The year 2012 marked a seismic shift in the Atlantic Yards saga. The conflict over the project, and lingering questions over the promises behind it, were mainly supplanted by celebration of and hype for the Barclays Center (and events within) and Brooklyn Nets.
Not only did most press coverage come from the sports and entertainment media, rather than the potentially more skeptical Metro pages, the buzz was compounded by something arena developers surely didn't imagine when Atlantic Yards was announced in 2003: social media.
Fractional team/arena owner Jay-Z--far more important than developer Bruce Ratner could've imagined--generated huge headlines and social media impact with his eight straight concerts, purported design of the Nets' black-and-white logo, and even a viral encounter with a lady on the subway. He even made the cover of the New York Times T Magazine supplement, interviewed by a genuflecting Zadie Smith.