New Barclays Center video features Jay-Z over Ratner; claims arena is at Ebbets Field redux; says borough's transformation "has prepared Brooklyn for the Barclays Center"
The m.o. is apparently collages of Brooklyn icons, artisanal/hipster creativity, and historic architecture. Of course, there's no recognition of any controversy over the arena, nor the larger project to which is supposedly tethered. Below, I reproduce the narrator's copy, then interpolate my analysis, coupled with screenshots.
Brooklyn. The word itself resonates. It is a lifestyle. It is an attitude. From its rich cultural identity to its diverse neighborhoods and sports heritage, the borough has stood proud for many generations. And now, a new renaissance is taking place.
Indeed, if you consider that the arena is coupled to a 16-tower project, achieved via a state override of local zoning, you might think that the developer that is building the Barclays Center might be capitalizing on one of those "old renaissances," namely a significant increase in property values.
Over the past decade, a new economic, professional, and artistic identity has helped shape Brooklyn, the nation's fourth-largest city, into an exciting destination.
If independent, Brooklyn would be the nation's fourth-largest city, but it's a borough, not a city. If it were, it would have a mayor, an independent economy, and its own newspaper, one that might look more carefully at land-use issues.
The transformation of its residential and business areas has prepared this great borough for an even greater future. It has prepared Brooklyn for the Barclays Center.
As for preparing Brooklyn "for an even greater future," I'm not sure Brooklynites, however much they might want to see a pro basketball game or a circus every now and then, will consider arena attendance key to that greater future. Maybe jobs and housing trump hoops.
Yes, that's (unbilled) Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner and new Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov, partners (55%/45%) on the arena, looking at renderings.
The narrator seems to be saying that weathered steel cladding, an oculus with video, and a view from the street into the facility will make the arena more approachable than some others. That doesn't do anything for the fabric of Brooklyn. Ongoing construction problems (see Atlantic Yards Watch) and an interim surface parking lot raise some questions about that promised "synergy."
Through community involvement, sports and entertainment, the Barclays Center will become the next great Brooklyn landmark, providing all those who visit with an opportunity for a truly landmark experience.
Whoever wrote the script overdosed on the term "landmark," but if you think "community involvement"--even if college and even high school teams get to practice there--is the priority, then you haven't seen the ad campaign debuting today. And if anyone can identify what the imagery above represents--the imagery coupled with "community involvement"--please let me know.
The imagery connected to "its own major league sports franchise" is the screenshot at left: the Nets Dancers. A "neighborhood" team? That's an insult to the New Jerseyites and Long Islanders being told that the Brooklyn Nets are a regional team as well. As for whether the arena site is the site destined for Ebbets Field redux, that's not true. Not at all.
Coupled with the first sentence is an excerpt from that fantasy rendering of Flatbush Avenue traffic, as shown in the screenshot. Wouldn't Brooklynites "stand proud" if they had a piece of the action? But it's not a publicly owned team or municipally owned arena. And the people who attend these events are likely less to be "from all over the globe" than all over the tri-state area.
Jay-Z: "The NBA's never seen this level of excitement. I think it's going to be something that's unexpected. I think you are going to hear some things you've never heard before, I really believe that."
Is Jay-Z talking about basketball? Or concerts? Unclear, but maybe the video makers are counting on the general genuflection to every Jay-Z utterance, no matter how casually nonsensical.
The practice apparently is to always try to couple the Brooklyn Bridge and the Barclays Center whenever possible. They're trying to have it both ways--to encourage use of mass transit, but not to discourage drivers using bridges and tunnels. As for "near every bridge and tunnel in the metro New York area," that is, shall we say, a wild exaggeration. Try the George Washington Bridge, for one.
Attending an event is attending an event--some are great, some are lousy, some are in the middle. Entering the arena does not guarantee "the next historical moment," even if there's imagery like that in the screenshot above.