For the first time since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles in 1957, there is a professional sports facility open in Brooklyn.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Just like Staples Center is a scene in Los Angeles, Barclays Center will be star-studded in Brooklyn.
With a celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony today, the city of Brooklyn opened the doors of Barclays Center, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets. The occasion marks the first time in decades that Brooklyn has seen a professional sports team.
Rapper and part-team owner, Jay-Z, is set to christen the new arena with a concert this Saturday.
Plans began in 2004 to move the team from New Jersey to Brooklyn. Team ownership originally hoped to have the team moved by as early as 2006, but the project was delayed for many years due to numerous lawsuits, financial issues and disapproval from the surrounding community.
But those days are officially gone, and the Knicks are no longer the only team in town. Sorry, Spike Lee.
Developer Bruce Ratner and Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg both commented on the fact that the project has already created 1,500 jobs.
"This is going to send a loud and clear message that Brooklyn has arrived as a center of exciting entertainment, thrilling big time sports and thriving commerce," Bloomberg said to the crowd at the opening ceremony earlier today.
Bloomberg is definitely right. Over the past handful of years, the city of Brooklyn has undergone a cultural revitalization. It has become a popular place to live among the city's younger, hipper crowd. Celebrities and wealthier families are also moving there. Take a stroll through the borough's Williamsburg district and you'll find many great restaurants, bars and high-end boutiques. Brooklyn, which has been home to the likes of Michael Jordan, Larry David, Aaliyah, the Notorious BIG and many other well known people in our culture, has become a full-blown destination.
And having the Brooklyn Nets in town is only going to increase the hype. And will certainly be great for business.
But with a grandiose new arena comes some seriously large expectations. Especially from the team's billionaire Russian owner, Mikhail Prokhorov. At the ribbon cutting ceremony today, Prokhorov also took the opportunity to lay out his plans for the team. Mainly, how he sees a championship in Brooklyn's three-year future.
"It's easy to make a strong team, but it's very difficult to make a championship team. So we are on the right track and still I'm expecting our championship within three years now," Prokhorov said.
Sounds pretty ambitious to me but then again I would imagine you don't become a Russian billionaire by lacking ambition.
So you tell us, Hoopsvibers. Will the Brooklyn Nets be hanging a championship banner in the Barclays Center within the next three years??
Questions or comments?? Let us hear 'em!
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