After almost a decade in the making, the much-anticipated Barclays Center will be opening its doors on Sept. 28.
Actually Jay-Z will be opening the doors with the first of an eight-concert series at Barclays, which sits at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in downtown Brooklyn.
The completion of the 675,000-square-foot arena has been a long time coming for developer Bruce Ratner, who overcame one hurdle after another on the long road to Barclays Center.
"There were a lot of challenges along the way," Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets, told Metro. "The economy, ongoing litigation that existed here in Brooklyn for the project, the NBA lockout and an eroding fan base in New Jersey all worked against us."
"But at the end of the day, we overcame,"?he said. "It was Bruce Ratner’s vision that kept us all going. He made a big bet on Brooklyn, and I’m glad to see it coming to fruition."
The $1 billion arena, which Yormark describes as "urban chic," was designed specifically with the borough of Brooklyn in mind.
"It was really important to the design concept that this building had a very strong link with the context," said arena developer Chris Sharples of SHoP Architects.
So what does a Brooklyn-inspired arena look like? According to Sharples, Barclays is unlike other major arenas in that it isn’t closed off by seating. On the contrary, the design concept lends itself to a sense of transparency to the community. In fact, the street-level panels of the building are actually wrapped in glass, creating the illusion that the sidewalk and street are extended into the building.
"It’s really unique," Sharples added. "You really get a sense of the bowl before you even enter the building."
Unlike other arenas, the scoreboard is visible from the main entrance.
The exterior also features a huge canopy that extends 80 feet out and 35 feet high. Within it is a 3,000-square-foot oculus that will serve as a digital marquee.
This article is part of a sponsored special section Metro ran on Tuesday, Aug. 28 about the Barclays Center.