Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Barclays Center hires a consultant to book ethnic shows. What's missing? That plan for a student Sportsplex

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, reprinting a press release under the headline Barclays Center Names Multicultural Programs Consultant, reports:
Barclays Center of Brooklyn has named Jackie Alvarez as an artistic programming consultant, in which she will program the venue with a variety of multicultural shows and events. Alvarez will serve under the direction of Sean Saadeh, Barclays Center's vice president of programming.
With nearly two decades of experience in booking top ethnic shows for the New York market, Alvarez will identify a wide-range of leading artists in genres such as Latin, Brazilian, Caribbean, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Indian and more.
Alvarez served as a programmer for ethnic and non-ethnic shows and events for Madison Square Garden for 17 years.
And what about the Sportsplex?

Eight years ago, in the 8/4/03 Brooklyn Paper [PDF], an article headlined "Nets could take Sportsplex D’town" quoted a very certain Borough President Marty Markowitz:
For two decades Brooklyn politicos have been dreaming of an amateur athletics arena — a “sportsplex” — for the borough. That dream was shelved when the city instead moved ahead with Keyspan Park in Coney Island.
Now, with principals of the New Jersey Nets in negotiations to move their team to a new arena in Downtown Brooklyn, some prominent Brooklyn officials believe the dream for such a facility will be enhanced, not quashed, by a professional team’s occupancy here.
...Markowitz is doubly excited because he anticipates that the facility could be used as a scholastic and amateur sportsplex when the professional team is not playing.
“It would be a multi-use arena and thus a sportsplex would definitely be included in it,” Markowitz told The Brooklyn Papers.
Markowitz cautioned that he could not comment on negotiations or whether he played any part in bringing Ratner and the Nets together.
But asked whether a sportsplex would be part of the Ratner-Nets arena plan he said, “Without a question. It would incorporate, in my opinion, now once again I’m not the one, I’m not gonna own it, but I have no doubt that it would also double as a sportsplex for high school sports — no question about it. It has to be, and it would be, a borough facility, a borough resource, of course.”
Well, some high school tournaments might be played at the arena, but the ink is going elsewhere. The arena would be less a "borough facility" than a "facility in the borough."

What else at the arena?

The press release continues:
"Jackie has an extensive background in multicultural programming that will be instrumental in bringing the most diversified and exciting events to the Barclays Center," said Sean Saadeh. "We have already confirmed 163 events overall for the Barclays Center and we fully expect to host more than 200 events annually. We are committed to bringing the best of sports and entertainment to Brooklyn."

The Barclays Center will host an extensive variety of events, including premier concerts, monthly major professional boxing cards, professional tennis, top college basketball and hockey, family shows, such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice, and NETS Basketball. Current programming alliances with the Barclays Center include Golden Boy Promotions, IMG, Feld Entertainment, Lagardère Unlimited, and BAM.


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