Next stop, Barclays!
Basketball arena developer Bruce Ratner will pay $200,000 per year to have the Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street subway stations co-named for Barclays, the British bank whose name will also adorn the proposed arena at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.
The 20-year contract is the first naming-rights deal for the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has unsuccessfully tried to find sponsors for other stations around the city.
Board members and staff heralded the arrangement, approved on Wednesday, as a major victory for the chronically underfunded mass transit system.
Ratner has said he’ll break ground on the Nets’ home court this fall. The renaming of the subway lines — and the Barclays’ appearance on maps — will coincide with the arena’s opening, now planned for 2012.
Barclays signed a deal to pay Ratner $400 million for the sponsorship deal of the long-awaited arena two years ago. At the time, opponents protested that a bank with links to slavery and the Holocaust should not have its name anywhere in Brooklyn, with its sizable black and Jewish populations.