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Growing pains at the Barclays Center: long delays in rain to enter to see Globetrotters; arena chief of security departs after one week

Photo by @bklynjsol
Eight Jay-Z shows went off fairly smoothly at the Barclays Center, ending Saturday, Oct. 6, thanks in part to good weather, a massive police presence, and an event that started 90 minutes after the official time (which meant many attendees staggered their arrival).

But yesterday's announced 5 pm Harlem Globetrotters show proved more frustrating for many event-goers.

Not only did the scoreboard malfunction, as indicated in the photo at right, many people spent more than an hour waiting in the rain to get into the building.

Some attributed the problem to delays at the "will call" windows, which suggests many people did not already have tickets in hand, so they were picking up last-minute purchases or comps.

Since the arena opened, there also have been delays getting people through security, which includes the unusual--for a sports facility in the city--practice of having people walk through metal detectors.

Reports of dismay surfaced frequently on Twitter, as noted in the screenshots below, some from "parent bloggers" who apparently were invited to attend the event (by the Globetrotters, as noted). Note that pretty much everyone enjoyed the Globetrotters, though surely those who got free tickets felt they got the best deal.

Photo by @RobBlatt

Security chief leaves

Whether related to the line problems in the past week or not, the Barclays Center experienced its second major executive departure in several months, as Security Director Bob Sena confirmed Friday, 10/5/12, that he had left, less than a week after the official opening.

I queried Sena after learning about his departure, and he responded:
I can't really elaborate other than to say I left for personal reasons. I can say, however, that it was a wonderful opportunity to work in the area where I come from (born in Bedford Stuyvesant and graduated St Francis College), and to be part of Brooklyn's new history. After a 30 year career in Security and Public Safety, I'm proud that I was able to help develop what I believe to be a first class Security program of what is mostly a local workforce.

Arena General Manager John Sparks left in July under somewhat murky circumstances, as well.

In both cases, it's impossible to know from the outside whether there was more to it than personal reasons: were they being blamed for glitches or did they leave because they wanted to avoid such blame--or whether there were other workplace-related issues?

When I learn who replaced Sena, I'll update this. Here's the front-office list, which still contains Sena's name.

Today's story line in the press

I don't see any coverage of the Globetrotters event in today's papers, as the story line for the Barclays Center remains sunny.

The New York Daily News offers Barbra Streisand’s Brooklyn: Legend coming home to perform at Barclays Center and her half-sister takes look at the way they were in '40s and '50s and Brooklyn Nets praise new facility as they practice at Barclays Center for first time. The New York Times offers At First Practice, Nets Praise Intimate Feel of Arena, while the New York Post presents Nets pleased with first practice at Barclays Center.

The complaints on Twitter

*samp means she got in free or at a discount


  1. Genius! Give away free tickets to bloggers to get them to sample your ill-gotten arena, then torture them with an interminable line. I'd feel bad for the people standing in the line, save for their having knowingly taken payola to visit Bruce's neighborhood-crushing palace. Guess everyone got what they deserved.

  2. Anonymous10:58 PM

    I took the grand kids. We didn't have to wait outside. It was disorganized and the food prep was atrocious. We also had the broken screen. We bought discounted tickets from Tickettron and didn't have to wait. The line for those waiting for tickets circled around the oculus. The people directing weren't very helpful and didn't explain what was going on.
    The bus down Atlantic Avenue(eastbound) stops at west side 4th avenue so you have two dangerous street to cross..although the crossing guards were in fact helpful.
    We got there around 4:45. took 5 minutes to get in(although they did take the apple juice we brought for the grand kids).
    The Globe trotters started 50 minutes late. When at 5:30 they announced an additional delay

    there were loud boos and they did start some pregame entertainment with Globbie...a mascot.

    Sid Meyer
    There was a significant amount of merchandizing but that is to be expected. The seats are pretty comfortable and my seats in section 125 had a great view with or without the brokenTV screen.


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