Forest City Ratner chief Bruce Ratner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov were among those marking the official opening of the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn today.
The trio cut the ribbon on the new venue, which will officially open for business September 28 with the first of eight sold-out concerts by Jay-Z. The 675,000-square-foot area, designed by SHoP Architects and AECOM — formerly Ellerbe Becket — and the new home of the Nets, was hailed by Ratner and others as “an iconic structure.” The area has 18,000 seats for basketball and up to 19,000 for concerts.
“The opening of the Barclays Center is the culmination of my dream for Brooklyn to bring a national professional sports team back to the borough for the first time since our beloved Dodgers left for ‘La La Land’ more than 50 years ago,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who was in attendance at the opening.
Prokhorov called the opening “a defining moment in the evolution of Brooklyn.
As previously reported, the impending opening of the arena has already been having an effect on residential real estate in the neighborhoods surrounding the structure. Boerum Hill and Fort Greene saw their average rents increase 3.4 percent and 3.0 percent between August and July 2012, according to the August Brooklyn rental market report released yesterday by MNS. – Katherine Clarke