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June 16, 2011

Will Barclays Center be a game changer on the arena scene?

by Max J. Dickstein

When the Barclays Center opens in September 2012 with three weeks of events ahead of the relocating Nets' basketball season, the new complex is expected to rival New York’s other sports venues for spectator dollars enough to alter the dynamic among the area's sports and entertainment venues. Even a winning Nets debut in the 2012-13 season — seen as a key factor for the young venue in attracting ticket-buyers and corporate sponsors — would account for only about 50 dates, but arena managers say they've booked more than 100 other events, including monthly boxing matches; tennis, college basketball and hockey games; and family shows and concerts — with plans for more than 200 events annually.

“Obviously people are going to want to go the Barclays Center at first glance because it’s new,” said NYU sports business professor Wayne McDonnell. “But you’re going to want to sustain an audience.

“If [Nets part-owner] Jay-Z does five sold-out nights there, that’s unbelievable,” McDonnell added. “But then you go from that to Long Island University playing Wagner College in a hockey game — it’s not going to sustain it.”


Posted by eric at June 16, 2011 4:11 PM