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Excerpts: Sports Business Journal on New Arena Design

"Gehry had never designed a big league arena before Nets owner Bruce Ratner called, whereas Ellerbe brings experience in building multiple NBA arenas that will help get the job done in time for a planned 2011 opening.

"'They know where the land mines are, they know where the issues are, they bring best practices when it comes to building first-class venues around the world, to Brooklyn, which to me is so valuable, especially now," Yormark said. "We can’t afford to have a misdirection, especially at this point in time."


"The biggest change is that the building is now going to evoke Brooklyn like never before," he said. "There’s such a legacy there. Wherever I travel, it is an international brand. They wear it on their hats and on their chests. We’re going … to brand Brooklyn in a big-time way, and it will start with the look and feel of the building."

"The 18,000-seat arena’s two suite levels will be called the Brownstones and the Lofts. The exterior will have plenty of glass providing outside views into the bowl, which will continue to give the arena the contemporary feel Ratner wanted when he hired Gehry about five years ago. There will be plenty of natural light shining through the building as per Ratner’s instructions, Yormark said.

"In addition, the Nets are building a practice facility next to Barclays Center, on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic streets, something that was not part of Gehry’s design. The add-on ties in with the team’s effort to form a close bond with Brooklyn’s 2.5 million residents by having the players spend more time on-site, Yormark said."


"The team plans to introduce 10-person mini-suites to the New York market for firms that ordinarily would not be able to afford the high-end premium experience after the team moves from the Izod Center at the Meadowlands, Yormark said."


"Practical design changes include an interior layout where fans enter the arena’s concourse at street level to get to their seats. It’s a departure from Gehry’s plans that mapped out an asymmetrical seating bowl with sloping suite levels. "Simpler sometimes is better," Yormark said.

"New technology features include BCTV, similar to Cisco’s StadiumVision, an in-house feed that will expose sponsors’ brands to premium and public sections, "and if there’s a way we can devise to deliver that to everybody in their seats, we will pursue that as well," Yormark said."

The report adds that the two architects most involved appear to be those who designed Conseco Field House in Indianapolis and John Paul Jones Arena at the University of Virginia. As for the practice facility, Ellerbe Becket designed the Cavaliers' new practice a more suburban setting.