Newest NYC Venue Has a Vibe of Its Own


(from Sports Business Journal, October 29, 2012) New York’s newest venue, Barclays Center, blends in well in with the industrial style of its location, in the heart of Brooklyn. However, the spin on an old architectural element of the oculus is something that is nearly impossible to be blended nor ignored. The oculus is a large loop of steel swooped above Barclays Center, built into a massive 3,000 foot LED board, unlike any other. The new addition brings a glimpse of the future  to the traditional Brooklyn scene.

After many years of struggle  between local neighbors and businesses and the franchise, the Nets finally gained the opportunity to build the new arena. The arena is now seen as a focal point for the community, according to Hal Johnson, Senior Project Director for the sports designer that teamed with local architect, SHoP, to develop the arena.

Many concerns were those of  traffic and transportation issues surrounding the newly built arena. With the abstract design of the swoop the strategy is considered a “street to seat” scenario. This means that 75% of fans will use the main entrance after arriving on the subway or simply walking up the stairs. Once inside the arena fans can walk straight to the lower bowl for a bird’s eye view.

Barclays Center has taken many aspects from other arenas such as those in Memphis and Charlotte and combined them to form this one unique arena. The grayish color scheme gives a bold dark feel, but is contrasted with high level of finishes on the floors and full ceilings. Projection lights add a twist to the typical sponsor setting, and highlight larger sponsors. Another key difference with Barclays Center is the size. Due to square footage restrictions the seating for the arena maxes at 17,732, the tradeoff is that the fans are closer to the action.

The reaction to the new  arena has been extremely successful when compared to other newly opened arenas. Seven of the nine suites were sold almost instantly and the remaining are reserved for team use. Fred Mangione, Brooklyn Nets’ Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said, “We priced it right, sent out direct mail and had a large database of people interested.”

With the NBA season just kicking off, Barclays Center has nothing but high hopes and aspirations of what the new arena will bring and the amount of opportunities it will create for the franchise and the community of Brooklyn.