HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The Barclays Center officially opened last Friday. The new 40/40 Club inside the arena opened with a red-carpet event on Thursday. The Nets will play their first preseason game in their new building on Oct. 15 and start the regular season on Nov. 1 against the Knicks.
But for many in Brooklyn and all around the New York metroplolitan area, tonight is the night.
Jay-Z, the Nets’ minority owner and one of the faces of the Barclays Center, will christen his new home with the first of eight concerts (in nine days) on Friday.
Nets players will be in attendance and the word is that their new black and white uniforms will be officially introduced on stage. (We’ll just forget that they’ve already been leaked by adidas employees and video game demos).
At a cost of a billion dollars, the Barclays Center gives New York City a second marquee arena, both for sports and for concerts, as James C. Mckinley Jr. of the New York Times writes…
When Jay-Z takes the stage on Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, it will be more than the triumphant homecoming of a native son, performing eight sold-out nights in a sparkling new arena near the housing project where he grew up. It is also the official opening of an 18,000-seat performance space that will fundamentally transform the music scene in New York City.
The arena’s opening is being closely watched in the music business, and perhaps nowhere more so than in Manhattan, at Madison Square Garden, which for generations has been the only game in town for arena acts and has earned a reputation as a career-defining concert hall.
Though Garden officials and Barclays executives are both careful to say that the arenas are not in direct competition for big-name bands, concert promoters and booking agents say such competition is inevitable, and Barclays has already positioned itself as an alternative, booking several marquee performers who have played the Garden in the past.
Like the Garden, Barclays Center is in an urban setting, with very limited parking. So if you’re planning on coming for a game or concert, plan on taking the subway or train. But that’s not much of an issue, because 11 lines and the Long Island Railroad stop right there.