(from Wall Street Journal Online, October 14, 2012) The Brooklyn Nets have been updating nearly every aspect of their team this off-season, including their new $1 billion arena. The new arena hopes to provide a winning season for the Nets, who had higher winning percentage on the road than they did at home last season. This arena was specifically designed for the team to get a home-court advantage.
The Nets’ past arena, the Prudential Center, was originally built as a hockey venue. There is a significant size difference between basketball (90×50 feet) and hockey (200×85 feet) arenas, because of this difference the basketball seating is situated further away from the court. This made it hard for the Prudential Center to host a game that could get the fans hyped up.
Features of the new Barclays Center include everything from angled seating to halogen lights. All of this was done with a purpose, to generate energy in the arena. The new lower seating bowl is at a relatively steep angle, about 18 to 20 degrees, while the upper bowl is at an amazing 36 degrees.
Some of the players had input into the new design as well. Deron Williams, point guard for the Nets, said he had a hand in the design of the locker rooms, with an electrical outlet at every locker.
Additionally, there are two lighting systems, one is for the Nets specifically, and the other for everyone else. The “everyone else” lighting system is the basic white lighting used at most sports venues. The Nets’ specific system is composed of 6 flying trusses which house 468 tungsten-halogen fixtures to give a warm glow directly onto the court. The court will be “theater-like” said Karen Goldstick, from Goldstick Lighting Design, who was in charge of the project, “you’ll notice a big difference in color.” This halogen system is previously unique to the Staples Center in Los Angles, an idea Barclays wanted to replicate. “If you introduce something that’s unique and provides a challenge for teams that they don’t see at other arenas, it could provide an advantage,” said John Tauer, Head Basketball Coach at the University of St. Thomas. The Nets will get used to their lighting, but maybe their opponents won’t.