Barclays Center

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This article is about the arena. For the subway station, see Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center (New York City Subway).
Barclays Center
Barclays Center western side.jpg
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
Coordinates 40°40′57.58″N 73°58′30.81″W / 40.6826611°N 73.9752250°W / 40.6826611; -73.9752250
Public transit
Owner Brooklyn Events Center, LLC
(joint venture between Forest City Enterprises and ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment)
Operator AEG
Capacity Basketball: 17,732
Ice hockey: 15,795
Concert: 19,000[1]
Broke ground March 11, 2010[2]
Opened September 21, 2012
Construction cost $ 1 billion[1]
($1.03 billion in 2015 dollars[3])
Architect AECOM (Ellerbe Becket)
SHoP Architects
Project manager Forest City Ratner Companies
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti
Services engineer WSP Flack + Kurtz
General contractor Hunt Construction Group[4]
Brooklyn Nets (NBA) (2012–present)
New York Islanders (NHL) (starting 2015)
CBS Sports Classic (NCAA) (2015)
Official website

Barclays Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena in Brooklyn, New York City. It sits partially on a platform over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)-owned Vanderbilt Yards rail yard at Atlantic Avenue for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). It is part of a $4.9 billion future business and residential complex now known as Pacific Park.[5]

The site is located adjacent to the newly renamed MTA Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station (2 3 4 5 B D N Q R trains) and the LIRR’s Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. The arena hosts the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets,[6] along with concerts, conventions and other sporting events. The venue competes 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. Beginning in 2015, it will also be the home of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League.[7] The arena and the Brooklyn Nets are owned by Mikhail Prokhorov's American holdings.

Initially proposed in 2004 when real estate developer Bruce Ratner purchased the Nets for $300 million as the first step of the process to build a new home for the team,[8] the development of the arena experienced significant hurdles along the way. Its use of eminent domain and its potential environmental impact[9] stirred up community resistance, especially as residential buildings and businesses such as the Ward Bakery were to be demolished and large amounts of public subsidies were used, which led to multiple lawsuits. The global recession of 2009 also caused financing for the project to dry up. As a result, the start of construction was delayed for many years and at times in danger of not happening at all. Groundbreaking for construction occurred on March 11, 2010, and the arena was opened to the public on September 21, 2012, which was also attended by some 200 protesters.[2] It held its first event with a Jay Z concert on September 28, 2012.[2][10]


The arena was conceived by Bruce Ratner of real estate developer Forest City Ratner Companies, the New York division of Forest City Enterprises that Ratner founded. He acquired the New Jersey Nets basketball team in 2004 for $300 million[9] (he has since sold most of his shares to continue funding the project) with the purpose of moving them to the Pacific Park development on Brooklyn's Prospect Heights neighborhood and have them play in the arena that would be the centerpiece of the Pacific Park commercial and residential redevelopment project.[8] The move marked the return of major league sports to Brooklyn, which had been 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 Pacific Park Brooklyn site, where the Atlantic Terminal Mall, also owned by Forest City Ratner Companies, is currently located.

A photograph of Barclays Center under construction.
Barclays Center as of June 19, 2011.[11]

The center was initially projected to open in 2006, with the rest of the Pacific Park Brooklyn complex to follow. However, controversies involving local residents, the use of eminent domain, potential environmental impact, lack of continued public financing, as well as a major economic downturn delayed the project.[12] Due to these legal and financial troubles, the development deal seemed headed towards failure or collapse.[13] Frank Gehry, an architect involved in the project's initial designs said, in March 2009, "I don't think it is going to happen,"[9] and Ratner at one point explored selling the team.[14] The New York Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ratner on May 16, 2009.[clarification needed] 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.[15]

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.[citation needed]

In October 2009, the Nets played two preseason games at the Prudential Center.[16] 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.[17] 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."[18]

Another potential roadblock to this development resulted from the Appellate Court's negative decision regarding a similar eminent domain case, brought against Columbia University.[19] This landmark case could have given new life to the case being brought by the community group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB).

February 2012

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.[2]

On June 29, 2010, the first concrete was poured into Barclays Center's foundation.[20] The arena began vertical construction on November 23, 2010, with the erection of the first steel piece.[21] The arena topped out on January 12, 2012, and was opened to the public on September 21, 2012.

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. The deal didn't require the involvement of the New York Rangers, as the Islanders' agreement with the Rangers allows them to relocate anywhere on Long Island, including Brooklyn and Queens.[22] Whereas the original design of the arena would have featured an ice hockey configuration with capacity typical of the arenas used in the NHL, the final design for Barclays Center is mainly for basketball use. It can nevertheless accommodate an NHL-size rink, and a seating capacity of 15,795, which makes the arena the second smallest of the league. The scoreboard is off-centered above the rink and due to the small size of the bowl, the seating arrangement is asymmetrical and contains hundreds of seats with obstructed views of one end of the rink.[23] 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, 2013 between Dynamo Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg were moved back to their teams' home venues. As part of the deal, the management of the Barclays Center will take over running the business side of the team once the Islanders move to the Barclays Center, though Charles Wang will remain owner and run the sports side of the team.[24]

According to Billboard Magazine, Barclays Center passed Madison Square Garden as the highest-grossing venue in the United States for concerts and family shows, not counting sports tickets. The sales were based between November 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013.[25]


The Barclays Center oculus, with a view of the LCD screen inside the structure
Interior view of the Barclays Center
The Brooklyn Nets playing against the Boston Celtics
The New York Islanders on the Barclays Center ice rink.

Barclays Center is designed by the architect firm SHoP Architects. Ellerbe Becket/AECOM served as the project Architect of record.

Initial concepts for the area were designed by Frank Gehry, whose design proposed a rooftop park (open only to residents of the Atlantic Yards complex) ringed by an open-air running track and capable of doubling as an ice skating rink in winter with panoramic, year-round views of Manhattan.[1] The famed architect's tallest tower, called Miss Brooklyn at 620 feet, was also part of this plan.[9] Gehry's plans carried a projected cost of $1 billion.[1] Forest City Ratner unveiled a scaled back version of the project on February 2008 reducing Miss Brooklyn's size 40 percent, and making it 109 feet shorter.[9] Another redesign unveiled just over two months later scrapped Miss Brooklyn entirely, and in January 2009, the developer started "value engineering" the arena design, cutting its budget even more. In September 2009 the Becket/SHoP proposal with a projected cost (initially) of $800 million (ultimately itself revised to $1 billion) is unveiled.[9]

Externally, the arena's shape features three articulated bands with features a glass curtain wall covered by a "latticework" composed of 12,000 preweathered steel panels engineered and constructed by Dissimilar Metal Design[26] meant to evoke the image of Brooklyn's brownstones.[27] A 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 with an irregularly-shaped display screen looping the interior face of the oculus.[28] The arena floor's location below grade allows scoreboard viewing from the plaza.[clarification needed][28]

Unlike most other urban venues in the US, Barclays Center has no dedicated parking yet, but can be reached via eleven subway lines along with the Long Island Rail Road and eleven bus lines.[29] To accommodate entry to the facility, the arena's 38,885-square-foot (3,613 m2) entrance plaza features a $76 million transit connection hub[30] that serves as the plaza's focal point. The transit structure connects with the renovated Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station, designed by New York City firm Stantec.

The original plan promised indoor room for bicycles but the plan was scrapped before the arena's opening with racks for 400 bicycles left outdoors. The Empire State Development corporation also promised spots for 550 cars eventually, next to the arena.[31]

Naming rights[edit]

On January 18, 2007, it was announced that the arena would be called Barclays Center, after London-based banking group Barclays. 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,[32] 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.[33][34] Barclays does not have any retail banks in the US and will not have its own ATMs in the arena.[35]

Accessibility and transportation[edit]

Barclays Center is located next to Atlantic Terminal, which services the Long Island Rail Road's Atlantic Branch. Barclays Center is also accessible via the New York City Subway, via the 2 3 4 5 B D N Q R trains, which stop at Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center.

Notable events[edit]


The first NBA basketball game played at the new arena was an NBA preseason game between the Nets and the Washington Wizards on October 15, 2012.[36]

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 ... 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.[37]

The venue hosted the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27, 2013.[38]

The Atlantic 10 Conference announced that Barclays Center will be the new home of the conference's men's basketball tournament beginning in 2013.[39] The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced that the 2017 and 2018 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament will be hosted at the Barclays Center. This is a break of tradition from being hosted at the "unofficial" home of the tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC where it is usually held.[40] As part of a three-way agreement with Barclays and the ACC, the A-10 will return its men's basketball championship to Barclays Center in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Barclays Center hosted the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend activities on February 13-14, 2015.

College basketball[edit]

Since its opening, the center has hosted a number of college basketball events. Kentucky and Maryland signed multi-year agreements to play games at the arena after competing head-to-head in 2012.[41] The arena currently hosts three early-season basketball tournaments: Barclays Center Classic, Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, and Legends Classic.


The Islanders played the first NHL hockey game at Barclays Center in a preseason game on September 21, 2013, losing to the New Jersey Devils 3-0 in front of a crowd of 14,689. The first goal to be scored in the arena's history was scored by Jacob Josefson of the New Jersey Devils. An Islanders game was scheduled for the previous preseason but was cancelled due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout.

Other sports[edit]

Several boxing matches have taken place in the arena, including Danny Garcia v Zab Judah and Ruslan Provodnikov v Chris Algieri.

The venue hosted the WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay per view on December 16, 2012. It was the first WWE event held at the arena. Barclays Center also hosted WWE Raw in the arena on July 15, 2013 for the first time ever. SummerSlam 2015 will take place at Barclays Center on August 23, 2015.


In addition to many concerts from a variety of musical acts, the center hosted the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on August 25, 2013, bringing the show to a New York City borough other than Manhattan for the first time.[42]


Legal actions[edit]

During its building, the center was the source of a number of controversies involving local residents, the use of eminent domain, potential environmental impact, lack of continued public financing, as well as a major economic downturn delayed the project.[12] The New York Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ratner on May 16, 2009.[clarification needed] Opponents appealed the court decision, and a hearing for the appeal was scheduled for October 14, 2009, with a decision to be issued no sooner than November 25.[15]

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."[18]

The Barclays Center has also been accused of mistreating luxury box holders who are African-American. Three employees of Ludwig’s Pharmacy in Prospect Heights claimed in a lawsuit, filed in October 2013, that they were singled out for bad treatment at the stadium just because they are black. They are suing for $4 million.[43]

Labor issues[edit]

A group of 120 part-time construction workers who work to convert the arena from concert hall to sports venue unsuccessfully tried to switch unions in February 2013. Although the pay for part-time work is comparable to that of Madison Square Garden, workers have complained about not being able to make a living on one day a month work at $14/hour, and being barred from collecting unemployment.[44]


  1. ^ a b c d "The NBA Comes to Brooklyn". Construction Digital. August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Durkin, Erin; Hutchinson, Bill (March 11, 2010). "Atlantic Yards Ground-Breaking Event Marked By Politicians, Pop Star and Protests". Daily News (New York). Archived from the original on March 14, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ "Hunt awarded construction contract for the Barclays Center". November 26, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ "About Atlantic Yards". Empire State Development Corporation. 
  6. ^ Hunt, Christopher (September 26, 2011). "Jay-Z: Team to be Brooklyn Nets". ESPN. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  7. ^ Honan, Edith (October 24, 2012). "New York Islanders to move to Brooklyn in 2015". Reuters Canada. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Sandomir, Richard; Bagli, Charles V. (January 21, 2004). "Brooklyn Developer Reaches Deal to Buy New Jersey Nets". The New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Intelligencer: Atlantic Yards, Inch by Inch". New York magazine. March 29, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Barclay’s Center Opens In Brooklyn". September 28, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2012. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Barclay’s Center". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Nets Say Brooklyn Move May Be Delayed Further". The New York Times. Associated Press. January 4, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  13. ^ Leitch, Will (November 2, 2008). "No Red Dawn for Ratner". New York Magazine. 
  14. ^ Isola, Frank; Lawrence, Mitch (October 27, 2008). "Bruce Ratner Explored Nets Sale". Daily News (New York). 
  15. ^ a b Thompson, Ryan (July 9, 2009). "The Court Date Is Set for Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Retrieved September 10, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Prudential Center To Host New Jersey Nets Pre-Season Basketball". Prudential Center's Official Website. March 4, 2009. Archived from the original on March 15, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2009. 
  17. ^ Sherman, Ted (December 16, 2009). "Deal to Move NJ Nets to Newark's Prudential Center Falls Apart". The Star-Ledger (Newark). Retrieved December 19, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b "New York Court of Appeals Rules State Can Use Eminent Domain to Take Land for Atlantic Yards Arena Project". The Star-Ledger (Newark). Associated Press. November 24, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  19. ^ Martinez, Jose; Lombardi, Frank (December 4, 2009). "No Eminent Domain for Columbia University Expansion: Court". Daily News (New York). Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  20. ^ Brennan, Josh (June 29, 2010). "Work Begins on Concrete Foundation for Nets new Brooklyn Home". The Record. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Steel for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Begins to go Vertical". New Jersey Nets News. November 23, 2010. Archived from the original on November 23, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  22. ^ Sheets, Connor Adams (May 20, 2010). "New York Islanders Ponder Move to Willets Point". Astoria Times. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  23. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About Barclays Center’s Hockey Configuration". New York Magazine. Sep 13, 2013. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  24. ^ Kosman, Josh (2013-04-25). "Islanders may change team colors with move to Brooklyn". New York Post. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  25. ^ Li, David K. "Garden wilting at No. 2 as Barclays Center named highest-grossing venue in US". NY Post. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  26. ^ Harris, Elizabeth A. (August 27, 2012). "In New York City, Chic, Rusty Steel Facades Leave a Fiery Stain Below". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ "Barclays Center". SHoP Construction. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "Plaza at Barclays Center to Include New Transit Entrance with Green Roof, Landscaping and Open Space for Community Programming" (Press release). Barclays Center. September 28, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  29. ^ "6 ways to maximize home-field advantage in sports venue design". Building Design + Construction, Jon Niemuth, September 26, 2013. 
  30. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (March 17, 2011). "With Federal Case and Modular Building Plan, New Attention for Atlantic Yards Project". The New York Times. 
  31. ^ "No Indoor Bike Parking for Barclays Center Opening". May 7, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Nets' New Arena Reportedly To Be Called "Barclays Center"". NY1. January 17, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  33. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (December 12, 2009). "Nets Arena in Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Fends Off Challenge". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Barclays Center Project POS". p. 80. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  35. ^ Decambre, Mark (September 20, 2012). "Barclays Has No Game Despite Its $400M Arena Deal". New York Post. Retrieved September 22, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Nets Schedule". Brooklyn Nets. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Nets Dunked By Sandy". New York Observer. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  38. ^ "2013 NBA Draft will be held in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center". CBS Sports. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  39. ^ Katz, Andy (September 27, 2011). "A-10 to hold tourney at Barclays". Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ Brennan, Sean location=New York. "Kentucky and Maryland agree to multi-year agreements to play games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn". Daily News. 
  42. ^ "Barclays Center To Host 2013 MTV Video Music Awards". NY1. Retrieved March 26, 2013. [dead link]
  43. ^ "Luxury Box Holders Accuse Barclays Center Of Racism, File $4 Million Lawsuit". Gothamist. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  44. ^ Bragg, Chris (Feb 28, 2013). "Barclays Workers Fail to Break From Union". Crain's. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Prudential Center
Home of the
Brooklyn Nets

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Home of the
New York Islanders

starting 2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Staples Center
MTV Video Music Awards
Succeeded by
The Forum

Coordinates: 40°40′57.54″N 73°58′28.88″W / 40.6826500°N 73.9746889°W / 40.6826500; -73.9746889