On March 11, 2010, New York Governor David Paterson, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined Forest City Ratner Companies Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner and other senior Forest City executives, along with Barclays PLC President Robert E. Diamond, Jr., and Nets investor Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter at the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn.
The 18,000-seat world-class sports and entertainment arena is being developed by Forest City, which will operate the arena in partnership with Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Sports & Entertainment. When completed, the Barclays Center is expected to host more than 200 events annually, including professional and collegiate sports, concerts, family shows and Nets basketball.
While construction has been ongoing since last fall, the ceremony marks the next phase of construction of the arena, which is expected to open in 2012.
"When we announced Atlantic Yards in December 2003, we anticipated that this project would create buzz and excitement for the borough and the City as well as needed jobs and affordable housing," Bruce Ratner said. "We did not at the time appreciate that Atlantic Yards would be such an important economic engine. The fact that we can start construction in this financial environment is testament to the lasting appeal of New York City. We are a City that continues to grow and prosper and Atlantic Yards will for many years stand as a reminder that we can build and create jobs and homes and dreams even during the most difficult of economic times."
The Barclays Center, designed by the award-winning architectural firms Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects, will be one of the most intimate seating configurations ever designed into a modern multi-purpose arena, with unparalleled sightlines and first-class amenities.
The facility, to be located at Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, will have 18,000 seats for basketball and up to 19,000 seats for concerts. The arena will have 104 luxury suites, including 15 Brownstone Suites (16 seats each), 68 Loft Suites (10 seats each), 11 Backstage Suites, six Studio Suites, and four Party Suites. The arena will also include 40 loge boxes, six clubs and restaurants, and an on-site practice facility.
"The Barclays Center will be one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in the country," said Brett Yormark, President and CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. "Today is a defining moment for our partners and our fans who have stood by us and supported this world-class project. We look forward to many exciting moments at the Barclays Center."