by nycgo.com staff, 07/11/2012
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Major-league sports at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues have been a long time coming.
First, in the 1950s, Walter O'Malley wanted to move his Brooklyn Dodgers there into what would be the first domed stadium in history. Robert Moses didn't like the idea, Los Angeles got the Dodgers and, eventually, Queens got the Mets.
Decades later, the Nets had designs for the location, but faced years of well-documented hurdles before breaking ground.
Now, though, it's undeniable. The Brooklyn Nets' 18,200-seat home is nearly complete and preparing to host the likes of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson (and, maybe, Dwight Howard) on the court, along with acts like Jay-Z and Justin Bieber on the stage. Barclays Center is the first new major indoor arena in New York City since 1968, and the Nets are the first major-league sports team in Brooklyn—a borough with more than 2.5 million residents—since the Dodgers left in 1957.
"Where we are is kind of sacred ground," remarks Nets and Barclays Center Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Fred Mangione, "because that's where the next generation of Dodger fans was going to be born and raised."
Below, find out how to get to Barclays Center, what amenities to expect and when the big events are scheduled.
The Nets have prioritized mass transit by putting their arena near a major transit hub—11 subway lines, the Long Island Rail Road and 11 bus routes stop at the Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center station or near the arena itself, making it easy to reach from all five boroughs and the suburbs. For transit details, visit barclayscenter.com. The site also includes driving directions.
Mangione promises that "there's not a bad seat in the house," and says the sight lines will make every spectator feel right on top of the action, even those who buy the 2,000 $15 tickets available for each Nets game.
For those willing to pony up just a bit more than $15, the arena will have 100 luxury suites named after common types of Brooklyn abodes: "studios," "lofts" and "brownstones," not to mention the much-hyped "Vault" suites—of which there are 11—featuring private concierge service and access to an Armand de Brignac Champagne Bar.
Concessions throughout the arena will carry a strong Brooklyn flavor and include copious amounts of local cuisine, though Mangione wouldn't name any specific examples at press time. He said he expected an announcement "within the next month."
Finally, the Disney Institute is set to train the arena's staff, which means guests can expect impeccable service.
What's Going on There
Below, find a list of major happenings at Barclays Center.
September 28–30, October 1, 3, 4–6
Brooklyn's much-anticipated Atlantic Avenue arena hosts the rap legend, cultural icon and Mr. Beyoncé himself for its first-ever shows. The chart-topping "Empire State of Mind" artist is a part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets and a native of the borough.
New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils
NHL hockey comes to Brooklyn for the first time in a preseason matchup between the Isles—the home team, who will still geographically be on Long Island—and the Devils. [Due to the NHL lockout, this game has been cancelled.]
Having read the words "Harlem Globetrotters," chances are you already have "Sweet Georgia Brown" (their whistled jazz theme music) in your head. Such is the indelible impact of the Globetrotters. The team—known for its irrepressible tomfoolery (most basketball teams don't dump colorful confetti on the opposition) and outlandish winning percentage (more than 98%, boosted by a schedule heavy on the Washington Generals)—seldom fails to elicit oohs, aahs and smiles from its adoring public.
October 11 and 13
Brooklyn's own Barbra Streisand has dozens of gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums under her belt, and she is also one of the few performers to have earned what 30 Rock's Tracy Jordan calls "EGOT" (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). She's sure to find an appreciative—nay, worshipful—audience for these hometown performances.
The King's Men
Gospel takes over Barclays Center as Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin and Israel Houghton share a bill for the first time while on tour as The King's Men.
Legendary prog-rockers Rush are slated to be the first rock headliners at the arena. Aside from the obvious hits "Tom Sawyer" and "Freewill," expect to hear songs from their recently released 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels.
Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy
Among the new Barclays Center's many state-of-the-art features is, apparently, a rock 'n' roll time machine.
Late October or Early November
Brooklyn Nets Opener
The borough's new home team tips off the NBA season sometime in late October or early November. Expect a loud, packed house.
Barclays Center Classic
The defending national champion Kentucky Wildcats take on the Maryland Terrapins in the first-ever college basketball game at Barclays Center. The Morehead State Eagles and local heroes the Long Island University Blackbirds round out the doubleheader.
That sound you hear all the way down to Coney Island and all the way up past the East River into Lower Manhattan is 19,000 screaming teenage girls greeting the Biebs in Brooklyn.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse with Patti Smith and Everest
It has been eight years since Neil Young has performed with Crazy Horse. Fresh off the release of their folk-cover album, Americana, the legendary crew heads to New York City. Young told Rolling Stone that fans should expect a mix of "the past, the present and the future." For the December 3 show, they're joined by the always-poetic Patti Smith—whose first album in eight years with new material, Banga, hit shelves in June.
Andrea Bocelli is one of the most famous singers on the planet, with a classical style that has won the world over. The Italian crooner will bring his talents to Barclays Center in Brooklyn on December 5, in what is his only scheduled appearance in New York City in 2012.