Wednesday, April 11, 2012

As Brooklyn Paper whiffs on liquor license story, Veconi (on Patch) points out the unknowns--and how arena operators don't (yet) get it

So what if the Brooklyn Paper's print deadlines might cut into coverage of Tuesday night events.

Would you believe the newspaper ignored the joint Community Board meeting last night on the Barclays Center liquor license?

It did.

(Former Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman, now at The Local, did a solid job covering it.)

Instead, the newspaper brings us the news and fluff listed at right.

Patch, by the way, had a reporter there, but I haven't seen a story yet.

A warning

Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council has a trenchant commentary on Patch, headlined Make Barclays Liquor Sales Work for the Community. He writes, in part:
We don’t know [on what terms a license should be granted] because Barclays has yet to release a code of conduct for its patrons. We don’t know because the NYPD hasn’t yet announced a plan for maintaining order and safety before and after arena events. We don’t know because Forest City Ratner has yet to explain how the parking lot two avenues east of the arena is going to be operated. And we don’t know because the representatives from Barclays who attended last night’s meeting of Community Boards 2 and 6 could not even commit to a time after which sales of alcohol at the arena would be cut off.
It’s not even clear that the arena operations team has thought through its crowd control strategy yet. At last night’s meeting, Peter Krashes of the Dean Street Block Association pointed out that the largest exit from Barclays Center is onto residential Dean Street. David Anderson of arena operator AEG stated that patrons would be directed away from Dean Street and on to Flatbush Avenue. That won’t work—Mr. Anderson apparently did not realize that an 1,100-car parking lot for arena patrons lies two avenues to the east down Dean Street.
Forest City Ratner is requesting what will surely be the most lucrative license to sell full liquor for on-premises consumption in Brooklyn....
Compare the proposal for Barclays Center to Wrigley Field in Chicago, one of the very few other examples of a U.S. sports facility located next to a residential neighborhood. Wrigley hosts only 30 night events per year (Barclays may host close to 200); to raise that number would require a vote of the Chicago City Council. And there is a hard cut-off for alcohol sales at 9:30 PM.



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