Is NJ Transit slighting New Jersey Nets fans by not offering service to the basketball team's home games at the Izod Center?
That's the question Nets fans are asking on www.NetsAreScorching.com, a blog dedicated to the team. As blog writer Mark Ginocchio points out:
"The.current mass transit option to the Izod Center is an inconvenience - taking a NJ Transit train to Secaucus and then a shuttle bus to the Izod Center. You're relying on too [sic] separate modes of transportation.Too many transfers, too many modes of transportation. Forget it. There's no indication that NJ TRANSIT is going to run the service for Nets games this season."
The Izod Center, where the Nets play their home games, is one of several venues at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford. The complex also includes the Meadowlands Racetrack and Giants Stadium, where both the New York Giants and New York Jets play their home games. This summer NJ Transit opened its new Meadowlands rail station at Giants Stadium and began train service to and from the sports complex during major events there.
Apparently, Nets games aren't considered a "major event" yet.
On the surface, attendance numbers could be part of the reason. Last week an NJ Transit spokesman told the Reporter that Jets and Giants games attract about 80,000 football fans. The Izod Center has a seating capacity of a little more than 20,000. Nets games average between 15,000 and 17,000 fans and attendance has been on the decline for years.
But NJ Transit has offered service to the Meadowlands for small-scale events in the past, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer championship and July's AC/DC concert. The soccer match drew between 7,000 and 8,000 people.
The transit agency may be reluctant to invest in train service for Nets games since the team plans to ditch New Jersey in 2011 for a new arena in Brooklyn. With declining attendance this side of the Hudson River, team owners believe there's more profit to be had in New York City's outer borough.
Then again, as Ginocchio notes, Nets attendance might improve if the basketball team got the same treatment from NJ Transit that the agency gives to the Jets and Giants. - E. Assata Wright
Correction: According to NJ Transit, around 50,000 people attended the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer championship; 7,000 to 8,000 is the estimated number of people who took mass transit to and from the game.
The Mark Ginocchio quote is correct. The ellipses (.) are used to skip over unnecessary words.