The newly-constructed Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, New York has been a long time coming, and the wait has yielded a state-of-the-art complex that will host both sporting events and musical superstars. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the arena on Friday, September 21 to celebrate its completion and the upcoming grand opening. Jay-Z, legendary rapper and Brooklyn native, will kick off the center’s schedule by performing the first of eight sold-out shows on Friday, September 28.
Construction of the Barclays Center suffered many setbacks along the way, including years of negotiations and lawsuits. According to GlobeSt.com,developer Bruce Ratner, CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, they needed to win “35 judicial decisions” and they did, resulting in the successful completion of the $1 billion, 675,000 square foot arena.
The Barclays Center will be the home of NBA’s new Brooklyn Nets, marking the first time that a major professional sports franchise has called Brooklyn home since 1957. According to SlamOnline.com, Mikhail Prokhorov, Russian billionaire and primary owner of the Nets, told the crowd at Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony that the center is “so much more than just a building.” Prokhorov said that “it will be the place where everything is happening and everyone is welcome, if you are Brooklyn or Manhattan, Miami or Moscow. Barclays Center will be the heart of the Brooklyn borough.”
According to the arena’s official website, the center “boasts one of the most intimate seating configurations ever designed for a modern multi-purpose arena,” accommodating up to 18,000 fans for sporting events and 19,000 for musical performances. Hip-hop icon Jay-Z will celebrate the venue’s inaugural season with eight performances at the Barclays Center, starting at the grand opening on Friday, September 28. The rapper will also play on September 29 and 30, as well as October 1, 3, 4, 5, 6; all of which have been sold-out. At this point hopeful fans will have to check the secondary resale market for any hope of seeing these grand opening shows, but the legendary entertainer will assuredly return for those who miss his first run.
In addition to Jay-Z, the new Barclays Center will play host to many other great names in the entertainment industry. The upcoming schedule includes high-profile stars like Barbra Streisand, Justin Bieber, Bob Dylan, Rihanna, and The Who. These are just a few of the entertainers already set to perform, and the center is expected to host approximately 220 events per year, according to The Huffington Post.
The Barclays Center will also see its fair share of sporting events in the near future, perhaps stealing some of the spotlight previously reserved for Madison Square Garden.
The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters are set to appear at the new arena on October 7, and the Brooklyn Nets play their first preseason game there against the Washington Wizards on October 15. The regular season for the Nets is scheduled to begin on November 1 when they face their new rivals, the New York Knicks. Fans at the center will also be able to see bouts in World Championship Boxing on October 20, as well as a WWE pay-per-view December 16.
With just the first few months of the arena’s schedule already packed with high-profile events, fans in Brooklyn and across the country should be happy to see the center finally complete and ready for business.