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Some Barclays Center contrast: idling bus on Dean Street a reminder of arena encroachment; BSE Global highlights support for "our neighbors"

I wrote yesterday about how then-Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin described the Barclays Center as a good neighbor.

However, as I've written--such as after the Brooklyn Nets' home pre-season game--arena operations depend on encroachment of streets and sidewalks, with illegal parking and idling.

Another example: the video below, taken Monday, 12/28/20, about half an hour before the Nets' home game, showing a bus idling on Dean Street--outside the 461 Dean residential tower and near the arena's back entrance--for well more than three minutes. It's just part of doing business.

BSE Global Community Update

Of course, most people neither notice or care, and the Barclays Center operating company, BSE Global, has a much more robust public relations operation, as well as a track record of involvement in the larger community.

Yesterday, the company circulated a BSE Global Community Update, recapping "recent highlights from our work supporting our neighbors," including:

  • BSE Global volunteers, with 99 staff members completing 413 hours of service.Each month, one student participating in NETSTEM is honored as the Scholar of the Month.
  • Make it Count: Census and Voter Registration Outreach, with a Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty, and Barclays Center-branded bus visiting Brooklyn neighborhoods, and a census and voter registration drive on the plaza
  • Barclays Center served as a polling site for the 2020 general election, and 26 BSE Global employees were poll workers for Early Voting and on Election Day.
  • International Day of the Girl, with an all-girls virtual clinic
  • Virtual NETSTEM Days, with 65 students from Marine Park JHS, and special guests from the Nets
  • Veterans Day, with a virtual tour of HSS Training Center
  • Brooklyn Nets Basketball Academy Virtual Camp
  • Brooklyn Nets Thanksgiving Events, including the Nets' Jarrett Allen hosing his fourth-annual “Meals and Math” event, with 25 kids, and the Nets' Kyrie Irving and the Kai Family Foundation helping distribute 700 Thanksgiving turkeys and more
  • Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance & BSE Global’s Thanksgiving Giveaway, donating and distributing 1,500 meals to families throughout Brooklyn

Note that many events involved outside sponsors and/or individual contributors, but the halo goes to the arena and the team. And that "neighbors" encompasses a much broader definition.

Meanwhile, the arena has more than a few advantages: it need not pay property taxes; rather, payments in lieu of taxes are diverted to pay off tax-exempt bonds for arena construction. And, among other benefits, it gets $10 million a year in naming rights from Barclays PLC for what is technically a publicly owned property.

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