The Barclays Center Is Officially Open

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    After nine years of planning, protests and construction, the Barclays Center opened today. Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Markowitz, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and developer Bruce Ratner were there to sing the praises of the Atlantic Avenue development project in front of a sizable crowd. (As McBrooklyn pointed out of the four men: “That’s about $41 billion dollars worth of humanity.”) There was plenty of self-congratulation to go around. “This is a great day for Brooklyn and a great day for New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. Ratner and Prokhorov praised each other, each saying they were “the best partner” they’ve ever had. Bloomberg told the crowd he bought a season pass for the Nets and arrived today “by subway, naturally,” apparently in an effort to convince other arena-goers to do the same. Outside the center, protesters — three dressed as Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo and Markowitz puppets — gathered and passed out fliers about not-yet-met promises of 10,000 jobs and 2,250 units of affordable housing. Representatives from the union also stood outside the arena calling for “good-paying union jobs,” while one protestor said, “They won’t even return our calls.” Protesters will be holding pop-up actions outside the arena until 4 pm today. After the jump, you can see a few interior shots of the arena, the protesters, and the crowd attending the ribbon cutting. As for other future plans for the center, quite a few local food vendors will sell at the arena, including Brooklyn Farmacy, Fatty ‘Cue and Calexico. Jay-Z will be the first performer at Barclays with a series of sold-out concerts starting next Friday. The Nets’ first game will be Nov. 1 against the Knicks.

    LOTS OF PHOTOS FROM INSIDE THE ARENA ON THE JUMP…

     

    The press line for this morning’s event.

     

    The entryway.

     

    The halls.




     

    The arena.


    Protesters dressed as puppets.

     

    Union members.

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