Barclays Center On Schedule
A construction update on the Nets’ new home arena.
by Kyle Stack / @KyleStack
Professional sports are set to resume in Brooklyn on schedule. The New Jersey Nets are slated to move into Brooklyn’s $800 million Barclays Center for the 2012-13 season, a time by which the NBA presumably will have a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
As the Barclays Center awaits an opening on Sept. 28, 2012, the momentum of the Nets’ move to the former home borough of Major League Baseball’s Dodgers has already taken shape. Seven billboards featuring point guard Deron Williams dot Brooklyn, specifically around the area surrounding Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, where Barclays is located.
SLAMonline found this a month ago when it received a tour of the Barclays Center site, courtesy of Barry Baum, the Nets’ senior vice president of business and entertainment communications. A follow-up interview two weeks ago with Bob Sanna, the executive vice president at Forest City Ratner Companies, which is overseeing construction of the arena, revealed that the arena’s facade will go up as soon as early July.
Excavation on the site has been completed; framing of the roof – the roof will be completed by the end of 2011 – and construction of the seating bowl in a clockwise fashion are among the current ongoing projects. Pre-casting of the seats was 25 to 30 percent finished at time of the interview with Sanna. He explained that pre-cast seats don’t account for all the bowl’s seating, which will eventually house approximately 18,000 for basketball and up to 19,000 for concerts and other events. (The arena also will contain 104 luxury suites and six clubs and restaurants.)
Some seats are constructed in tandem with structural steel that braces the seats; nearly 40 percent of the structural steel has been installed, with Sanna noting that much of the building’s weight is in the roof.
Sanna sounded particularly excited at a yet-to-be-installed feature of Barclays Center: the architectural element that will greet fans as they walk through the front entrance. “We’re real excited about the LED board that’s inside the oculus, our canopy for an entry,” Sanna said. The 80-foot cantilever with the Barclays Center logo on the front of it will serve as the arena’s front entrance. It will be held in place by three primary trusses – two on one side of the oculus, one on the other – including two 120-foot pieces that go back into the face of the building to hold the oculus in place.
In the the middle of the oculus is an LED ribbon board, varying in height from three to eight feet, which Sanna estimated would be roughly 200 linear feet. The board will display messages that have yet to be determined, although it’s apparent that it corporate sponsors will likely be involved.
Twelve corporate partners aside from Barclays have been named for Barclays Center: ADT, Cushman & Wakefield, Stolichnaya, EmblemHealth, MetroPCS, MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Willis, Jones Soda, Haier America, Phillips-Van Heusen, Anheuser-Busch and High Point Solutions. Baum said that four more categories are to be filled for sponsorships, including airlines and automotive. He stated there is not a timetable for filling those remaining categories. There will be plenty of events for those sponsors to be apart of.