SBD/September 23, 2013/Facilities

Barclays Center Booming After One Year; Nets Add Arena Retail Options

Barclays Center will have a second team store opening at the facility this season
Barclays Center is a "true Brooklyn success story" and is "making big strides" after one year in operation, according to Phyllis Furman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Ticket and concession sales "are booming," but profits are "lagging because of the high cost of running the arena." Still, Forest City Ratner Chair & CEO Bruce Ratner calls the arena "a great financial success." He said, "In a year, we have become the major arena in the U.S." Furman noted Barclays Center is the centerpiece of Forest City Ratner's $4.9B Atlantic Yards project and has "brought jobs to the neighborhood, employing 2,000 people -- 80% are Brooklyn residents and one third are from local housing projects -- though 1,900, are part-timers." Ratner said, "We have exceeded all of our benchmarks and that translates into more taxes." Brooklyn-based commercial realtor Adam Hess said that the price per square-foot of mixed-use buildings in the immediate vicinity of the arena has "doubled since it opened to $700 a square foot." He added demand from "retailers large and small has mounted." But Furman writes, "Not everyone is enjoying the party." Some local merchants say that "a much expected jump in sales has yet to materialize," while others contend the number of jobs created is "coming up short when measured against the hundreds of millions in public subsidies invested in the project" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/22). In N.Y., Reuven Blau wrote businesses around Barclays Center are "reaping record profits from a bonanza of customers flooding to the popular arena" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/22). Meanwhile, the DAILY NEWS' Matt Chaban reported Forest City Ratner in the coming weeks "will truck in the cornerstone of the first of 14 residential towers planned for the decade-old project." The 32-story apartment building will be "the largest modular building in the world when it is completed, tentatively next summer" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/22).

MORE IN-ARENA RETAIL: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Don Muret reports the Nets are "opening a second team store at Barclays Center and have signed a long-term deal" with New Jersey-based frozen yogurt chain Let's Yo!. Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said that Let’s Yo! "grabbed the final retail spot along Flatbush Avenue." He added that the new team store "will focus on selling Nets-branded lifestyle apparel by Mitchell & Ness and other sports clothiers that speak to a broader audience." Yormark said that Forest City Ratner is investing more than $1M in "aesthetic improvements to the premium clubs, and concessionaire Levy Restaurants is expanding its Taste of Brooklyn food program" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/23 issue).

ISLANDER IMMERSION: In a special to SPORTS ON EARTH, Stu Hackel wrote of his experience during the Islanders' preseason debut at Barclays Center, "The sightlines seem mostly good, even for those watching from the soaring upper level, which looks like a mile from the ice." It will be "tough to match" Nassau Coliseum's "intimacy and sightlines." But today's fan "supposedly wants a more complete experience, and from the many luxury suites to the booming sound system to the ubiquitous video screens to the Barclays Center mobile app, you can't get much more complete than this" (, 9/22).
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