Skip to main content

Limited seating capacity, spoken-for suite revenue, Goldman Sachs statement all cast doubt on major league hockey in Brooklyn

So, how could major league hockey fit into the planned Atlantic Yards arena? Michael D.D. White, in his Noticing New York blog, suggests it would be a stretch.

I agree, given a likely low seating capacity that would disadvantage it relative to other arenas with National Hockey League (NHL) teams and a plan in which suite revenue is already spoken for.

Also, the main part of the Barclays Center Project Preliminary Official Statement (POS), prepared by Goldman Sachs, suggests that the arena would host minor league hockey, not major league hockey.

But NHL hockey can't be ruled out. A market analysis included in the POS states that the New York Islanders could potentially move, though the arena would have to be retrofitted for NHL-level ice-making.

The market analysis, curiously enough, does not point to limited seating capacity for hockey in Brooklyn. Still, the Brooklyn arena--even with far fewer seats for hockey than basketball--nonetheless would offer more seats for NHL hockey than current attendance at games for the money-losing Islanders.

Looking at Conseco

Consider that the Barclays Center would look most like Conseco Fieldhouse (below) in Indianapolis and house just about the same number of fans. Conseco was designed by Ellerbe Becket, which is designing the Brooklyn arena, joined by SHoP, the "fa├žade architect"). The new design is just a variation on the original one, above.

Conseco Fieldhouse, which has a capacity of 18,345 for basketball, has hosted minor league hockey but not a team from the National Hockey League. Why not? Many fewer seats for the latter.

According to an 11/23/00 Indianapolis Star article headlined "Hockey in the corn belt: Early reports from Columbus are positive; could the NHL make it in Indianapolis?":
Conseco Fieldhouse would seem to be an obvious home for a hockey team. The [minor league Indiana] Ice will play eight games there this season.

But it seats only about 14,000 for hockey, making it too small for the NHL. When the fieldhouse was built, there were no contingency plans for an NHL team, said Rick Fuson, the arena's director.
The Ice actually play most of their home games at the smaller Pepsi Coliseum, capacity 8200.

Minor league hockey

Perhaps the Brooklyn arena (capacity 18,282 for basketball, according to the POS) could be designed to seat a number larger than 14,000 for hockey, but that's something the Atlantic Yards developer and public parties should tell us.

Right now, they're not claiming it would be fit for the NHL. According to the Barclays Center Project Preliminary Official Statement prepared by Goldman Sachs:
Including the 44 Nets home games the proposed Arena will host annually, it is anticipated the Arena will host approximately 228 total events on an annual basis. It is expected that the Arena will host events such as NCAA college basketball games, boxing matches, minor league hockey, concerts, family shows, award shows, private rentals, community events and other such events.
(Emphasis added)

Capacity in Brooklyn and Long Island

Actually, there's no minimum capacity for NHL arenas--the key is revenue--there are reasons to doubt a 14,000-seat arena for hockey could work in Brooklyn.

Most NHL arenas seat more than 18,282, according to the Edmonton Journal. The smallest NHL arena is on Long Island, at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, with a capacity of 16,234.

Then again, the Islanders have averaged only 10,774 fans per game over the last three seasons, according to the market study attached to the POS. And those Islanders, which have been losing a lot of money, would be the obvious candidate to move to Brooklyn.

(That presumably could be costly, given that the NHL constitution gives each team territorial rights spanning 50 miles and required payments to the Islanders and Rangers, for example, when the Devils came to New Jersey. Newsday reported 10/17/09, "To move to Queens or Brooklyn, the Islanders would need a new agreement on so-called territorial rights, perhaps with a fee paid to the New York Rangers, sources close to the situation confirmed.")

Revenues, not seats

Revenues for a hockey team in Brooklyn would depend on both seating capacity and other revenue streams, such as television rights and luxury suit revenue. But the business model doesn't contemplate a share of the latter.

Consider the business plan for another small arena. A 6/30/07 Winnipeg Free Press article, headlined MTS Centre is small, but 'just right': Chipman, described how the 15,003-seat arena in Winnipeg might not be too small for an NHL team, because, if full, that would make it 24th in the 30-team league.

(There's no minimum capacity in the NHL, according to the article, and many teams inflate their attendance.)

But in Winnipeg there would be only one team owner to reap the suite revenue. In Brooklyn, there's already a plan in place.

According to the Preliminary Official Statement, of $28,087,795 in premium seating revenue expected in the first full year of operations, only $5,028,035 would go to the Nets, with the rest--$23,059,760--going to ArenaCo, the arena developer and operator.

In other words, the big money seems to be locked up already.

Unless prospective Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov wants a hockey team as a vanity project.

Another benchmark

Smaller market NHL teams, which get less television revenue, are eligible for revenue-sharing if they average more than 14,000 in attendance.


Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming + FAQ (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in February 2018, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed--but not yet approved--shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won…

The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

Some skepticism on Belmont hockey deal: lease value seems far below Aqueduct racino; unclear (but large?) cost for LIRR service

As I wrote for The Bridge 12/20/1, The Islanders Say Bye to Brooklyn, But Where Next?, the press conference announcing a new arena at Belmont Park for the New York Islanders was "long on pomp... but short on specifics."

Notably, a lease valued at $40 million "upfront to lease up to 43 acres over 49 years... seems like a good deal on rent for the state-controlled property." Also, the Long Island Rail Road will expand service to Belmont.

That indicates public support for an arena widely described as "privately financed," but how much? We don't know yet, but some more details--or at least questions--have emerged.

An Aqueduct comparable?

Well, we don't know what the other bid was, and there aren't exactly parcels that large offering direct comparables.

But consider: Genting New York LLC in September 2010 was granted a franchise to operate a video lottery terminal under a 30 year lease on 67 acres at Aqueduct Park (as noted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo).


Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…