Brooklyn’s Barclays Center opens Friday to cultural and environmental acclaim

The Barclays Center, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, opens this Friday and will feature many key sustainable construction elements.

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The Barclays Center, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, opens Friday, September 28th. The $1 billion stadium is part of a $4.9 billion complex that will include residential and commercial buildings. The arena has a seating capacity of approximately 18,000 seats for basketball games and 19,000 seats for concerts, and plans to host more than 220 events a year. Jay-Z, a Brooklynite himself and a part owner of the Nets, has already sold out eight concerts that will open the Center’s inaugural season. The original design for the arena was by architect Frank Gehry and included an outdoor green park complete with a running track on the roof of the Barclays Center. This park would have been open only to residents of the larger Atlantic Yards complex. However, the design was scrapped and the design firm Beckett/SHoP took over when Gehry’s design was projected to put the plan over-budget. The Center is said to have one of the most intimate seating configurations ever created for a multi-purpose arena.

Above: An artist’s rendering of an aerial view of the Center’s main entrance

The massive project was built with the environment in mind, and these efforts have paid off with an impressively sustainable venue. The arena was created in the shape of three articulated bands, and the exterior, a lattice of 12,000 panels of preweathered steel, is meant to evoke Brooklyn’s famous brownstones. The main arena entrance features a 117-by-56 foot “Oculus” through which the scoreboard will be visible to viewers outside. The arena is currently pursuing a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, just below the Gold and Platinum levels that represent the highest distinctions given out by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) calls the Barclays Center the “Arena With The Best Connection To Public Transit” in their report “Game Changer: How the Sports Industry is Saving the Environment.” The Atlantic Avenue subway station, which lies right below the stadium, has been expanded so that fans can walk directly from the subway to a 38,885-square-foot entrance plaza without crossing any streets. The station services the LIRR in addition to eleven subway lines (with eleven bus lines close by), and the MTA LIRR has added extra late-night service to accommodate fans leaving the games.

The Center, operated by AEG, will be part of AEG’s 1EARTH commitment to preserving the environment. This means that AEG will monitor the performance of the venue (as it does with all of its more than 100 venues across the world) using its Ecometrics tracking system to measure waste production and resource use within the arena.

Left: A bird’s-eye-view of the construction, near completion

Jay-Z will be performing on Friday in the arena’s inaugural event. The rap superstar has made his commitment to the Center, the Nets, and Brooklyn overwhelmingly clear. Friday’s concert promises to be an unforgettable kickoff to an arena that will be rocking (and helping to preserve the environment!) for years to come.


Above: An artist’s rendering of the arena interior set up for a concert.