Barclays Center looks to poach MSG events
By HOLLY SANDERS WARE
Last Updated: 4:20 AM, March 11, 2010
Brooklyn's new Nets arena is hustling to fill seats before it has even broken ground.
Enlisting the help of sports and entertainment marketing powerhouse IMG, the $800 million Barclays Center is gearing up for a rivalry with storied Madison Square Garden.
Among other events, IMG is going after men's college basketball, an area that the Garden -- "The mecca of basketball" -- has long dominated.
The Manhattan venue will host 46 college games this season and is currently home to the Big East men's basketball conference tournament this week.
Tom Stultz, senior vice president of IMG's college sports division, which counts top-ranked Kentucky and Ohio State among its clients, maintains that the appetite for college basketball is big enough to support more games in Brooklyn.
"It just lends itself to different types of events," Stultz said. "Hopefully, there will be good competition, which will be good for fans and consumers."
The Brooklyn arena, which is being developed by Bruce Ratner, is also looking at boxing -- another Garden fixture -- as well as tennis matches, concerts and family shows.
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