Barclays Center arena tour and ribbon cutting (SLIDE SHOW)

Check out Brooklyn's new arena and event venue with our first look at the Barclays Center.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The basketball court at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The basketball court at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The basketball court at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The basketball court at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The basketball court at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The true high-definition JumboTron at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Seats at Barclays Center. As one of TONY's Instagram followers wryly observed: "All black seats huh? Very Jay."

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Bruce Ratner at the Barclays Center ribbon-cutting ceremony. We were interested to see who would say "Brooklyn" (or its derivatives) the most. Ratner was quick out of the gate with 11, adding another four when he introduced Marty Markowitz.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Mayor Bloomberg put in a strong showing by name-dropping "Brooklyn" a clanging 11 times by our count.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    We heard Brooklyn Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov clock up a meager four name checks of the borough.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was the bookies' favorite, but got off to a slow start by thanking people. He built up a head of steam though, and finished with a barnstorming "Brooklyn's in the house!" bringing his total to 17. Upon realizing we would have to count through five more speeches we declared Marty Mart the winner.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The ribbon cutting at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Barclays Center ribbon cutting

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The oculus (otherwise known as that big hole thingy) of Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The oculus and entrance to Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The main entrance to Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The Brooklyn Nets shop by Adidas at Barclays Center. Nets players Brook Lopez and MarShon Brooks will attend the opening and sign autographs on Sept 24 at 10am.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The Calvin Klein VIP entrance to Barclays Center. The Calvin Klein Courtside Club resides below the seats of the stadium and by the players' entrance to the court.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The main concourse at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The Brooklyn Farmacy stand on the main concourse at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    A suite at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    A suite at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    A suite at Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    This guy looks a bit lonely.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    This dude, however, was definetely happy.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    The green roof to the subway exit serving Barclays Center.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    One Hanson Place, left, and Barclays Center

Photograph: Filip Wolak

The basketball court at Barclays Center


Six days before Jay-Z christens the Barclays Center with a sold-out run of nine shows beginning Sept 28, the new Brooklyn arena was partially unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. We say partially; we weren't granted access to the Jay-Z champagne lounge—and not for the last time, we'll wager.

We did get to see the main event space. It fits 18,000 for basketball games and up to 19,000 for concerts, but feels cozy and intimate rather than grand. It's been designed that way, with tight corners and steep upper tiers in a bid to improve sight lines. Even the 16-foot-tall by 32-feet-long main lower JumboTron screen is hi-def, with a 6mm pixel pitch (the distance between the center of one pixel and the next; the smaller the better). According to our guide, Madison Square Garden currently has a screen with 10mm pixel pitch. First blood to Barclays Center.

An ice rink has been laid under the court (a thin black dam on the floor reveals the outline), although the ice hockey lockout has put the scheduled preseason game at the Barclays Center between the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils in doubt. The stage for concerts—which will have Barbra "Babs" Streisand, Bob Dylan, Rihanna and Lady Gaga all treading its boards—will reside at the end, by the main entrance.

Brooklyn features heavily throughout the Barclays Center. The weathered steel exterior was designed to achieve a "Brooklyn industrial look," according to our guide, and the speeches by developer Bruce Ratner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and majority owner of the Nets Mikhail Prokhorov leant heavily on the borough. (Side note: By our count, Brooklyn Borough President "Marty Mart" Markowitz led the race to namecheck BK the most times with 17 mentions.)

Borough restaurants are also well represented in the concession stands. We saw Fatty 'Cue (okay, ex-Brooklyn), Brooklyn Farmacy and Calexico. The latter's menu listed baja fish tacos ($14), pollo asado tacos ($10.75) and a queso quesadilla ($8.75). Drinkswise, we could only spot taps of Budweiser and Bud Light (regular $7.50, large $9.50), with imported beer listed (regular $9).

Good news for smartphone fiends—the free, public Wi-Fi connection was fast. The Barclays Center has released a free stadium app that it wants people to use during games—it will eventually include the option to order food and will notify you when it's ready for pickup.

Tickets for Brooklyn Nets games go on sale to the general public on Sept 24 at 10am through brooklynnets.com (presale for subscribers to NetsNews began today; see website for details). Stay tuned for announcements regarding $15 Nets tickets; a limited amount will be released 72 hours before each home game.

RECOMMENDED: Guide to the Barclays Center