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Barclays Center not as profitable as hoped, will cut expenses

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Wall Street Journal, citing public documents released by Bruce Ratner's parent firm, reports that the profit generated by Barclays Center is a third of what the arena's operators projected before it was built.

Eliot Brown of the Journal writes that the arena will produce about $26 million in operating income in its first year, 2/3rds of the $76 million projected ... and less than what the arena has to pay out to its bondholders.

Forest City Enterprises which owns 55 percent of the arena operating company attributes the shortfall to the opening costs, "to make a big splash in the first year, investing heavily in marketing, customer service and securing top acts," writes Brown. Indeed, the arena has been the nation's top grossing venue for concerts and family shows through the first three quarters of year one ... and second in the world.

"We can easily reduce our expenses by 15%, if not higher," Brett Yormark, CEO of the Barclays Center, told WSJ, adding the arena's first 12 months have "exceeded my expectations."

The Journal also revealed that Barclays Center's owners have guaranteed the Islanders an unspecified annual payment to move them there, which some insiders put at tens of millions of dollars a year.