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Showing posts from October, 2021

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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/coming/missing, who's responsible, + project overview/FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

Bumping up attendance at Barclays: first eight Brooklyn Nets home games each feature 1,000 free tickets, thanks to sponsor Webull

Tonight's Brooklyn Nets' home game against the lowly Detroit Pistons has more than 50 seats available for $10 or less (before fees), according to StubHub , and many more under $20 or $25. (Those fees can be hefty: the two $6 tickets cost $10 each, for example.) So not every game in their initial homestand should be as popular as those against league leaders like the Milwaukee Bucks or Miami Heat. But the Nets' reasonably solid attendance figures over their first four home games, 16,522, or 93.2% of capacity (according to ESPN ), deserve a small asterisk: 1,000 of those tickets distributed are giveaways, thanks to uniform patch sponsor Webull. (There may be other freebies, as well.) Those 1,000 tickets represent about 5.6% of capacity. Without them, the Netes would be at 87.6% of capacity--still a larger percentage, though not a larger raw number of tickets, than the New York Knicks' performance at the larger Madison Square Garden. (Presumably the Nets would otherwise ha

Joe Tsai re Kyrie Irving: "people are entitled to their own opinion and choice." But remember, "1.4 billion Chinese citizens stand united."

ESPN's article yesterday,  Brooklyn Nets owner says choice to not have Kyrie Irving play is a team decision, 'not a decision about him' , prompted a response from author Matt Sullivan. Nets owner Joe Tsai, like LeBron, denies that the vaccine is a political issue. Which it is. The billionaire, who hijacked a pro-democracy tweet into Chinese propaganda language in 2019, is saying this about anti-vax protesters, but he might as well be saying it about Kyrie: — Matt Sullivan (@sullduggery) October 29, 2021 It is, of course, an issue of both politics and of science. NetsDaily yesterday offered Joe Tsai: ‘I have all the patience!’ re possible Kyrie Irving return, but admits ‘nothing to update’ , one of several stories based on an interview with Tsai: Tsai would not criticize Irving’s decision, being careful to show “respect” for it, but also pointing out that in a team sport, permitting him to play only road games would be

"We belong here." SeatGeek Plaza at Barclays Center still mostly cordoned off (on non-game day).

Just as I observed earlier in the week, the operators of the Barclays Center have been keeping the SeatGeek Plaza mostly cordoned off during the day, leaving a relatively small passage for those going from Atlantic Avenue to Flatbush Avenue, or entering the transit hub. While he Nets are in the middle of a home stand, yesterday (when I took the pictures at around 11:45 am) was not a game day. But they're playing tonight, so maybe it's expediency, given that the plaza has to be cordoned off to manage crowds (and plan for potential protests, as at the opening game ?). Let's see how long it lasts. After all, the privately-controlled plaza is supposed to be a public amenity, right? "We belong here"--or, perhaps, a strip of "here." Looking at the transit hub Looking at the entrance doors

"Anti-masker" construction worker at/near Atlantic Yards site said to harass dad and 6 y.o. son. Developer said to take action. What exactly?

Yesterday, as indicated in the tweets below, "an anti-masker construction worker" at/near the B4 (18 Sixth Ave.) site harassed a dad and his six-year old son "screaming 'Take that muzzle off your kid."  While no one from the developer(s)/contractor/state responded publicly on Twitter, a representative of the master developer, as indicated in the tweet at bottom, "responded promptly & appropriately...& took action," according to the complainant. What exactly that was we don't know, but presumably it will be mentioned at the next project Quality of Life Meeting, Tuesday, November 16 at 6 pm on Zoom . Dial In: 646-558-8656 || Passcode: 946 8877 3423#. Meeting ID: 946 8877 3423. Project-related questions and suggested agenda items may be sent to . Another question arises: how many construction workers have been ignoring safety protocols? The exchange Where exactly? Dean St. between Carlton/Vanderbilt? 662 Pacific St.

On Flatbush Ave. opposite Barclays Center & next to busy take-out restaurants, NYPD's temporary corral deters double-parking & accommodates delivery bikes

Right across from the Barclays Center, on the southbound side of Flatbush Avenue just past Pacific Street, Shake Shack and especially Chick-fil-A have become magnets for vehicles double-parking and deliveristas on e-bikes clustering in the sidewalk. Magnifying neighbors' concerns were two shooting incidents early this month, which shut down Flatbush Avenue for hours, snagging traffic. There's no direct relationship to the restaurants, as far as I can tell, other than proximity. A temporary solution So the NYPD's 78th Precinct created a temporary solution, as shown in the photos, at left from the oppposite side of the street and below with a perspective looking south. They placed metal barriers in the parking lane to deter parking, creating a corral in that parking late for the delivery guys. A police car has been posted there the two times I went by, when the restaurants were open, but it's hard to see that as sustainable. "People have complaints. The delivery guy

Monetizing the available canvas: Barclays Center operators gain advertising/promotional value from previously unused space around arena

Owners of the Barclays Center operating company--remember, the arena's technically owned by the state, to enable tax exemptions and tax-free financing--have long done whatever they can to monetize the building, exploiting ambiguous state guidelines and gentle state regulation. What's notable is how the new ownership, a company owned by Joe Tsai, has taken that to another level, using, especially, digital signage. The new canvas for promotions and advertising--on previously unusued or underutilized space--is surely worth big bucks. One non-digital example, as shown at right: recently installing a Brooklyn Nets logo and slogan ("Embrace Your Brooklyn") on the west-facing wall outside the arena's secondary entrance on Dean Street. That wall was previously without any logo or message. The roof Early on, the operating company owned by Forest City Ratner (with a minority share from Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim) took advantage by installing a huge Barclays Center logo

No "chaos" at Barclays Center for second Brooklyn Nets home game; plaza still cordoned off during day

Yesterday morning, a day after (brief) "chaos" at Barclays Center, the situation looked calm, with the plaza cordoned off, deterring public use, though the pathway to the transit center was sufficiently clear. Plaza @barclayscenter well cordoned off this morning at 11:00 a.m. Looks like they left it from last night. There's another Brooklyn Nets home game tonight, so why restore the publicly accessible space — Norman Oder (@AYReport) October 25, 2021 Let's see if that persists through the week. At the game Last night, about 25 minutes before the Brooklyn Nets' 7:30 pm game time, I visited the plaza, and things seemed calm, with no protesters, and fans streaming in slowly, as show in the video below. It got a little congested around game time, but that--as far as I can tell--was because some people don't need to be precisely on time.    "Support" for Irving? Note the headline in USA Today last night, Protesters supp

"Chaos at Barclays." Before Nets' home opener, "Stand with Kyrie" protesters storm arena doors, causing brief closure. Long lines delay ticketholders into Q2.

When I got to the Barclays Center yesterday about 22 minutes before the Brooklyn Nets' home opener was scheduled to begin at 4 pm, there were long lines outside of vaccinated fans waiting patiently to get in--and a vocal protest involving vaccine/mandate opponents converging from a broad political spectrum incorporating BLM (Black Lives Matter) to MAGA (Make America Great Again).  That protest involved more than a hundred people, some quite loud and rowdy (and unmasked, of course, unnerving some fans), and had mostly--by then--shifted to the pavement off Flatbush Avenue, blocking northbound traffic. The protest's theme was "Stand with Kyrie" Irving--the Nets' mercurial, unvaccinated superstar , who's been exiled from the team, given the city's vaccination mandate for home teams--though there's no evidence Irving sought or supported the protest. While organizers framed the protest as anti-mandate, much rhetoric was also anti-vaccination and extended to

Advertising signage for Warhol painting of Basquiat (briefly?) replaces CBRE ads wrapping transit entrance, only recently deployed for ads.

OK, we have an answer to the question raised yesterday about where auction house Christie's would be advertising Andy Warhol’s painting of Jean-Michel Basquiat, briefly on display inside the Barclays Center at the exclusive Crown Club. The two images are wrapping the sides of the transit entrance, newly home to the "You belong here/We belong here" neon art installation. (More on that in a bit.) As shown below, until recently, the sides of the transit entrance were used to advertise real estate company CBRE, as shown below. But only recently have those walls been used as a revenue-generating space--part of a trend to monetize any existing space, as I'll explain further.

You belong here? Premium courtside lounge opens with two-day promotional viewing of Warhol's ($20M?) Basquiat. Plus "massive vinyl boards" at Atlantic/Flatbush.

Below, a press release from the Brooklyn Nets headlined BARCLAYS CENTER TO DEBUT NEWEST PREMIUM COURTSIDE LOUNGE WITH TWO-DAY VIEWING OF ANDY WARHOL’S JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT .  This more exclusive viewing contrasts with the public "You/we belong here" art installation debuting today . But there's also some big advertising/promotional signage coming (or already there--I haven't checked yet), as noted yesterday by Artnet in  Warhol’s Portrait of Basquiat Will Go on View in an Unlikely Place—Brooklyn’s Barclays Center—to Promote Its Upcoming Christie’s Sale : The two-day viewing of Warhol’s Jean-Michel Basquiat will take place in the new VIP luxury lounge called Crown Club. The venue’s name is a nod to the artist’s recurring crown motif, a version of which also appears on the Barclays Center court whenever the team plays home games while wearing the Basquiat-inspired jerseys it adopted for the 2021 season. Christie’s will also install two massive vinyl boards depicting th

So, how big are tax deductions for Tsai from (mostly questionable) losses on Barclays Center operating company? My guess: very big.

Within the FY 2021 annual report for the Barclays Center operating company there are signs of a huge tax deduction for billionaire Joe Tsai, owner of the Brooklyn Nets and that operating company, Brooklyn Events Center.  (We haven't seen his tax returns, which surely are prepared by sophisticated accounts and lawyers, so my speculation is based on extrapolating from other coverage of such issues.) As I wrote , with revenues of $35.9 million and operating expenses of $58.9 million, the arena suffered a net operating loss of $23 million--and that's before having to pay another $19.4 million in interest on construction bonds, part of a larger payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) package. In a non-pandemic, "normal" year (at least, as forecasted), the arena cash flow would be in the black, and offer enough cushion to not only pay off the bonds but deliver a profit. (That's a modified view of EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, sin

Even the artist behind "You/We belong here" recognizes the phraseology's ironies; beyond question of belonging, it's a governmental gift of new promotional space

Yesterday, Gregg Bishop of the Joe & Clara Tsai Foundation's Social Justice Fund spoke at a nonprofit summit sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. He invited all attendees to Saturday's "unveiling of an art installation at the Berkeley Center plaza," referring to the "You belong here/We belong here" neon sculpture by Tavares Strachan, currently being installed on the exterior of the transit entrance. The event, with free food, from 4-7 pm. (Note that Bishop described it colloquially as the Barclays Center plaza, though it has had a series of sponsors, and is today the SeatGeek Plaza.) An article in CityLab last week suggested the artwork could read both "like an expression of solidarity" with protesters who gathered frequently at the plaza last year and "a pointed rebuke" to those who once opposed the arena. I pointed out , though, that commerce takes precedence, given that protesters were barred from the plaza last May wh

Forbes: thanks to patch deal and rising NBA tide, Nets/arena company leaping ahead--and now worth $3.2B, about what Tsai paid. Still 7th in league.

The NBA’s Most Valuable Teams 2021-22: New York Knicks Lead A Trio Now Worth Over $5 Billion Each , Forbes reported 10/18/21, with the summary "The average NBA team value has risen 13% since February, to $2.48 billion, behind record sponsorship revenue and high expectations for the league’s next media rights deal." One key is jersey patch deals, which have particularly boosted the Brooklyn Nets, which remain ranked seventh in the league: NBA owners booked an estimated $1.46 billion in sponsorships last season—a record—with much of the increase in this category coming from jersey patch deals. First introduced during the 2017-18 season and hovering about $150 million in total for the past couple of years, the agreements are expected to bring in well over $225 million across the league’s 30 teams in 2021-22. What began as nickel-and-dime advertising has rapidly increased into lucrative marketing agreements. For example, last month the Brooklyn Nets landed a jersey patch deal r

Barclays Center operating company, after deep losses in FY 2021, relies on $52M from billionaire Tsai to pay the bills, and debts. (But he'll do fine.)

On 9/30/21, Brooklyn Events Center, which operates the Barclays Center, released its FY 2021 financial report, confirming a brutal year in which the arena was largely shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. (The fiscal year ends June 30.) Net Operating Income: $23 million in the red With revenues of $35.9 million and operating expenses of $58.9 million, the arena suffered a net operating loss of $23 million--and that's before having to pay another $19.4 million in interest on construction bonds, part of a larger payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) package. In a "normal" year--though the goal hasn't always been met--the arena is supposed to have sufficient net operating income (NOI) to not just pay off the bonds, but deliver a cushion of profits. No wonder billionaire Joe Tsai, who owns the Brooklyn Nets and the arena operating company, had to pony up $52 million to bolster the arena's finances--nearly four times as much as the $13.5 million that he contributed in t