received free t-shirts, and were entertained by the NETS Dancers and team mascot Sly.
Woostley Novembre was on his way to the gym. Crossing the plaza at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Tuesday afternoon, the 23-year-old stopped to take in the unveiling of the Barclays Center and Nets Basketball mobile "EXPERIENCE," lining up in front of the trailer's roof-mounted hoop and knocking down five free throws in 15 seconds to claim pole position in a shooting contest.
The Brooklyn native, and Canarsie resident, admitted to once having a "little basketball dream" that he reassessed as he grew older. Now working at a bank while studying accounting at Brooklyn College, Novembre is looking forward to the Nets' scheduled move in 2012.
"I'm really excited about the Nets coming to Brooklyn – it's going to be great for the city, for the borough," Novembre said. " (It will) bring in a lot of revenue, opportunities and employment, especially with the arena."
Those same thoughts have long driven Borough President Marty Markowitz's efforts to bring a major professional sports back to Brooklyn for the first time since the Dodgers took off for Los Angeles after the 1957 baseball season. Markowitz joined Nets general manager Billy King and coach Avery Johnson in greeting fans and introducing them to The EXPERIENCE, speaking about the team's commitment to joining the Brooklyn community.
"Everything we've seen about the team has shown it's a 'Net positive' for Brooklyn," Markowitz said. "It's something you have to experience for yourself, and – thanks to the EXPERIENCE – now we can."
Added Johnson: "We're excited to be here. We're going to make history here in Brooklyn, and we really want you to be a part of it. Thanks for having us."
Themed with Barclays Center and Nets branding inside and out, the 40-foot trailer features a built-in 10-foot regulation basketball hoop with an electronic scoreboard, and the newest PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii games are available for play on exterior flat-screen televisions. Adventurous fans can venture inside and shop the on-board team store for the latest Nets and Barclays Center merchandise, as well as take a virtual tour of Barclays Center and purchase Nets All Access season tickets. Afterward, they can step to the social media section and follow the Nets and Barclays Center on Facebook and Twitter.
At select events, The EXPERIENCE will offer 'Brooklyn Taste' culinary options, while up-and- coming artists will perform on the rooftop stage. Tuesday, game presentation coordinator T.J. Roche spun records (including JAY-Z, of course) while the Nets Dancers put on a performance and tossed T-shirts into the crowd.
Though brothers Don and Bobby Pittman came up empty on the T-shirt toss, they did tour the interior of the mobile unit, coming away impressed after viewing the virtual tour of the Barclays Center. Bobby, who works at the nearby courthouses, tipped off Don about the event, and the born-and-raised Brooklynites made sure to stop by The EXPERIENCE.
"It's Brooklyn, man!" Pittman said. "It's about time: it's news, it's exciting. It's bringing everything back to life. I've been born and raised in Brooklyn for 51 years, and finally it's here – the Barclays Center!"
Sounds like a potential ticket-buyer, or something more than that.
"Oh, there ain't no potential – we're getting 'em," Pittman said. "We're definitely in there."