MTV’s moon man lands at the Barclays Center on Aug. 25, bringing street closures, police checkpoints, and a whole lot of celebrities

Logomania: An artist’s rendering of the MTV Video Music Awards, which are coming to the Barclays Center on Sunday. This year, the iconic moon man award statue has gotten a facelift courtesy of Brooklyn-based artist Kaws.
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Brooklyn stand up — and get ready for detours.

The MTV Video Music Awards are happening for the first time ever in Brooklyn and that means unprecedented street closures around the Barclays Center to make way for limos full of big-name celebrities. Don’t have the golden ticket? More worried about what the Aug. 25 awards show means for your weekend than what Beyonce will be wearing? Don’t worry: The Brooklyn Paper has you covered.

Prospect Heights residents eager for details packed a Monday meeting about the impacts of the awards show, but representatives for MTV and the mayor’s office failed to appear, leaving many questions unanswered. Still, we have been able to glean a few things about what to expect when the moon man touches down:

Sixth Avenue is it

The star-studded event does not begin broadcasting until Sunday evening, but MTV has already started building the set for the hour-long red carpet session, which will take place towards the back of the arena on Sixth Avenue between Dean Street and Atlantic Avenue.

Lights, camera, noise

There will be a red carpet rehearsal sans celebrities on Saturday from 6:30 pm to 9 pm, complete with outdoor lights, loud music, cameras, and other production equipment, according to a letter MTV sent to neighbors.

Bus re-routes

On Sunday, the Metropolitan Transit Authority B45 will not stop at Dean Street near Atlantic Avenue, but the new route is not yet determined. Also that day, the B41 and B67 buses will bypass their Flatbush Avenue–Barclays Center stops and the B45 will bypass the Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center stop. The times of these detours have not yet been announced.

Train yea, sidewalk nay

The Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center subway station will remain open, but on Sunday the sidewalk around the perimeter of the Barclays Center will be closed until midnight.

All ball and no play

The Dean Street Playground between Sixth and Carlton avenues will be closed, but the basketball tournament in the afternoon will still happen. There will be access to the courts from Bergen Street.

Street closures galore

Sixth Avenue will shut down between Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street, beginning on Friday and continuing through midnight on Sunday. Starting on Saturday at 7 am, there will be no parking allowed on Dean Street between Flatbush and Carlton avenues and on Pacific Street between Sixth and Carlton avenues. Police from the 78th Precinct will also shut down those streets periodically throughout Saturday and will close Pacific Street between Fourth and Flatbush avenues from Sunday at 2 pm until midnight, police sources said.

Papers, please

On the day of the awards show, Dean Street will be completely blocked off between Flatbush and Carlton avenues and Pacific Street will be closed between Sixth and Carlton avenues. The closed blocks will be restricted to residents only, meaning residents will have to show identification to police officers to gain access, according to a letter sent out by the 78th Precinct Community Council.

A mixed parking bag

Neighborhood car owners will get a break from the parking crunch by way of a Barclays Center parking lot on Pacific Street that MTV has reserved for residents. Bicyclists are out of luck, though, as the bike parking racks in the large plaza near Sixth Avenue have been temporarily removed to make way for the production.

Room to pray

MTV is relocating Sunday service at Dean Street’s Temple of Restoration Church, according to a Barclays Center representative. Church services will be moved to the under-construction, former Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 490 Pacific St. between Third Avenue and Nevins Street. There will be a 10 am service in English and a Spanish service at 3 pm.

The red carpet

On Sunday evening, limos filled with A-listers will be a constant, unloading their gussied-up cargo for the 8 pm to 9 pm red carpet pre-show, which will feature performances by teenybopper stars Austin Mahone and Ariana Grande. Several hundred pre-invited guests are expected to fill grandstands that will be set up near the arena, sources familiar with the plans said.

Made in Brooklyn

MTV’s iconic “moon man” award was retooled for this year’s show by Brooklyn-based artist Kaws, who got famous doing graffiti but now makes designer toys.


Workers will be breaking down and carting off the elaborate sets on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28, according to a Barclays Center spokesman. Also, MTV is responsible for all street cleaning related to the event.

— Natalie Musumeci

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at

Updated 2:04 pm, August 23, 2013: Added transit and Dean Street playground information.
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Reader Feedback

BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
No one has really properly explained how we could have a season of basketball and many A-list concerts, yet a TV SHOW causes days of angst and traffic.
Aug. 22, 2013, 11:06 am
Jicama from Slaw says:
Because they're trying to do an Oscar style red carpet with lots of staged drama outside, something usually done in downtown LA and NOT IN A RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE RATNER IS WIPING HIS SHOES ON THE RESIDENTS!
Aug. 22, 2013, 1:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I find it a bad idea to have the MTV Video Music Awards there. This area was a gridlock-prone area even before the arena was built, and this event will make it go from bad to worse. Let's not forget that other events here were against the noise level, but only got a slap on the wrist for the most part. Of course, I couldn't care less about this show, because MTV isn't even what it used to be anymore especially with all those reality shows dominating the schedule these days. However, the reason for concern is that this area is highly residential, and it would disturb those that need to get sleep.
Aug. 22, 2013, 4:25 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Thank you SOOOOOO much for your comment. It's really meaningful coming from you.
Aug. 22, 2013, 4:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Meanwhile, Ratner will be giving up his share on the project, though I doubt he was going to get it finished anyway.
Aug. 22, 2013, 7 pm
ty from pps says:
Oh, Tal. You're still here? Thanks be to Jesus! I thought you might have left.
Aug. 23, 2013, 10:03 am
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
Waaaaaaaah. Ratner... Waaaaaaaaah. Traffic... Waaaaaaaaaah. We hate the Barclay center

Get over it with the constant whining. The arena is here. Stuff like this is gonna happen. No one cares...
Aug. 23, 2013, 5:07 pm
jay from nyc says:
1) NO ONE cares about MTV any more. Their ratings dropped 50% last year. This is an asset that is just waiting to be taken over by a hostile bidder, sold off and broken up.
2) This seems like a LOT of things closed for something that is basically happening on the property, there really is no need for all the street closings. Its just silly.
3) See # 1
Aug. 23, 2013, 9:51 pm
Carol from Park Slope says:
All those limos will be idling on neighborhood streets throughout the area, making it impossible for residents to find parking. Why isn't there a designated parking area for those street hogs? Taxpayers count for nothing.
Aug. 25, 2013, 11:34 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
the area has changed forever so deal with it or head to the burbs where local planning boards keep everything out. remember the slaughterhouse/live chick place that was there into the late 70's - which would you prefer.

this pumps tremendous $ into the community and is a boon to the theatrical unions.
Aug. 25, 2013, 1:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry old time, but such claims like that have been proven false. If anything, they actually hurt the surrounding businesses rather than help them, and this has been proven from the famous novel Field of Schemes by Neil de Mause. BTW, that area wasn't a slaughter house before, they were renovated into residential space during the 80's, and many were living there, so the area was hardly blighted. Just talking about the MTV Music Videos Award, do they really need to close streets for this? It's one thing if it's just the immediate area, but the rest is just overkill. As for Johnny, that intersection at Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues has a been a traffic issue for decades, and this isn't something new, plus that was one of the main reason to not have the arena there in the first place, and that was the reason why O'Malley didn't have the Dodgers stadium there back in his day. One other thing, people do care, which is why there are websites such as the Atlantic Yards Report and Atlantic Yards Watch to keep tabs on that.
Aug. 25, 2013, 3:35 pm
jay from nyc says:
I was down there today, the streets being closed and the subway restrictions, and bus line shut downs definitely negatively affected business, foot traffic was way down, and as far as I can tell there is simply no reason for it.
I am somewhat frustrated that a private entertainment event is shutting down the area and we are paying for that, and it will pull police from regular duties to this.
I guess its really important that Katy Perry is allowed to use Brooklyn at our expense to sell some more downloads.
In addition, the Barclays center is a pretty easy and soft terrorist target. It sits just a few feet from the street and is wide wide open to a truck bomb type of attack, which is actually pretty scary to contemplate, and in this day and age I am always surprised when I see how vulnerable the building is considering it was built post 9/11.
Having said that, while the deal to build and develop the area may stink, the fact is Brooklyn really really needs development. The lack of development makes a lot of things pretty inconvenient to get down and alot of times a person wind up having to go into Manhattan for things, and really the focus of everything going to Manhattan needs to change, and developing Brooklyn is an important part of that. Building new things creates decent paying construction jobs, it creates maintenance and security jobs and property management jobs for the new buildings, it helps the tax base, it creates opportunity. People need jobs and if you have not noticed, Brooklyn has not exactly been doing a great job in this area, yes better than the 70s, but really the 70s should not be considered the low water mark and NOT something to emulate, that time is an example of how NOT to do things.
Brooklyn should and is going to re-develop Coney Island, which I hope happens a lot faster than it seems to be. As it is now, a lot of people do NOT want to go out there because its just crummy and women hate it. That is dollars lost. Brooklyn should do everything it can to get an MLS team as well.
Aug. 25, 2013, 7:19 pm

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