The western entrance of Barclays Center, taken from the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush Avenue.
|Location||620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11217, United States|
|Broke ground||March 11, 2010|
|Opened||September 21, 2012|
|Owner||Forest City Enterprises (majority)
ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment (minority)
|Construction cost||$1 billion|
|Architect||AECOM (Ellerbe Becket)
|Project manager||Forest City Ratner|
|Structural engineer||Thornton Tomasetti|
|Services engineer||WSP Flack + Kurtz|
|General contractor||Hunt Construction Group|
Ice Hockey: 14,500
|Brooklyn Nets (NBA) (2012–present)
New York Islanders (NHL) (beginning in 2015)
Brooklyn Knights (USLPDL) (beginning in 2015)
Barclays Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena in Brooklyn, New York. It sits partly on a platform over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority–owned Vanderbilt Yards rail yard at Atlantic Avenue. It is part of a proposed $4.9 billion sports arena, business and residential complex known as the Atlantic Yards.
The arena hosts the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets, along with concerts, conventions and other sporting events, competing with other facilities in the New York metropolitan area, including Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Prudential Center in Newark, and Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Beginning in 2015, it will also be the home of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League.
Initially proposed in 2004 when real estate developer Bruce Ratner purchased the Nets as the first step of the process to build a new home for the team, the development of the arena was saddled with controversies involving local residents, the use of eminent domain, definition of blight, demolition of buildings such as the Ward Bakery, multiple lawsuits, as well as a lack of financing, delaying the start of construction for many years. Groundbreaking finally occurred on March 11, 2010, and the arena was opened to the public on September 21, 2012. It held its first event with a Jay-Z concert on September 28, 2012.
Barclays Center was conceived by Bruce Ratner of real estate developer Forest City Ratner, the New York office of Forest City Enterprises, who acquired the New Jersey Nets basketball team in 2004 with the purpose of moving them to the neighborhood of Prospect Heights in Brooklyn and have them play in the arena that would be the center piece of his Atlantic Yards commercial and residential development project. The site is located adjacent to the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station (2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, Q, R trains) and the Long Island Rail Road’s Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, and was one of the most transit-accessible locations in the city. The move marked the return of major league sports to Brooklyn, which has been virtually absent since the departure of the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1957. Coincidentally, the original proposal for a domed stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers was just north of the Atlantic Yards site, where the Atlantic Terminal Mall, also owned by Forest City Ratner, is currently located.
Barclays Center was initially projected to open in 2006, with the rest of the Atlantic Yards complex to follow. However, controversies involving local residents, the use of eminent domain, as well as a lack of financing, delayed the project. Due to these legal and financial troubles, the development deal seemed headed towards failure or collapse, and Ratner at one point explored selling the team.
On May 16, 2009, the arena's opponents' attempts to halt the project on claims that eminent domain could not take place, were thwarted, when a New York Supreme Court justice ruled in favor of Ratner. However, groundbreaking was still not a sure thing: Ratner claimed to have financing in place, but it was reported that he had gone to the MTA and asked it to lower the amount owed them up front. The developer successfully bid on the land for $100 million, but now was asking to lower the down payment to as little as $25 million, suggesting that his "in-place financing" was not so "in-place" after all.
Also, opponents appealed the court decision. A hearing for the appeal was scheduled for October 14, 2009, with a decision to be issued no sooner than November 25. Ratner needed to break ground by the end of the year. If the case were held up in court beyond December 31, 2009, he would have lost the right to tax-free bonds, which would be issued to make financing more feasible. Had he lost those bonds, it would have cost him about $150 million.
On September 23, 2009, Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov agreed to a $200 million deal to become a principal owner of the Nets and a key investor in the Brooklyn arena.
In October 2009, the Nets played two preseason games at the Prudential Center. The two preseason games were successful, and a deal that would have the Nets play at the Prudential Center for the 2010–11 and 2011–12 NBA seasons became more likely. Negotiations nearly fell apart, when the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority refused to release the Nets from their lease at Izod. Negotiations resumed, and on February 18, 2010, the Nets finalized a deal that would move them to the Prudential Center in Newark, until Barclays Center opened.
On November 24, 2009, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state using eminent domain for the project. Empire State Development Corporation Vice President Warner Johnston indicated that the agency is committed to seeing the project completed and said "we can now move forward with development."
Another potential roadblock to this development resulted from the Appellate Court's negative decision regarding a similar eminent domain case, brought against Columbia University. This landmark case could have given new life to the case being brought by the community group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB).
However, on March 1, 2010, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Abraham Gerges struck down a challenge by property owners, regarding the state's use of eminent domain, which allowed the private property to be condemned. Groundbreaking for the project occurred on March 11, 2010.
On June 29, 2010, the first concrete was poured into Barclays Center's foundation. The arena began vertical construction on November 23, 2010, with the erection of the first steel piece. The arena topped out on January 12, 2012, and was opened to the public on September 21, 2012. It held its first event with a Jay-Z concert on September 28, 2012 even though it was not technically finished.
On October 24, 2012, the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL) announced that the franchise will be moving to the Barclays Center in 2015, following the expiration of their lease of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which the team has called home since its inception in 1972. Whereas the original design would have featured an ice hockey configuration with capacity typical of the arenas used in the NHL, the final design for Barclays Center is designed mainly for basketball use. It can nevertheless accommodate an NHL-size rink, though the arena will only be able to seat 14,500 fans in its ice hockey configuration, which would give it the lowest seating capacity in the NHL, 504 seats smaller than the current smallest NHL arena, the MTS Centre. However, there are plans to increase seating capacity for ice hockey to 15,000 seats. As a result of the signing of the lease, the two KHL games that were scheduled to be played in the arena on January 20 and 21 between Dynamo Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg were moved back to their teams' home venues.
Barclays Center is designed by the architect firm Ellerbe Becket (who has also designed TD Garden used by the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics, Time Warner Cable Arena used by the Charlotte Bobcats, and Quicken Loans Arena used by the Cleveland Cavaliers), and New York City firm SHoP Architects.
Externally, the arena's basic shape is that of three articulated bands, and features a glass curtain wall covered by a "latticework" made up of 12,000 preweathered steel panels, which are meant to evoke the image of Brooklyn's brownstones. An 117-by-56-foot (36 by 17 m) "Oculus" extends over a 5,660-square-foot (526 m2) section of the plaza outside of the main arena entrance, and contains an irregularly-shaped display screen that loops around on the inside of the structure.
The 38,885-square-foot (3,613 m2) entrance plaza features a $50 million "Transit Connection" structure that serves as the focal point of the plaza. This transit structure connects with the new Barclays Center subway station, designed by New York City firm Stantec, which connects to nine subway lines. As the basketball court is situated below ground level, the scoreboard is visible from the plaza.[clarification needed]
The original design of the arena, by architect Frank Gehry, would have the arena's roof feature a park open only to residents of the Atlantic Yards complex, ringed by an open-air running track that doubled as an ice skating rink in winter with panoramic vistas facing Manhattan year-round; but those roof plans were scrapped due to Gehry's design being projected to put the cost of the arena at $1 billion, which was seen as being too expensive. Gehry's design was eventually replaced in September 2009 by the current Becket/SHoP design, which puts the arena costs at $800 million, although the final cost of the entire project is currently projected to be $1 billion.
Naming rights 
On January 18, 2007, it was announced that the arena would be called Barclays Center, after London-based Barclays PLC. It was reported that banking and financial services company agreed to pay the team $400 million over the next 20 years for the naming rights of their Brooklyn home, eclipsing the previous record for naming rights to an American indoor arena, set by Royal Philips Electronics in 1999, for $185 million over 20 years for Philips Arena in Atlanta. However, the rights were renegotiated by the end of 2009, and are somewhat more than $200 million. The proceeds of the naming rights go to the developer, not to the state of New York, which owns the land. Barclays does not have any retail banks in the US and will not have its own ATMs in the arena.
Notable firsts and significant events 
Jay-Z opened Barclays Center by performing in a series of concerts. The eight concerts were held September 28 – October 6, 2012. Each show was sold out by the end of the day that tickets went on sale, which was on July 12, 2012.
The first regular season NBA game at the Barclays Center took place on November 3, 2012, when the Nets beat the visiting Toronto Raptors 107–100. The originally scheduled season opener home game was supposed to take place on November 1 against now-cross town rivals the New York Knicks, in what was planned to be a historic event; however, the game was canceled by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg due to mass transportation outages and a shortage of available police caused by Hurricane Sandy. Bloomberg was quoted as saying:
We’re sorry about the game, I was personally going to take both my daughter and Diana, we were looking forward to it, it’s a great stadium, it would have been a great game, there’s plenty of mass transit, but our police have other things to do. Lots of fans are going to be disappointed, the fans are disappointed, you should know the fans wanted to play, but I did talk to the NBA and recommended, asked them to cancel the game, it’s all up to me.
Green Day played at the Barclays Center on April 7, 2013.
Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions brought boxing to Barclays Center on October 20, 2012 when Devon Alexander won the welterweight title against previous welterweight titleholder Randall Bailey.
The Rolling Stones performed at the venue on December 8, 2012 as part of a special series of five concerts marking their 50th anniversary as a group. In addition to the date at the Barclays Center the band performed two shows at the O2 Arena in London, UK, in November, 2012; and two shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey in December, 2012.
British band Coldplay performed at the venue on December 30, 2012 as part of their Mylo Xyloto Tour. Coldplay and Jay-Z co-headlined a special New Year's Eve concert at the venue on December 31, 2012, marking Coldplay's first show in NYC since September 2005. It was the second time in two years that Coldplay had celebrated the new year with long-term friend and collaborator Jay-Z, the band having shared the bill with him at a Las Vegas concert in 2010.
The first NBA playoff game at the Barclays Center took place on April 20, 2013, when the Nets beat the visiting Chicago Bulls 106–89.
Pink will perform during her The Truth About Love Tour on December 8, 2013 and December 9, 2013, on the second leg of her tour. This will be her first time performing at the Barclays Center and the third time playing in New York on her "The Truth About Love Tour" (after her show at Madison Square Garden).
The Postal Service will bring their 10 Year anniversary tour to the Barclays Center on June 14 and 15, 2013.
The Islanders will play the first NHL hockey game at Barclays Center in a preseason game against the New Jersey Devils on September 21, 2013.
See also 
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