Skip to main content

In Village Voice, Barclays Center named "Best Sports Venue." Why? "For the fact it actually exists"

The Barclays Center, which has gotten some occasional tough coverage in the Village Voice--see interviews last month with the co-directors of Battle for Brooklyn--gets multiple valentines this week from the once-alternative newspaper, which perhaps coincidentally features regular advertising from the venue.

Best Sports Venue, 2012: Barclays Center:
Nothing is as significant in the field of New York sports construction in the past few years as the introduction of the Barclays Center to Brooklyn's downtown scene this fall. The venue--from a conglomerate of a British bank, Jay-Z, and a host of other bankrollers--is the equivalent of Madison Square Garden in the outer borough. (Its construction created much controversy in its neighborhood.) It will host the Brooklyn Nets' first season this year, along with the first American appearance of the European techno festival phenomenon known as Sensation White. Because it is a newborn arena, this Best Of is not being given so much for the features of the stadium's inside but more so for the fact that it actually exists. Brooklyn has a sports stadium now. Get ready. 620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 917-618-6100, barclayscenter.com (11217)
The controversy was not limited to the construction itself, or the even the idea of construction. The operation continues to cause controversy. The whole enterprise comes with a taint, the "culture of cheating."

And "Brooklyn has a sports stadium" (arena, actually) is not quite the same as "Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov have."

Best Basketball Team, 2012: Brooklyn Nets:
The Knicks will let you down. You know this, and still you drag your sorry ass to three games a season, every season, so that you can scream and curse and cry and then say you were at the game when the Knicks clinched eighth seed in the playoffs. That's no way to live. Now, though, you have options. Now you have the Brooklyn Nets, the New Jersey expats owned by the billionaire Russian. (Jay-Z has less than a 1 percent share, though you'd never know it.) And let's face it: They're probably better than the Knicks. They're looking at the fifth seed. And even if they're not better than the Knicks, if you buy a premium ticket to the new Barclays Center, you can drink until an hour after the game. If you can splurge for a box seat (you probably can't), you can drink until 2 a.m. 620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 212-359-6387, ticketmaster.com (11217)
Village Voice illustration/Kagan McLeod
Actually, you can't drink until 2 am. The cutoff is 1 am.

The lead-in essay to the section

Excerpts from Allen Barra's essay:
To be a New York sports fan means, by definition, to be forever burdened with the agony of choice. No other city has anything like the New York area's menu of spectator sports. Two Major League Baseball teams (as well as great minor-league ball in BrooklynStaten Island, and nearbyNew Jersey). Two NFL teams. Two NBA teams (a lot of round ball fans who can't get Knicks tickets have happily switched their allegiance to the Nets). ...
As an added bonus: On October 20, we have one of the three or four best professional boxing matches of the year: champion Danny Garcia defending his title against Erik Morales at the Barclays Center, the first professional championship fight in Brooklyn in decades. For nothing else would I miss a game that might put the Yankees in the World Series.
Note that highly anticipated match will likely not be a title match, since Morales tested positive for a banned substance.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

So, Forest City has some property subject to the future Gowanus rezoning

Writing yesterday, MAP: Who Owns All the Property Along the Gowanus Canal, DNAinfo's Leslie Albrecht lays out the positioning of various real estate players along the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site:
As the city considers whether to rezone Gowanus and, perhaps, morph the gritty low-rise industrial area into a hot new neighborhood of residential towers (albeit at a fraction of the height of Manhattan's supertall buildings), DNAinfo reviewed property records along the canal to find out who stands to benefit most from the changes.
Investors have poured at least $440 million into buying land on the polluted waterway and more than a third of the properties have changed hands in the past decade, according to an examination of records for the nearly 130 properties along the 1.8-mile canal. While the single largest landowner is developer Property Markets Group, other landowners include Kushner Companies, Alloy Development, Two Trees, and Forest City New York.

Forest City's plans unc…

At 550 Vanderbilt, big chunk of apartments pitched to Chinese buyers as "international units"

One key to sales at the 550 Vanderbilt condo is the connection to China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holdings.

It's the parent of Greenland USA, which as part of Greenland Forest City Partners owns 70% of Pacific Park (except 461 Dean and the arena).

And sales in China may help explain how the developer was able to claim early momentum.
"Since 550 Vanderbilt launched pre-sales in June [2015], more than 80 residences have gone into contract, representing over 30% of the building’s 278 total residences," the developer said in a 9/25/15 press release announcing the opening of a sales gallery in Brooklyn. "The strong response from the marketplace indicates the high level of demand for well-designed new luxury homes in Brooklyn..."

Maybe. Or maybe it just meant a decent initial pipeline to Chinese buyers.

As lawyer Jay Neveloff, who represents Forest City, told the Real Deal in 2015, a project involving a Chinese firm "creates a huge market for…