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Basketball fans in New York, eagerly awaiting a second basketball team, will now be able to officially call their second team the Brooklyn Nets, announced Jay-Z on September 26 in front of the site where the Barclays Center is currently being built. At the same press conference, Jay-Z also announced that he will inaugurate the center with a series of concerts at the official opening next September.
He stayed secretive about the exact number of shows.“Maybe one, maybe two, maybe three,” he said. The center, which began construction in 2009, is currently set to open on September 28, 2012, and Jay-Z plans to have his first concert on the same day. Jay-Z expressed his excitement to open the arena with a concert.
“This is where I’m from, I’ll always be Brooklyn, and opening this arena will mean more to me than anyone else,” he said. The Barclays Center will have 18,000 seats. A hundred of those seats are luxury seats, which are selling for $15,400 — half of which have already been sold. The luxury seats include courtside seating at 44 games, access to certain clubs, free food, and first choice tickets for concerts and other events. The arena will eventually serve as more than a basketball arena.
“It’s going to be about more than basketball – it’s an entertainment arena,” said Jay-Z, who has been part owner of the New Jersey Nets since 2004. The New Jersey Nets will relocate to Brooklyn for the basketball season next year, the first major professional sports team to do so since 1957 when the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles.
Many, including Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, are excited about the team arriving. “I can’t wait – I can’t wait! – for those Knicks, a.k.a. Manhattan Knicks, to step out of the way for what will surely be our NBA champions, the Brooklyn Nets,” said Markowitz.
Though there was celebrity support for the center, many living in the area near Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, where the center is being built, did not want the center so close to their homes.
One group, the Atlantic Yards Watch, has noted potential traffic issues, environmental violations, and noise from the construction of the center. The group claims that construction in the area, which began in late 2006, has disrupted the daily lives of those living nearby. It is currently keeping close watch on anything happening around the site.
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