Sometimes I sit at home and wonder to myself, Are Park Slopers still angry about the Barclays Center? After Barbra Streisand recently announced her plans to have a concert there, I figured we'd all moved past our qualms to just simply bask in the joy -- the pride of Brooklyn is coming home! (not a Babs fan? Shame on you.) Turns out we're not so joyful.
Initially The Barclays Center applied for a standard New York liquor license, which would allow them to serve alcohol until 4 AM, effectively transforming the 18,000-seat arena into an 18,000-seat bar. “I don’t think you need to sell alcohol until 4 a.m. in order to make money,” an angry neighbor recently told the Prospect Heights Patch. “If that was the case, then Yankees Stadium would be out of business." In the same article, the Patch reported that the arena was eventually approved for a 2AM last call. Furthermore, Barclays Center is required to end all alcohol sales after the third quarter of NBA games (as per league regulations) and must cease selling booze one hour before the end of any other event.
My guess is that these regulations won’t go far enough to appease nearby residents, who are already incensed simply by the monstrosity that IS the Barclays Center. An online petition at BrooklynSpeaks suggested the Center end liquor sales after half time at NBA games, 45 minutes before the end of an event, or at 10PM—whichever comes first.
Let’s calm down for a second here, people. What events are happening at Barclays Center that will end so late in the evening? Will Disney On Ice transform into a giant rave at the 1AM hour during Mickey’s “Sorceror’s Apprentice” segment (so many brooms! so trippy!)? Is Leonard Cohen -- legend that he is -- a real hoot come 3AM? Will the NY Masters equestrian show jumping competition get loud and dirrrty by 4AM? When it comes down to it, I’m willing to bet that even Hova himself won’t want to be on stage much later than midnight.
I think what this comes down to is that North Slope residents don’t really want the Barclays Center in their backyards. I can’t blame them for this -- living in Brooklyn affords us a little more space, a little more privacy, and a little bit more quaint of an atmosphere. It’d certainly be tragic if our urban oasis started resembling Penn Station or Herald Square. Moreover, no one likes puking, peeing sports fans (except maybe other puking, peeing sports fans). I’m hopeful that authorities will find effective means of crowd control, particularly on residential blocks.
Perhaps we should keep reminding ourselves of the silver lining here: a major league sports team will carry our borough’s name for the first time since 1957. We might not be thrilled with the location, or the way that it was handled all around, but it still seems pretty cool to me.