Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not quite as promised: Barclays Center roof signage is actually visible from the street

Also see how the scoreboard can barely be seen from the plaza and the delayed buildout was supposed to bring amenities to sites B3 and B4.

So, remember how the Barclays Center arena suddenly got a big Barclays logo on the roof, even though that had not been shown in renderings when the project was re-approved, and roof signage was never addressed in the Design Guidelines?

The state agency overseeing the project said, essentially, if ain't prohibited, it's permitted.

As I reported last August, Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, Empire State Development, wrote, "The logo design comprehensively complies with the intent of the guidelines that 'establish a framework for the design of the project.'”

She noted that, among other things, the "sign is not illuminated" and it "cannot be seen from street-level."

Not so. The sign is not aimed at those on the street, and it's not fully visible. But it sure can be seen in part. (I took this shot from about little more than 5 feet above street level.)

Sure, rooftop signage is hardly rare in this era of fly-by coverage: check out the Staples Center in Los Angeles or the United Center in Chicago. But the Design Guidelines, approved in 2006 and not amended since, addressed facade signage only, focusing on "the urban form of the project" and "architectural treatment and streetscape."

The "framework for the design of the project" didn't mention rooftop signage because it was never contemplated. The Frank Gehry-designed arena was supposed to have green space on the roof, some of it accessible to residents of the towers ringing the arena.

Monetizing inventory

Instead, as a naming rights expert quoted by Neil deMause in the Village Voice said, it'st "an extremely valuable piece of inventory."

That echoes the language of Nets/arena CEO Brett Yormark, who sees empty space and envisions advertising. As Sporting News reported 3/5/12 on the emerging plan to put logos on team uniforms:
“Obviously, it’s a league decision, but as someone who spent seven years at NASCAR, I know the value of putting a brand on the playing field and the uniform, so it is certainly something I would support,” said New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yormark. “You can monetize this in ways you can’t monetize any other kind of marketing inventory

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