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Friday, September 27, 2013

Daily News - Barclays Center at 1 year

Excerpt -

Barclays Center at 1 year: A 'true Brooklyn success story'  

2,000 employees, surging property values and a local business boom

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After a year in business, Barclays Center is the No. 1 concert venue in the country.

Anyone who has walked past the Barclays Center has seen its famous 70,000-pound scoreboard, visible to all from the street.

Keeping score of the Barclays Center’s financial performance and the economic impact it has had on the surrounding neighborhood and the city overall, has become a sport of its own — and in many ways the 18,200-seat arena is making big strides.

Ticket and concession sales are booming at the glass and weathered steel-fronted sports and entertainment complex which has seen more than 2 million customers come through its doors and is now ranked as the country’s No.1 concert venue.

While profits are lagging because of the high cost of running the arena, Forest City Ratner executive chairman Bruce Ratner calls the Barclays Center “a great financial success.”

“In a year, we have become the major arena in the U.S.,” Ratner told the Daily News.

From the Brooklyn Nets who have seen ticket sales spike since their move to the borough, to local landlords who are witnessing a surge in property values, others are likewise seeing their fortunes rise with the arrival of the Barclays Center, the centerpiece of Forest City Ratner’s $4.9 billion project Atlantic Yards project.

“There is no question that the Barclays Center — America’s most beautiful arena — is a true Brooklyn success story,” said Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz.

The arena has brought jobs to the neighborhood, employing 2,000 people — 80% are Brooklyn residents and one third are from local housing projects — though 1,900, are part-timers.

Brisk event and food sales and the fat payroll of the Brooklyn Nets — amounting to more than $120 million — are boosting the city’s tax revenues.

“We have exceeded all of our benchmarks and that translates into more taxes,” Ratner said.

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