Humphries Tours Barclays Center, Yormark Announces Opening
April 4th, 2011
BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Whomever made the call on Kris Humphries’ Monday afternoon outfit did him a solid. The NETS forward showed up to a tour of the Barclays Center construction site in a zip-up hoodie with “BROOKLYN” emblazoned across the front.
Fitting choice, as Humphries – and assembled media – were presented with the Barclays Center as Brooklyn reality rather than theoretical concept. NETS Basketball and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark announced Monday that the under-construction arena would present its Grand Opening celebration, beginning Sept. 28, 2012, with three weeks of programming; a soft opening for the local community during September will include tours and events.
“The Barclays Center of Brooklyn is for the community,” Yormark said. “And as such, the community will sample it first.”
That community will be getting an arena set to host more than 200 events annually, including premier concerts, monthly major professional boxing cards, professional tennis, top college basketball and hockey, as well as family shows such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice. Capacity will be approximately 18,000 for basketball, 19,000 for concerts and include 104 luxury suites.
The steel began to rise in November 2010, with 30 percent of the ultimate total erected in the time since. The roof is being framed – the first truss looms large above the site, providing a reference for passersby – and the façade will begin to be erected during the summer.
“It’s hard to put a percentage on it, because a lot of work is going on off-site, like the façade,” said Linda Chiarelli, senior vice president and deputy director of construction for Forest City Ratner Companies. She elaborated that the excavation was mostly complete, the foundation was 70-percent established, and the roof was scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
Humphries, helmeted and navigating the muddy ground between Caterpillar dumptrucks and Grove cranes, seemed to get a kick out of being planted at what will end up being center court. Able to tell how the arena shape would eventually develop around him, the veteran forward handled media inquiries with panache.
“It’ll be a great setup, convenient for getting in and out by train,” Humphries said. “We’re expecting to sell out from Day One and keep it rolling, making this one of the most exciting places to play in the league.”