SBD/April 18, 2014/Facilities

Competition Between Barclays Center, MSG To Land Top Events Heating Up

Barclays Center was the top-grossing venue in the U.S. last year
Barclays Center vs. Madison Square Garden has become "the latest intrametro rivalry pitting borough against borough," according to Eriq Gardner of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The "war between the two giant sports and entertainment arenas has been fairly civil by Big Apple standards -- mostly because Manhattan's MSG was partly closed for renovations when Brooklyn's Barclays opened its doors 18 months ago." But since the "refurbished Garden started selling tickets again in October, there have been signs that the crosstown dissing is heating up." With more than 300 events since opening in September '12, Barclays "was the top-grossing venue in the U.S. last year," and has been averaging $6M a month from live concerts. While it "doesn't have MSG's cash-cow sports franchises, like the Knicks and the Rangers, it does have the Nets, and soon the building will be getting ice ready for the relocating Islanders." Barclays Center also has "partnered with Disney to train staff on such courtesies as the proper way to smile at patrons." MSG since reopening in October has sold about 35% "more tickets than Barclays, with the Garden averaging 10,682 per live concert versus 7,287 for Barclays." This summer will be "the first concert season with Barclays and MSG competing head-to-head, so the rivalry is only going to get more intense." Inevitably, the Barclays Center vs. MSG "throwdown will play out along age-old borough stereotypes." One will be "perceived as glitzy, the other as hip." Nets and Barclays CEO Brett Yormark said, "If you look at the young, up-and-coming artists, they don't have the attachment to legacy brands that legacy artists do, so they might prefer the young and hip and cool flavor of Brooklyn" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/2 issue).
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