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WNYC News

The Royal Couple Comes to Town

Monday, December 08, 2014

While Britain's Prince William meets with President Obama at the White House, his wife, Kate, will tour a child development center with New York City's first lady, Chirlane McCray.

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Studio 360

Jay Z vs. Drake: The NBA Playoffs Fuel a Rap Beef

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

As the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors meet in the NBA playoffs tonight, their most famous fans are in a battle of their own that could take hip-hop to a new level.

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WNYC News

For the Nets, the Playoffs. For the Knicks, a Reckoning

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Brooklyn Nets, despite numerous injuries and a rookie coach, are heading to the playoffs.

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WNYC News

Breaking Barriers in Brooklyn, from Jackie Robinson to Jason Collins

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player, may be paving the way for future gay athletes. Now he's being compared to another barrier-breaking sports star: Jackie Robinson.

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WNYC News

The Nets Aren't Winning, But Their Stadium Sure Rocks

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Barclays Center is home not only to the Brooklyn Nets, but to some of the most advanced technology to come to a stadium or arena. Many older sports venues in and around New York have struggled to keep up with the latest advances in digital and social media. When it comes to Barclays, there's an app for that.

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Transportation Nation

CHART: Mumford and Sons Fans Take the Subway to Barclays. Barbra Fans: Notsomuch

Thursday, June 13, 2013

WNYC

Barclays was designed for public transit, but some visitors have a distinct preference for getting there behind the wheel: to wit, fans of Barbra Streisand and Andrea Bocelli.

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WNYC News

Support for NBA's First Openly Gay Player

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jason Collins, a 12-year NBA veteran, published an essay in Sports Illustrated, explaining his identity, his reasons for keeping his sexual orientation secret and for coming out.

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Transportation Nation

Basketball Arena Spurs LIRR Ridership Spike

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Barclays Center (photo by Kate Hinds)

The Brooklyn Nets may have been humbled by the Miami Heat Wednesday night, but their transit stop has never been better.

The NY MTA says Long Island Railroad ridership surged 334 percent since the Barclay's Center arena opened last fall, with an average of 3300 suburbanites taking the commuter rail to the arena each event night.

The night the Nets hosted the Knicks, 4852 riders arrived by LIRR, and 5377 riders departed, a record.

The arena was built with the highest ratio of seats to parking spaces in the country (about 19,000 seats, 500 spaces) in part to encourage transit usage (nine subway lines go directly to Barclays Center, 2 more nearby, plus the LIRR).

Other data compiled by TN of subway ridership also confirms game night surges.

Neighborhood groups predicted the arena would cause car traffic snarls, and a high demand for on-street parking, but so far, traffic on game nights hasn't met those predictions.

However, the arena's developers, Forest City Ratner, have yet to construct more than a dozen high-rises above and near the arena, slated to created the densest census track in the nation.

 

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WNYC News

Rivalry Begins as the Nets Defeat the Knicks in Overtime

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Brooklyn Nets had to go into overtime Monday night to beat the Knicks 96-89. The game, before a packed crowd of nearly 18,000, marked the start of the city’s newest cross-town rivalry.

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WNYC News

The Rivalry Begins: The NY Knicks Face-Off Against the Brooklyn Nets

Monday, November 26, 2012

Brooklyn’s newest hometown team, the Nets, will host the city’s storied New York Knicks at their new home in the Barclays Center Monday night.

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WNYC News

Who Has Your Heart - The Nets or the Knicks?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tell us which team has your heart — and Tweet us pictures of Nets and Knicks logos you're seeing around town.

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WNYC News

Sandy Derails Nets Season Opener

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It was expected to be the match to launch the rivalry. The NY Knicks vs. The Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center Thursday night. Instead, Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged that the game be delayed, and the NBA agreed.

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Transportation Nation

19,000 Seats + Almost No Parking = More Foot Than Car Traffic at Barclays Arena

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Uptopian rendering of Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn.

(New York, NY - WNYC) Jay-Z has been playing sold-out concerts at the 19,000-seat Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn and, so far, the biggest traffic problem has been caused by crowds of people coming up from the Atlantic Avenue subway stop and streaming across the street to the arena before the shows. So few people are driving, the scant official parking spaces aren't even filling up.

That's according to Sam Schwartz, who was hired by Barclay's  Center management to come up with a traffic plan for the area during arena events. Neighbors had feared traffic bedlam because the center sits at a complicated intersection of three major thoroughfares notorious for its danger to pedestrians, and that's before the sports and entertainment complex came to town.

But now walkers are winning. "As the herd of pedestrians comes out, we shut down Atlantic Avenue for cars and get the people across the street for about ten minutes and then we let the cars flow," Schwartz said. "It hasn't backed up traffic much."

Schwartz says more than half of all concert-goers so far have come and gone by subway. Besides surges in turnstile use at the Atlantic Avenue stop, riders have also been using subway stops a short stroll from arena: the Fulton Street stop of the G, the Lafayette Avenue stop of the C, and the Bergen Street stop of the 2 and 3.

Others have walked, and about 1,200 people have taken Long Island Railroad trains.

Relatively few fans seem to be driving, judging by the lack of gridlock and the fact that the arena's surface parking lot, with its 541 spaces, has been half empty. Schwartz added that, as of now, not many drivers have been patronizing a group of satellite lots up to a mile from the arena that offer half-price parking and free shuttle buses.

The prospect of drivers circulating en masse through the nearby tree-lined streets looking for free street parking has also failed to materialize. "I've heard no complaints about parking," said Robert Perris, district manager of New York Community Board 2, which includes the area around the Barclays Center Arena.

In hearings and planning meetings leading up to the opening of the arena, residents have been vocal about calling for a parking permit program to keep fans who arrive by car from parking on their streets. The NYC Department of Transportation has so far declined to institute such a program.

Perris said he joined other city officials in inspecting the scene on opening night last Friday. "Traffic was heavy but moving in a well-managed way," he said. "There were police officers or traffic engineers at all major intersections, and pedestrian managers at the crosswalks, both sides. People were going where they were told."

Perris said traffic flow in the streets around the arena, which was heavy before the Barclays Center opened, might be benefiting from the small army of police and traffic managers. "My question is whether we’re always going to have the same level of resources as we had on night one," he said.

Despite the traffic plan's initial success, officials caution that results are preliminary. Brooklyn Nets games may draw greater numbers of fans who arrive by car. And planners will be watching to see how Barbra Streisand's fans choose to travel to Barclays Center Arena for her sold-out show on October 13.

The arena is accessible from 11 subway lines and commuter rail.

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Transportation Nation

Tonight: Will Perfect Traffic Storm Around Barclays Arena Paralyze Brownstone Brooklyn?

Friday, September 28, 2012

(Photo by Jim O'Grady.)

(New York, NY - WNYC) Here's what will be converging tonight on the area around the new Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn: rush hour crowds pouring onto and out of nine subway lines that sit beneath the intersection of three major thoroughfares; 19,000 ticket holders on their way to a sold-out Jay-Z concert; massive thunderstorms.

And another sign of a looming traffic-pocalyse: the guy hired to devise a traffic plan for the arena has issued a Gridlock Alert for the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, right where the Barclays Center sits. Traffic engineer Sam Schwartz, known as Gridlock Sam, says ticket holders headed to the 8 o'clock concert will swell the area's normally heavy rush hour.

The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority is adding extra subway service on the Q and 4 lines in the form of “gap trains,” or trains held in reserve to respond to a surge of customers. And double the number of late-night Long Island Railroad trains will run after the show. These “game trains” will arrive every 15 minutes and hold about 1,000 passengers each.

City planners have been trying for months to discourage driving to Prospect Heights, Park Slope and Fort Greene--brownstone neighborhoods with tree-lined streets that surround the Barclays Center arena. They've taken steps like reducing the arena's parking spots from 1,000 to 541. They've also launched a pro-transit publicity blitz that got The Harlem Globetrotters, who'll be playing a game at The Barclays Center on October 7, to ride the rails with reporters.

(Photo courtesy of the NY MTA)

"I'm Big Easy of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters," said Big Easy two weeks ago, while standing on a train platform at a transit hub in Queens that city-bound riders of the Long Island Railroad use to switch to the subway. "We’re going to take a train to the Barclays Center."  And then he did. The trip took 20 minutes, which was faster than driving, with or without a Gridlock Alert.

But planners know not everyone will heed the call to take transit to Brooklyn Nets games and concerts by Barbra Streisand and Rush. That's why they hired Schwartz to come up with a plan that would, in his words, "intercept drivers before they approach the arena."

Schwartz is setting up half-priced lots with free shuttle buses up to a mile from the arena. Fans can also pay to reserve a parking spot online, which is supposed to cut down on drivers circling around in search of parking. And Nets tickets will feature mass transit directions but nothing about how to drive to the stadium or park a car. There will, however, be plenty of parking right at the arena's entrance ... for 400 bicycles.

Still, it's not hard to find doubters of the plan. Neighborhood resident Gib Veconi came to the center's symbolic ribbon-cutting last week in part to protest what he sees as a looming traffic disaster.  "If you're coming to park here, you can try to get into one of the 500 spaces down on the other block there for the arena," he said. "But if you can't, you're going to circle these streets looking for a free place to park--streets that are already jammed."

Will the near-nightly migration of tens of thousands of people to and from the Barclays Center Arena turn out to manageable or chaotic? Tonight is the first test.

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WNYC News

Fall’s Hot Ticket: Brooklyn Nets Season Tickets

Monday, September 17, 2012

WNYC

The Big Apple’s basketball scene has long been dominated by the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. But this year they're getting competition for the hearts and dollars of New York City basketball fans from the city’s newest basketball team, the Brooklyn Nets. Team officials confirmed that 10,000 season tickets have already been sold for the Nets in the team's new $1 billion arena. 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Is it Okay for Knicks Fans to Become Nets Fans?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This offseason, the new Brooklyn Nets have seemingly done everything right, while the Knicks have shot themselves in the foot. Will Leitch, founder of Deadspin and New York magazine sports contributor, discusses whether it's okay for New York fans to take their fandom across the East River.

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Transportation Nation

Parking Slashed By Half In Plan For Barclays Center In Downtown Brooklyn

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Consultant Sam Schwartz presents his traffic management plan for the Barclays Center at a public hearing in downtown Brooklyn. (Jim O'Grady/WNYC)

(New York, NY - WNYC) Don't even think of driving to the Barclays Center when it opens on September 28. That was the thrust of a traffic management plan presented by consultant Sam Schwartz at a public hearing in downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday.

"We're going to reduce the number of cars coming to the arena," Schwartz emphasized. "That's our mantra."

The plan would cut parking at the Barclays Center, future home of the Brooklyn Nets, from 1,000 to 541 spots. Ticket-holders will be urged to arrive by Long Island Rail Road or one of eleven subway lines that meet beneath the arena. Schwartz says another way of keeping vehicles out of the heavily congested area will be to encourage drivers to park at a half-priced lot a mile away near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and take a free shuttle bus.

However, the arena's website makes clear that suite-holders will get priority parking: " You will have a reserved spot within a one to two block radius from the premium entrance. Important to note that our parent company controls parking both on the Arena site and surrounding areas that will enable us to deliver the most convenient parking access possible to our suite customers." Jane Marshall, a spokeswoman for arena developer Forest City Ratner, said 150 of the 541 spots will be reserved for suite and season-ticket holders.

The Schwartz plan also calls for HOV spaces for cars with three or more people. And if drivers want to park near the arena, they'll be encouraged to go online and pay for a reserved spot at a lot or garage before leaving. Schwartz said that should cut down on drivers circling the area while deciding where to park. And the plan offers yet another incentive to leaving the motorized vehicle at home: 400 bicycle parking spots.

Despite such measures, car owners who live near the Barclays Center still worry that people driving in to attend a Nets game or concert will take up all the parking spots in nearby neighborhoods, especially now that the Schwartz plan seeks to slash the number of spots at the arena.

Those residents learned that the city won't be granting their request for residential parking permits any time soon. The New York City Department of Transportation's Christopher Hrones said his agency is still studying the issue.

"We're not in a position, for several reasons, to have a residential parking permit in place when the arena opens on September 28th," he said. He added that even if the city were to approve a parking permit program, it would need permission from the state, and that takes time.  Because of the format of the evening -- questions submitted on cards with no possibility of follow-up -- there wasn't an opportunity to get further clarification on residential parking permits.

Around Yankees Stadium in the Bronx,  motorists continue to look for on-street parking to the consternation of local residents, as we've reported.

The arena's traffic management plan now enters a 30-day public review period.

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Transportation Nation

Atlantic Avenue Station in Brooklyn Renamed "Atlantic Avenue - Barclays Center" as New Arena Nears Completion

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Atlantic Avenue gets some new signs (photo taken on 5/17/12 by Kamicia Bass/WNYC)

Opening season for the Brooklyn Nets is four months away, but signs are already going up in the Atlantic Avenue station to reflect its new name: Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center.

The MTA has also updated the subway map on its  website to reflect the change. An MTA spokesman said the new name will appear on printed maps this summer.

Forest City Ratner, the developer of the site the stadium sits on in downtown Brooklyn, is paying the MTA $200,000 for 20 years for the naming rights to the station.

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WNYC News

Job Recruitment Plan Sketched Out for Nets New Home

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn next week will begin recruiting people to take tickets, operate security and sell food, when the arena opens this fall.

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WNYC News

Jay-Z Says 'Brooklyn Nets' Will Be New Name for NBA Team

Monday, September 26, 2011

When the basketball team known as the New Jersey Nets moves to its new home in Brooklyn next year, it will be renamed the Brooklyn Nets, rapper Jay-Z, an investor in the team, announced on Monday.

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