Jay-Z will open the Barclays Center in 2012
9/30/2011, 1:39 p.m.
Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter announced today that he will be the first performer to play the Barclays Center of Brooklyn when the venue opens in September 2012. He made the announcement at a press event on the plaza at Atlantic Terminal, overlooking the under-construction center.
Jay-Z also revealed that the ownership of Brooklyn's coming NBA franchise has chosen the Brooklyn Nets as the team's name. Jay-Z was joined on the dais by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Forest City Ratner Companies CEO and Chairman Bruce Ratner and Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yormark.
"From the moment the Barclays Center became a reality, I knew this meant something significant for Brooklyn," said Jay-Z. "This is where I'm from-I'll always be Brooklyn-and opening this arena will mean more to me than anywhere else. I also look forward to opening night for the Brooklyn Nets. We're going to create an atmosphere like only Brooklyn can."
Markowitz said, "Brooklyn is where legends are made and dreams come true-and no one proves it more than our very own Jay-Z, a dedicated philanthropist, innovative artist, entrepreneur and cultural icon who, as a Nets investor, helped take my vision of bringing a professional basketball team to the 'center court' of Brooklyn and drove it in for the layup.
"As for the selection of the Brooklyn team name, was there ever any doubt? It's nothing but Nets!" he continued.
"Who else but Jay-Z could open the Barclays Center?" said Ratner, the developer of the Barclays Center. "Jay-Z is a world icon but, more importantly, he's a Brooklyn icon.
"For the past seven years, Jay has been a great partner of mine and a true friend," Ratner continued. "It's going to be an incredible experience next year when Jay-Z, Brooklyn's own, takes the stage to open the Barclays Center and our vision becomes a reality."
Nets Chairman Chris Charlier was also in attendance at the celebration. He said, "We are proud to announce this highly anticipated decision to name the team the Brooklyn Nets, a choice that reflects the decades-long tradition of our team and fans as well as the dynamic new place that will be our home.
"Jay-Z embodies the spirit of Brooklyn-its energy, guts and spirit. We are delighted our friend and partner will be opening the Barclays Center," Charlier said.
"He is truly the face of the Barclays Center and of the Brooklyn Nets," Yormark said. "There's no better alignment than to have a world-class venue and team with a world-class entertainer."
Jay-Z welcomed to the event 25 students from his alma mater, George Westinghouse High School, located one mile from the Barclays Center site.