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October 24, 2007

Critic on Newark arena: "mostly what it is is marketing"

Atlantic Yards Report

During the past couple of weeks, comparisons have been made between the PruCenter arena in Newark, set to open this week, and the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards, opening in 2009 if you believe in the tooth fairy.

PruCenterFacade.jpg Today Norman Oder examines a review of the new Newark arena, and explores the comparison between the two projects in an age in which architecture and marketing are about to merge.

In his review of the spiffy new Prudential Center in the 10/22/07 Newark Star-Ledger, headlined An arena for TV fans, Dan Bischoff suggests that it might be a very enjoyable place to see an event, but he doesn't lose sight of the bottom line:

He cites the 4,800-square-foot LED monitor in front of the arena's main window, and "733 plasma flat-screen TVs scattered about the place," helping patrons keep track of action and also order food and drink from touch screens. (Rendering from official site.)

Could the planned Atlantic Yards arena (aka Barclays Center) be any less about marketing, given the Nets' branding juggernaut and the plans for Times Square-like signage? We're not in (Brooklyn) Dodgerland any more.

"This is more of a residential district. This would not be Times Square," architect Frank Gehry told the Daily News in May. "The question was how do you create activity at game time and have it disappear."

Remember, he said last April:

It's obvious that buildings are becoming billboards, all around the world....[re AY] And it can be used for community issues, as well as advertising. It has a social function, if it's played right, it can be used for art...

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Posted by lumi at October 24, 2007 7:31 AM