SBJ/20100308/This Week's News

Compact design doesn’t skimp on amenities

A first glimpse inside Barclays Center’s interior bowl reveals one of the tightest designs to date for pro basketball.

The New Jersey Nets provided images exclusively to SportsBusiness Journal, giving an early look at the $800 million project set to break ground Thursday in Brooklyn.

The upper level of suites at Barclays runs along the
sidelines only.

The 18,350-seat building measures 375 feet in length, from the last seat in the upper deck to the same location at the other end. The distance is much shorter than the average big league arena, which stretches 430 feet to 450 feet, said Alex Diaz, Barclays Center’s general manager. The compact design, completed by Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects, was developed with intimacy and sight lines in mind. Eighty-five percent of lower-bowl seats are along the sidelines and corners, increasing to 95 percent in the upper deck. The result is a smaller overall footprint but with no compromise in fan amenities. In fact, the concourses are significantly wider than they were in the previous design done by architect Frank Gehry, Diaz said.

A primary distinction is the upper suite level, restricted to 30 loft suites on the sides, selling for an average of $281,000 a year. That’s a departure from the two 360-degree levels of skyboxes common at major league arenas.

Graphically, the word “Barclays” is painted across upper deck seats on both sides, giving the building a European flair embraced by the Nets’ London-based naming-rights partner, Diaz said. The words “Brooklyn Nets” are painted on the floor along the baselines.

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