Skip to main content

Despite high rank worldwide, Barclays Center's second full year shows drop of 27% in tickets sold, 28% in gross revenue

The Barclays Center's second full year was very strong, arena officials proclaimed last week, issuing a press release headlined "After Just Two Years, Barclays Center Continues To Be a Top-Ranked Venue Worldwide."

Pollstar 2014 results
Yes, in 2014, the Brooklyn arena ranked just behind Madison Square Garden among the highest grossing U.S. arena for concerts, family shows, and other events, as the Barclays Center announced, citing Billboard and Venues Today (which do not include Brooklyn Nets games). Also, Pollstar ranked Barclays as second among U.S. venues for tickets sold.

However, those impressive rankings mask a significant decline in the Barclays Center's popularity compared to its slam-bang debut year: 27% in total tickets sold, and 28% in gross revenue.

(The net revenue decline is likely less, since arena managers last year pursued new efforts at cutting costs.)

The Brooklyn arena, which opened in September 2012, could no longer ride its initial buzz, and no longer dominated the New York City market once Madison Square Garden completed a renovation in late October 2013.

Tickets sold, gross revenue

According to Pollstar, the Brooklyn arena in 2013 ranked first in the country (and third in the world), with 991,752 concert tickets sold. In 2014, according to Pollstar, the Barclays Center ranked second in the country (and sixth in the world), with 723,616 tickets sold, a 27% drop.

2013 results, Billboard
Well, what about gross revenue? After all, an arena could sell fewer tickets but book more higher priced shows.

In 2013, under Billboard's count (which actually began in mid-November 2012), the Barclays Center welcomed 1,135,505 people, grossing $83.5 million. That ranked the arena as first in the U.S. and third in the world among similarly sized venues, seating at least 15,000 people.

In 2014, by contrast, the Barclays Center ranked second in the country and fourth in the world, grossing $60 million from 867,927 attendees, according to Billboard. That's a 28% drop in revenue on a 23.6% decline in gate count.

The revenue figure may reflect that in 2013 the Barclays Center had more big name concerts. In 2014, the Barclays Center actually had two more shows than in 2013: 139 vs. 137, according to Billboard.

(Billboard and Pollstar differ in total tickets sold, perhaps partly because Billboard doesn't use a calendar year, and also because Pollstar is limited to concerts.)

2014 results, Billboard
Madison Square Garden in 2014 reaped $123.6 million from attendance of 1,347,475, according to Billboard, a huge jump from its 2013 results: $73.4 million from attendance of 846,976.

Then again, as noted, the MSG renovation was not completed until the last quarter of 2014. Either way, Madison Square Garden can capitalize on its location and history and reap far more per ticket.

Big shows?

As noted in the press release, the Barclays Center last year booked major shows, including entertainers like Elton John, Justin Timberlake, JAY Z, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Marc Anthony. But Madison Square Garden eclipsed it.

According to Pollstar, the biggest concert gross in 2014 by far came from Billy Joel's 12-show stand at Madison Square Garden. Other big shows at MSG included Paul Simon/Sting, ranked 42 (two shows); Fleetwood Mac, at 45 (two shows); Justin Timberlake, at 77 (two shows); Bruno Mars, at 82 (two shows).

The first Barclays Center act on the list was Katy Perry, whose two shows ranked 88. That said, gross depends somewhat on volume: the Barclays Center reaped more $2 million from its single Justin Timberlake concert, while MSG earned $3.66 million from two shows.

Going forward

“In just two full years, we are proud to have become a global destination that is bringing the best programming to Brooklyn,” said Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark in the press release, who pledged to "soon announce several major events and unique programming alliances."

It seems like some have taken notice. WPIX reported, in coverage of the potential impact of the Democratic National Convention:
However, at businesses like Yayo’s Restaurant, located two blocks from Barclays Center, its owner said that not luring the convention to New York would make a trying situation even worse.
“It’s not the way we thought it would be,” said Geronimo Diaz, regarding his receipts since Barclays opened three years ago. He said there was a need for more hip hop and Latin music concerts, as well as other major events, including the DNC. He described his business this way, “It’s not been happening like it was the first year.”
The press release


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…