I went to a four-of-the six games this weekend in Brooklyn and had a great time. A few comments and observations on the Barclays Center’s NCAA Tournament debut.
1- The entrance lines are ridiculous. I get the security, but make more lines, open more doors, get more guards screening people. It took me over half an hour to clear security and get to my seat. This isn’t an airport, fix it.
2- The upper deck is the red-headed step child of the arena. That’s ok, the views are still very good even if the concourses are too narrow. But, you have to open the stairwells and allow people to use them to get up and down. Two escalators only going in one direction and a few scattered elevators are not enough to allow fans to travel up and down.
3- I like the policy of not allowing fans to get back to their seats while the game is in progress, but you have to announce that policy and make it known. Way too many fans getting needlessly upset over a good idea.
As for the games, saw two great ones and two terrible ones. Villanova absolutely destroyed both UNC Asheville and Iowa. I still don’t buy the Big East (notice what happened to their tourney champion Seton Hall?) but Nova was really impressive this weekend. Iowa-Temple on Friday was a great game with lots of sad Temple fans after overtime. Kudos to Iowans for traveling in numbers to support their team. And the Notre Dame-SFA game today was the best of all, so close to a major upset.
Assuming Barclays can fix the entrance issues and flow between floors, I think the tourney can really succeed there. Hopefully, it will be back soon.