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Separate and unequal at the Barclays Center

The Brooklyn Paper
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High rollers at the Barclays Center will get their own VIP entrance — with a concierge desk and a sleek chandelier — when the $800-million arena opens in Prospect Heights next fall.

The team provided a first glimpse of the under-construction Barclays Center’s interior bells and whistles on Tuesday, releasing renderings of the arena’s amenities created by the New York-based firm SHoP Architects.

“Nothing was spared in creating an inviting and spectacular environment,” said Nets CEO Brett Yormark. “The interior spaces of the Barclays Center will provide premium experiences that are reflective of a sophisticated and dynamic venue.”

Besides the VIP entrance on Atlantic Avenue, suite and premium seat holders will have access to the center’s 10-person signature suite and the Courtside Club, which boasts up-close-and-personal views of players and entertainers as they enter and exit the arena.

Fans in the nosebleeds will settle for less.

Regular visitors will enter the 19,000-seat Barclays Center through a nice, but subdued, atrium that gives way onto a Main Concourse — rendered in subdued, earth-tone colors — and lined with food vendors, bars and a Legends Lounge overlooking the court.

The masses will also be able to quench their thirst at Beers of the World, an eco-friendly bar made with reclaimed wood.

“SHoP wanted the design of the interiors of the Barclays Center to be focused on bringing the energy of Broooklyn street life into the arena,” said Gregg Pasquarelli, one of the firm’s founders. “The design uses a simple yet tactile palette of industrial materials to create an urbane experience open to all.”

The arena, being built at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, is scheduled to open next September.

It’s part of developer Bruce Ratner’s $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards mega-project, which includes 16 towers that have been stalled by years of delay, financing problems and lawsuits from community groups opposed to the plan.

Critics were nonplussed by the arena’s glitzy design.

“It’s surprising that they don’t have the money to pay for the rest of the project,” said Candace Carponter, the legal director of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, one of the groups suing the state over Atlantic Yards, “but they’re going to sell high-priced tickets to high-rollers who’ll show up in big cars and clog traffic on our streets.”

Updated 5:25 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

al pankin from downtown says:
what is surprising is the fact that this group held up this development for so long that they are the ones responsible for the lack of financing and the project being stalled..what's so hard to figure out?
July 20, 2011, 7:50 am
QB from Freeport, NY says:
Why is this so surprising? Did we really expect Jay-Z and Beyonce to stand on the same line and enter through the same entrance as your average fan? Hopefully the ticket prices won't be outrageous like they are for the sucky Knicks...
July 20, 2011, 9:18 am
LB from Dyker Heights says:
Maybe Dan Goldstein has some of his cool 3 million dollars left over to buy premium seats or better yet, maybe he can build some affordible housing further east on Atlantic Avenue.
July 20, 2011, 9:42 am
Kalahari Dessert from Brooklyn says:
At least Jay Z has retired from selling crack cocaine. That might be why he deserves a VIP pass. And Ratner might take some business, man advice from him. Jay Z's done well for himself (despite the trail of strung out Bed Stuy skeletons he left).
July 20, 2011, 10:39 am
G from Gpoint says:
Why is this a big deal!? Oh right, headlines sell newspapers...
July 20, 2011, 12:09 pm
Aaragon from Clinton Hill says:
As a journalist working for this paper, Daniel, you should be ashamed of yourself...could you possibly be more one-sided in this "report"? This is simply another tired hit piece on the yards project by a "news" paper with constant, unflinching self motivations...it's pathetic...every stadium in the world has a VIP section, if you are able to pay for VIP seats, you get a VIP section to enter...every...stadium...literally...the "subdued" (could you use that word once more please?) main atrium looks nice, nicer than MSG's main area mess and it sounds like it will be really cool...the traffic is so freaking fantastic in that area already, like is that really serious? People aren't going to drive to these games and it's already a mess there...yes, the subway will be more crowded but so what...open a business there and see how happy that stadium makes you when it opens.
July 20, 2011, 1:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
This was no surprise to me either. New sports facilities are always a seperation of class levels. Those that have the ability to afford the VIP treatment never have to wait behind any red tape, while the rest are stuck. I never did see the need for VIP suites at games where these people get their own boxes without having to worry about those they don't like sitting next to them. Adding these actually makes ticket prices for the rest go up. This is just like at airports where they never have to wait in the same lines the rest of us do. As for the lack financing, it had nothing to with the opposition, that was from Ratner himself, so quit scapegoating them for every flaw or problem that comes in this.
July 20, 2011, 5:27 pm
nets14 from Brooklyn says:
Tal, every arena and stadium has one, every one, so please shut up
July 20, 2011, 6:01 pm
Fan of Miller Lite Beer from Milwaukee says:
Norm must be in the front row with Bob Uecker.
July 21, 2011, 12:02 am
Fred from downtown says:
More importantly are they going to have metal detectors? Or are we gonna have shootings at the games.....please tell me why people carry guns....
July 21, 2011, 7:49 am
Dylan from Dumbo says:
I found out on their website that the VIP entrance can be used for anyone who purchases a $99 seat...I think that's totally fair
@Fred...safety first at the Barclays Center
July 21, 2011, 9:06 am
Josef from downtown says:
1. A chain of stores called Beers of the World already exists upstate: see http://mybeersoftheworld.com/

2. Aaragon - I don't see what your beef is. Mr. Bush reported on the under-construction stadium with the latest details. Last I checked, reporters don't write their own headlines, and the actual article is far from a "hit piece" inasmuch as it barely criticizes this development.

Given that this project was sold to the populace with a 10 year construction schedule that now been expanded to 25 years, and that the affordable housing promised seems unlikely to materialize, I though the piece was pretty low-key.

3. contra Tal, luxury boxes actually enable teams to keep other prices lower, at least in theory, though in practice whether this happens is debatable. But I concur that the mentality of the affluent in not wanting to mingle with the common people is an ugly aspect of our society.
July 21, 2011, 2:08 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Josef, Ratner has a history of lying. He did similar things when he built MTC, and he is doing the same thing here. As for luxury boxes and new sports facilities, the way they are built, they have more levels of seating, and the cheap seats makes them feel like ants as if it's better to just watch the game at home instead. These days, it's only good to go to games when you are high up on the ladder, but not on the lower part. Bring back the games to the real fans, not try to make another playground for the rich. Why do they need special boxes when they can just sit in the first few rows that they can already afford on their income? Aren't tickets expensive enough?
July 21, 2011, 6:03 pm

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