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With Pride, Relief and Continued Acrimony, Barclays Center Officially Opens

Development execs and elected officials celebrate ribbon-cutting event.

After nearly a decade of planning, design and construction marked by several high-profile lawsuits, a community-led populist uprising and the near collapse of the global financial system, Barclays Center is now officially open for business.

Developer Bruce Ratner took the honors Friday in pulling the switch to illuminate the new court for the Brooklyn Nets at an official ribbon cutting event attended by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, team co-owner Mikhail Prokhorov and at least one Nets starting player, among many others. 

"We needed to build for Brooklyn the most architecturally beautiful arena in this country, and we did it," Ratner told the crowd.

The ceremony comes one week before the first of rapper and Nets co-owner Jay-Z's multiple concerts at the arena.

Even with the ticket booths deserted, basketball court cleared and concessions empty, there was a noticeable feeling of excitement in the air as the press, Forest City Ratner employees and city dignitaries milled about a complex rushed to completion in time for its Sept. 28 opening.

Outside the arena, protestors wearing large masks depicting Ratner and Borough President Markowitz weaved in and out of the crowd.

However, inside Barclays Center new atrium, the acrimony among some area residents accompanying the project almost completely disappeared—replaced instead with a sense of relief and optimism regarding the borough's future.

"Barclays will be a center of economic growth for many years to come," Bloomberg said.

Abby Weissman September 21, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Did the dignitaries drive or take public transportation to the arena (like they say everyone else should do)?
Paul Leonard (Editor) September 21, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Mayor Bloomberg told the crowd that he took the subway.
Patti September 24, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Yea for Mayor Bloomberg. I do know he uses public transportation often. Before everyone jumps all over me for this statement. I do know he uses other forms (helicopter) when he needs to. I wonder how Marty got there???
Parksloper September 24, 2012 at 08:40 PM
"The ceremony comes one week before the first of rapper and Nets co-owner Jay-Z's multiple concerts at the arena." Good luck with that Fort Greene.
Parksloper September 24, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Yes, I Bloomberg on the subway every morning with a big gulp. Mayor rigs wacky A/C to keep his SUV chilled: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/hizzoner_cold_feat_lYxDIMuat7x4PL7nUbdBEM
Abby Weissman September 26, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Mayor Bloomberg has a chauffeured SUV pick him up and drive him to a subway station, drop him off, and then go drive a few stations down the line and wait to pick him up -- with the motor running. That way it looks like he takes the subway like an average Joe. It is a sham. I have heard this from numerous sources.
BRADY September 26, 2012 at 03:36 AM
PATTI, I DO KNOW HE USES OTHER FORMS (HELICOPTER)when he needs to.Needs to for what ,five bouroughs you dont need a helicopter .MARTY? i'm no fan of his but what about all the other politicians that were clamoring for their moment in the Barclay sun .Oh thats right Marty is the sole politician who made all this possible he is the most powerful politican in the state of NY

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