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Barclays Center maintains partial opacity on graduations: no names, no estimated crowd size

This is the fourth of ten articles on the 5/7/19 Quality of Life meeting. The first concerned the project schedule. The second concerned The Brodsky Organization's share of the B4 tower. The third concerned noisy weekend construction. The fifth concerned illegal parking during arena events. The sixth concerned traffic issues. The seventh concerned oversight. The eighth concerned the Community Liaison Office. The ninth concerned the developer's update. The tenth concerned the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation.Jordan Ballard, Government Affairs Manager for BSE Global (which operates the Barclays Center), was asked about the monthly calendars the arena circulates.

"I know we're coming up to graduations, and I know we're going to have a lot of bus problems," commented resident Pauline Blake. "We get the monthly notice... but it doesn't tell us about graduations. Is there a way for us to find out we will have very large graduations that may have bus traffic coming?"

Indeed, sometimes buses inundate the neighborhood, and/or idle on local streets.

"We send out notifications," Ballard responded smoothly. He noted that residents have (or could get) his contact information. "Please feel free to reach out to me, and I’ll follow up with you."

That reflects a dismaying strategy of opacity, in which Barclays Center has veered from significant disclosure to zero disclosure to partial disclosure.

Current strategy

Let's take a look at the most recent Community Notice. As I wrote, the May 2019 notice did disclose that there would be graduations, but it did not specify the identity of the institution nor the size of the crowd. See below.

As I wrote, my own web search indicated that the graduations would include:
  • May 14: Long Island University
  • May 23: NYU Tandon School of Engineering
  • May 30: Brooklyn College
Past strategy

As I wrote in May 2017, at that time they actually stopped announcing graduations or any other private events, which thus failed to alert neighbors of potential crowds.
In previous years, however, the arena was far more transparent, for example, in May 2016 announcing not just the university holding the graduation ceremony, but the anticipated crowd size, which ranged from 5,000 to 10,000. See below.
Managing the neighbors

For Ballard, according to his LinkedIn profile, community relations--much less to aggrieved neighbors--seems only a fraction in his sheaf of responsibilities:
  • Overseeing and providing strategic planning for all political, policy and regulatory concerns and initiatives of billion dollar sports and entertainment company with assets that include the Brooklyn Nets, the Long Island Nets, the Barclays Center, Webster Hall and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
  • Managing and coordinating company’s political and grassroots efforts for joint-venture development project of Nassau Hub, estimated to be worth $1.5 billion
  • Managing and coordinating all efforts with consulting lobbyists that represent the company to government officials and agencies
  • Assisting community relations team in their outreach to elected officials and grassroots organizations
  • Assisting communications team in press products and media relations in connection to political and policy matters