On Friday, September 21, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz helped cut the ribbon at the brand new Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, the culmination of a decade-long dream of the borough president to bring a professional sports team back to Brooklyn for the first time since 1957. Joining BP Markowitz at the ceremony were Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Forest City Ratner Companies Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and Nets CEO Brett Yormark, among others.
BP Markowitz remarks
I’d like to give a big “thank you” to our dedicated Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, Mayor Bloomberg and his fabulous administration, and of course, Bruce Ratner and the great staff at Forest City Ratner, the owner of the Nets in the Russian-speaking Capital of America, Mikhail Prokhorov, the brilliant Irina Pavlova, and the best looking CEO of any professional American sports team, Brett Yormark—all of whom made my dream and the dream of many Brooklynites come true with a national sports team once again!
And really, I owe my eternal gratitude to Bruce. Over the course of the last eight years, Bruce and I shared the ups and downs of this project’s life—you could say it’s like Brooklyn’s legendary roller coaster, The Cyclone.
Imagine what he and his company had to go through: more court challenges than any other project in history, the economy tanking, and slipping into America’s worst recession since the Depression. But Bruce and his company saw this project through to the end—even though they could have thrown in the towel dozens of times—because they believed that Brooklyn’s best days were yet to come and they believed in the economic vibrancy and the spirit of Brooklyn. Which is why today, we are able to open America’s most beautiful arena!
The Barclays Center signals the beginning of a glorious new chapter in Brooklyn’s history.
In the past, Brooklynites had to leave our borough for world-class entertainment and sports and head over to Manhattan, “Da Bronx,” Queens, Nassau County, Saratoga, Yonkers, Holmdel, Newark or East Rutherford. Not anymore! Now with the opening of Barclays Center in our own backyard, we’ll be hosting visitors from across the New York region, America, and beyond!
This much I know: for every entertainer, Barclays Center will be the crowning achievement in their careers because they will able to say they made it to the biggest stage of all—Brooklyn, USA!
Besides the greatest entertainers in the world that have been already been announced and will continue to be announced, this arena means the children of today and tomorrow will have the sweet memories of the soon to be NBA champs—the Brooklyn Nets—just like I had growing up with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
And when you come to the arena for any event, take a look at all our fellow Brooklynites—many of whom reside in public housing—that now have jobs, who are now gainfully employed with healthcare and benefits, and can pursue a career, higher education, and so many other opportunities. These are exactly some of the kinds of jobs we need to break the cycle of poverty and to give them the chance to reach the zenith of their potential.
Think about all the jobs that the arena will generate for the businesses that provide services to Barclays Center, and all the shops and restaurants will be booming thanks to the hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to this arena. And let’s not forget all the future affordable housing that will be built.
Bottom line: Welcome to a New City Center!
There’s Midtown Manhattan and Lincoln Center, and now Downtown Brooklyn with Barclays Center and the BAM Cultural District. What a clear slam dunk for all of Brooklyn!