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Barclays Center missing profit projections, reports arena critic


Norman Oder, the longtime critic and chronicler of Barclays Center and the overall Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project, writes at length Monday about the financial condition of Barclays Center, suggesting that the arena is operating far below projections.

Using publicly available data, Oder reports...

The Barclays Center's gotten much notice for its awards and its high rank nationally in tickets sold and concert revenues.

That has not translated to profit.

In fact, the arena--according to the most recent 12-month report--is about 63% behind its profit goals, reaping just $17.5 million (after expenses and bond payments) in the year ending June 2014.

Oder quotes Forest City CEO Maryanne Gilmartin from a recent Wall Street Journal report as basically confirming the data. "Of course, it’s not yet stabilized financially. If you were to look at the numbers and research it, you would learn it’s still a work in progress. It takes awhile to get an asset like that to its stabilized, operating income." Gilmartin and Brett Yormark have long said the arena will reach "stabilization" when the Islanders move in next season. With the Isles success, and a big marketing effort, ownership of the arena --Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov-- expects a big jump in ticket revenue.

Why is the arena not even meeting pre-Islander numbers.  Mainly, Oder --and the Journal-- suggest that the high costs of securing big events are much higher than expected.  Debt service costs are also high, Oder notes.

Ratner, who controls the arena, has reportedly put it up for sale.