Although most traditional Knicks fans despise the Nets – a step-sibling purpose-built to compete for New York City's fan base – Esiason loves the new arena, which opened in 2012 for the teams's first season as a Brooklyn team. "The Barclays Center is beautiful and intimate, really intimate," Esiason says. "It's not an oval-shaped building – it's built on a square, a Brooklyn city block – and so everybody's closer." As Esiason points out, unlike the arch-rival Knicks and their Garden, the Nets' owners chose to black out the seated areas, which focuses the attention of fans on the illuminated on-court action – be that a Nets game or a Jay-Z performance. (Perhaps it also helped lessen the embarrassment of their losing in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs?)
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