Friday, November 01, 2013

For the Barclays Center, happy news (promoting Billy Joel concert), not-happy news (discrimination suit filed by suiteholders)

The Brooklyn Paper reported yesterday, in Billy Joel to play Barclays Center on New Year’s Eve:
Billy Joel, the Long Island singer and songwriter whose brand of classic rock sells out arenas across the globe, will play a one-night-only show at the Barclays Center this New Year’s Eve.
The concert will be the first show in Brooklyn for the musician — who famously sang about playing a set in 1970s-Brooklyn as the city around him collapsed in the masterpiece “Miami 2017 (I’ve Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)” — and his first in New York City since he played Shea Stadium in 2008 just before it was torn down.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham
“We are thrilled that he has chosen Brooklyn first in making his return,” said Barclays Center chief Brett Yormark outside the arena on Wednesday. “It’s going to be a truly exciting night.”
Marty helps

As shown in the photo from the Brooklyn Paper web site, as well as the BCTV below, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz considered the announcement part of his important governmental duties.

Security cameras around arena

The Brooklyn Paper also reported today on what it considers a mini-scoop,  Walking past the Barclays Center? Smile! You’re on police camera:
[M]ore than a dozen police security cameras are honing in on the area around the 18,000-seat arena at Flatbush and Atlantic avenues at any given moment, this paper has learned.
Police quietly installed the video cameras high up on lampposts surrounding the basketball palace about nine months ago, said Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri of the 78th precinct, which patrols outside the Barclays Center and, at its station house, has around-the-clock live feeds of crowds streaming past one of the borough’s busiest intersections.
“It’s a big arena and like any major venue or any bridges or tunnels or stadiums or schools and colleges, they will have cameras for safety,” the commanding officer said.
Allegations of discrimination

The New York Post reported yesterday, in Black luxury box holders accuse Barclays Center of ugly racism:
A trio of black Barclays Center luxury box license-holders claim they were subjected to ugly racism by facility staffers, according to a bombshell $4 million Brooklyn federal court lawsuit filed Thursday.
Ludwig’s Drug Store, of Prospect Heights, purchased rights to the box for three years on October 10 for nearly $1 million – but employees claim that they’ve been treated worse than nosebleed shmoes ever since inking the pricey deal.
Barclays staffers have accused them of skipping out on bills, ignoring their food and drink orders and even dispatching security guards to investigate their box, according to the suit.
The final straw came when they were charged $1,000 for pizza during a recent visit, the suit states.
Pharmacy staffers Glen DeFreitas, Sean Scarborough, and Jermaine Pratt claim that they’ve been singled out for the shoddy treatment because they are black –and argue that other luxury box holders at the home of the Brooklyn Nets are treated like royalty.
Here's the most explosive allegation:
“Why are you always here?” [Senior Vice President of suite and ticket sales Brian Basloe] asked, according to the suit. “You’ve been coming here a lot.”
Defreitas told him that he had box rights and Basloe backed off, according to the suit. “Sometimes I have to be the bad guy,” Basloe said. “I have a background in law enforcement.”
The official response:
“We have neither received legal papers nor any complaints from the suite holder,” Barclays communication director Barry Baum told The Post. “In fact, we have never received a complaint like this since Barclays Center has opened. We have a zero tolerance policy for any type of discriminatory behavior. It is against everything that Barclays Center stands for.
“We take these matters very seriously and will immediately and thoroughly investigate them.”
Here's additional coverage from Courthouse News Service.

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