The New Jersey Nets will not be in New Jersey for long.That’s because starting in 2012, they will take up residence in the brand new Barclays centre, the basketball arena currently under construction in Brooklyn, New York.
The Nets invited us out to Atlantic Avenue to take a look at the progress of the site that will house Brooklyn’s first major pro sports team since the Dodgers left in 1957.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the new building is rising quickly and starting to take shape.
The arena is built on top of the Atlantic Terminal, where 9 subway trains and the Long Island Rail Road converge.
The arena sits at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, two of the most heavily trafficked roads in Brooklyn. (That's the old Williamsburg Bank Tower in the back.)
Traffic is definitely a concern here. The fact that the building sits on top of a transit hub is both a blessing and a curse for travellers.
A dump truck leaves the site. Excavation has been completed, but there's still plenty of dirt to haul away.
Yankee and Met jerseys hang in the Modell's Sporting Goods store across the street. Soon to be replaced by basketball jerseys?
Walking up Flatbush Ave. to get a closer look. They've managed to keep the street (mostly) open while construction goes on.
Looking down what will eventually be the main concourse. Season tickets are already on sale, a year ahead of opening.
Another look at the pit. The centres is planning on 200 events a year, including hockey, college hoops, and monthly boxing events.
Dozens of these concrete pillars had to be poured and then reburied to provide the support for the building.
The finished arena will hold 18,000 seats for basketball, a little more for concerts and other events.
A look toward the other end of the arena. Foundations wall are nearly finished, then the rest of the steel can be erected.
The Barclays centre is slated to open in September 2012, just three weeks before the NBA season begins.
Workers lower concrete slabs – that are formed off-site and shipped to Brooklyn – into place to form the seating area.
Someday, this will be the view from the main entrance. Glass doors will open unto an expansive view of the arena.
Looking back out the front door, toward Atlantic and Flatbush. A practice gym will sit down below that floor and be visible through glass.
One final look at the pit before we go. We hope to come back in a few months and check on the progress.
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