EXCLUSIVE: Barclays Center will be nest for the Blackbirds

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Blackbirds are looking to nest with the Nets.

The suddenly world-class Long Island University men’s basketball team is in negotiations to play a portion of its home games at the Barclays Center, catapulting the plucky squad to a national audience when the arena is completed next year.

“LIU [is part of] a strategic partnership that will encompass many areas of our business, including having several LIU games played at the Barclays Center,” said Nets spokesman Barry Baum.

The LIU cagers were valiant in their ultimately futile first-round loss to North Carolina in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last week — but Coach Jim Ferry thinks that his squad could have benefitted from regular competition against the big boys.

“Some of these bigger schools won’t play us on our home court,” he said.

But the prospect of playing in a “neutral” NBA arena might be enough of a carrot to dangle, Ferry suggested.

“This will really get this to the national stage,” he said.

St. John’s University’s plays many of its home games at Madison Square Garden — a lure for top city ballers.

“Barclays is bringing more attention to us,” said Ferry, whose Downtown campus is just a few blocks away from the $1-billion arena currently rising at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

The Blackbirds once played their homes games in the old Paramount Theater, a storied Flatbush Avenue moviehouse built by Paramount Pictures in 1928.

Since 2005, the Blackbirds have been playing at the $45-million, 3,000-seat Athletic, Recreation and Wellness Center at DeKalb Avenue and Ashland Place.

The talk of LIU games at the Barclays Center is the latest positive news for the venue. Last year, developer Forest City Ratner inked a deal to bring the Ringling Bros. circus and Disney on Ice to the arena. The company is also set to bring in big in musical acts.

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Reader Feedback

Joey from Clinton Hills says:
LIU? why don't they play at Nassau Coliseum?
March 23, 2011, 10:54 am
Frankie from Carroll Gardens says:
Why not St. Francis College?
March 23, 2011, 11:01 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Any school bigger than LIU might make the Nets look even more inept in comparison.
March 23, 2011, 11:11 am
S from Clinton Hill says:
LIU's main campus is right down the street from the future Barclays Center. Why would they play at Nassau Coliseum?
March 23, 2011, 5:18 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Are you sure? I thought LIU on Flatbush was a satellite campus and the real campus was in Hempstead or somewhere.
March 24, 2011, 10:39 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Seriously, LIU couldn't even get that many sellouts at where they play right now, and that was built not too long ago. When Oder mentioned this, it was found that students and faculty only had interest when the tickets to the games were given for free or at a discount. If they couldn't do so good where they are now, what makes anyone think that they will there?
March 24, 2011, 9:25 pm

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