New York City's newest colossal addition, Brooklyn's Barclays Center will open for business on Friday with a series of epic shows from the area's homegrown gladiator Jay-Z, which will be followed up with concerts from artists ranging from Barbara Streisand to Justin Bieber - and of course, the space is the new home of the Brooklyn Nets and will become the new home of the New York Islanders in 2015. The arena seats 19,000 and will also host certain NHL games. Barclays Center is be accessible by 11 subway lines, the Long Island Rail Road, and 11 bus lines. CBSNewYork has scoped out the new arena and has all you need to know for coming, going - and everything in between.
Coming and Going
In typical NYC fashion, your best bet is to avoid driving, because parking is scarce. If you're coming from New Jersey, take 95 to 278 and cross the two bridges. If you're coming from North Jersey, you can take the George Washington Bridge and drive down FDR Drive, cross the Brooklyn Bridge, and then turn left on Atlantic Avenue.
Parking is extremely limited and will generally run you above $15. If you have to take your car, make sure to reserve parking in advance through the Barclay's Center website. Each of the lots listed here are within walking distance. If you're coming with friends, you can get a special discount for parking if you choose to carpool: just show proof of purchase of three or more tickets at the parking facility entrance.
It's also possible to park slightly further away and then take a shuttle to the stadium, but only at a couple specific lots, listed here.
Plan for a 20-25 minute trip from Midtown (22 minutes from Penn Station) or a 10-minute trip from lower Manhattan. If you're coming from Coney Island it will be at least thirty minutes. The B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, and 5 all stop on Atlantic Avenue and are close to the center. If you're coming from Queens, the closest G stop is on Fulton Street, and if you're coming from the west side of Manhattan, the closest C stop is on Lafayette Street.
Eleven bus lines stop near the arena: B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B63, B65, B67, B69, and B103.
The LIRR stops directly at Atlantic Terminal, which is across the street from Barclays. It is a 20-minute ride from Jamaica.
There is a large plaza with bike parking on the Southeast corner of Barclays Center near the EmblemHealth Dean Street Entrance.
You can't bring food or drink into Barclays Center, but with the food and drink selection available, you won't really need to.
Entering the center
There are four entries to the center. First, the Geico Main Entry is on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. The EmblemHealth Atlantic Avenue Entry is on the northeast corner of the arena on Atlantic Avenue, and the EmblemHealth Dean Street Entry is on the southeast corner of arena on Dean Street. VIPs can enter the center on the northwest corner of the arena on Atlantic Avenue.
The venue is 675,000 square feet, and aside from the state-of-the-art amenities, it has the feel of a truly old-school entertainment complex. It may not be Ebbets Field — that will certainly never be recreated — but the court is reminiscent of those from the old ABA arenas. The brand new Nets logo is proudly enshrined at half court, and the intimate setting will surely make for an electric environment during basketball games and concerts.
Barclays seats 19,000 during concerts, 18,103 during basketball games, and 14,500 during ice hockey games.
For NBA games, the seats range from affordable (but really far away from the action) at $35 per game at full-season price to really expensive (but courtside) at $1,250 per game.
For NHL games, prices range from $19 to $175.
Our old friends Stubhub and Craigslist are two other sources of tickets. Stubhub is secure and you won't have to haggle or deal with anyone face-to-face. All available tickets are presented in front of you and can be sorted by price or location, but you'll be paying some pretty high service fees.
Tip: Check out FanSnap.com and SeatGeek.com. These two aggregators search for tickets available on all major secondary markets. Both sites also use algorithms to analyze whether each ticket is a good or bad deal. SeatGeek also offers forecasts of ticket prices based on historical transactions. It sounds complicated, but they're doing all the work. Just sign up for an alert and buy the tickets when they tell you to.
Tip: Kids under 2 years old can come in for free as long as they sit on their parents' laps, although Barclays says that certain performers can request that kids buy seats too.
Tip: You can always check out the view from your seat in advance by looking on Barclays' 3D seating chart.
What would a new arena be like without state-of-the-art technology for its many thousands of visitors? Free wireless will be available throughout the arena, with the ultimate goal to have one of the first arenas in the world to support the 4G LTE network.
Each seat has a cupholder on the seat directly in front of it so you can bring your drinks back to your seat. There are five clubs at the Barclays Center: the Courtside Club, North Club, South Club, Honda Club, and 40/40 Club & Restaurant.
Inspired by Jay-Z himself, The Vault is a collection of exclusive suites on the event level of the center. Each Vault has a private sliding door entry, lounge seating, flat screen TVs and contemporary furniture. It also includes VIP parking, and 8 tickets in the first 10 rows to all Barclays Center Events.
Merchandise will be sold throughout the venue and primarily in the Adidas Nets Shop (Team Store) located near the Geico Atrium (Main Entrance).
Tip: There shall be a maximum limit of two alcoholic beverages sold to each Guest, per purchase, per valid ID.
Tip: There are family-friendly restrooms throughout the center.
Eating, Drinking & Lounging
With Jay-Z's heavy involvement in the promotion of the new Brooklyn arena, it's no surprise that Barclays Center will feature a 40/40 Club outpost. Additionally, the event space will offer 101 luxury suites, four bars and lounges and two clubs in addition to 40/40.
In keeping with local tradition, much of the food at the arena will come from popular local Brooklyn restaurants and vendors, such as Brooklyn Burger, Avenue Deli, Fatty 'Cue, Brooklyn Bangers and Paisanos. Locals will feel comfortable and at home with the culinary selections, and visitors will experience the unique, one-of-a-kind tastes that the borough has to offer.
The arena will also feature the Calvin Klein Courtside Club, where patrons will have the opportunity to luxuriously lounge around prior to and after events.
Meanwhile, there is also good food to be found nearby. For the best venues for pre and post event dining, check out our list of favorites.
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