Streams

Decades Later, Brooklyn Has Its Own Pro Team Again

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Barclay's Center in downtown Brooklyn on opening day Sept. 21, 2012. The Barclay's Center in downtown Brooklyn on opening day Sept. 21, 2012. (Jim O'Grady/WNYC)

WNYC's Jim O'Grady was at the opening of the Barclays Center and spoke with WNYC's Amy Eddings about the space and the expected impact of the arena for Brooklyn. Listen above.

Officials have formally cut the ribbon and opened the arena that will house Brooklyn's first big-league sports team in decades.

Supporters cheered as the lights were turned on in the Barclays Center arena Friday.

The arena will be home to the NBA's Nets, who moved from New Jersey.

The Nets will be the borough's first big-time sports team since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles after the 1957 season.

"When the Dodgers left, it was another punch in the face to the fact that Brooklyn's best days may not be ahead, but may have been behind us," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who was 12 years old at the time. "It was depressing."

Just as the Dodgers' departure was a harbinger of difficult times ahead, the opening of the Barclays Center is a symbol of Brooklyn's astonishing rise in recent years as a sought-after destination for people from all over the globe.

The austere-looking arena has all black seats and metal hanging lights. The polished wooden floor has a herringbone design with the Nets' new black and white logo in the middle.

With its deliberately rusted steel exterior, the new arena looks like a spaceship that cruised in for a landing in Brooklyn's busiest transportation and shopping hub. There are chain stores galore. A Modell's sporting apparel store across the street is stocked with racks full of team apparel in the Nets' new black-and-white color scheme and the logo designed by Jay-Z himself. Rivalry-stirring T-shirts proclaim: "New York Divided."

Developer Bruce Ratner says he's glad the arena is finally open. Its completion was delayed by lawsuits and by the economic downturn.

Brooklyn Nets co-owner Jay-Z will christen the arena with a series of concerts starting Sept. 28.

Tags:

More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.

Sponsored

Latest Newscast

 

 

Support

WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public

Feeds

Supported by