Since the times antiquity, arenas have symbolized a feeling of community within a large and chaotic city. A place for people of all backgrounds, rich and poor, to come together and share in the pure joy of uniting under the banner of your choice in supporting those who represent the place you call home.
Brooklyn has long deserved to have it’s own iconic arena, worthy of rivaling the legendary Madison Square Garden. Ever since the Dodgers left in 1957, just two years after finally bringing a championship to Brooklyn, and the historic Ebbets Field was torn down, there has been a hollow void deep in the heart of this city. Some even blame this event as the major cause of the boroughs decline in the 1960’s and 70’s.
This all changed in 2004 when the Nets were purchased with the idea of bringing basketball, and other major league sports and events, back to Brooklyn. The proposed area to construct the arena was located on Atlantic Ave, part of a nearly 5 billion dollar redevelopment project known as Pacific Park.
Apart from the Brooklyn Nets, the arena is also home to the Islanders of the NHL and is widely becoming known for hosting high level, prime time boxing and MMA matches, including Garcia vs. Judah, as well as UFC 208 and 223, bringing boxing and mixed martial arts back to the borough that has such a rich historical association with the sports. Many WWE wrestling events are also held in the arena, harking back to the days of The Brooklyn Brawler.
Jay Z was the first artist to perform in Barclays and since then the arena has hosted a multitude of concerts as well as being the venue for the 2013 MTV Awards, which is usually held in Manhattan. Cirque du Soleil has also used the arena for their performances, among many other conventions and events.
A borough with such a long and influential tradition of professional sports needs a coliseum worthy of commanding respect on the national stage. The Barclays Center provides Brooklyn with that and so much more. The beating heart of a great city.