Skip to main content

Notes from inaugural Barclays boxing event: perspective may depend on proximity; early liquor cut-off; crowd rowdier than hoops but mostly in control

8 pm, visible empty seats
Beyond the press coverage of the inaugural boxing event Saturday, Oct. 20, I talked to a couple of people who had good seats and said it was enjoyable to watch, and point people to boxing blogger Karl Greenberg, who had cheap seats, said it was hard to see without binoculars, and was peeved at the concession prices.

But the biggest piece of news: they cut off liquor sales at 9:30 pm, some three hours before the epic, nine-bout card ended (and two hours before they could have kept serving), but more than 4.5 hours after they started letting people into the building for the undercard, which started at 8 pm.

That indicates a certain amount of understandable caution regarding the potential for a crowd to get liquored up during an event that lasted, roughly, three times as long as a typical basketball game.

Around midnight, somewhat more full
It also indicated a recognition that some people in the crowd, as one observer suggested, were getting started on the booze (discreetly) while waiting outside on the arena plaza.

Given the sport--and, perhaps, the 1,000-plus free tickets--the crowd was somewhat rowdier than at a basketball game. One observer reported that people were periodically screaming things like "knock the fucker out" and "that guy's a pussy."

But only one attendee--at least among those in view of my sources--was ejected for rowdiness (video here) and the crowd was generally in control.

What about the freebies?

The announced attendance was a little over 11,000, a little more than the estimate of 10,700, but achieved only with the freebies, which is likely why boxing won't be monthly, as initially announced, but return in three months. The arena can seat up to 19,000, depending on configuration.

Update: ESPN reports the event "drew 11,869 patrons, 9,635 of them purchased tickets, and the gate was approximately $1 million, according to a reputable source." That's 19% comps, but columnist Michael Woods still thinks the tally was "not too shabby."

Wrote MaxBoxing's Steve Kim:
In my previous article, I detailed how the discounting of tickets by Golden Boy Promotions and the Barclays Center was alienating fans who actually purchase tickets and have the temerity to support the business of boxing. Well, things got even more farcical with this offer put out earlier this week, which in effect gave any resident of Brooklyn four (not one, two or three but four, whether you like it or not) freebies.
Uh, yeah, but I have a feeling that the Brett Yormark Foundation wasn’t given any four-packs for the Jay-Z concert in this building. You don’t need to be an insider at StubHub to figure out how things are going with this promotion.




The Nets connection

NetsDaily reported (and has since updated the passage):
There were nine fights at Barclays Center Saturday night, and each fighter, along with his corner men, received a bag of Brooklyn Nets gear, caps and water bottles and t-shirts. It's part of Brett Yormark's cross-promotion, to associate others with the team and the team with the others. It started, of course, with Jay-Z end now will be a regular part of every big event at the arena.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season--a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…