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|
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 Brooklyn, Staten 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). ...Note that highly anticipated match will likely not be a title match, since Morales tested positive for a banned substance.
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.