Barclays Center – An arena grows in Brooklyn

Barclays Center – An arena grows in Brooklyn

The Barclays Center is one of the most anticipated arena slated to open on September 28th 2012.  It’s a sports entertainment showplace that is located in the heart of downtown Brooklyn.  This venue is putting Madison Square Garden on notice and don’t think Jim Dolan isn’t aware of it’s immediate competition.  Did you know Brooklyn hasn’t held a major venue since the Brooklyn Dodgers left  in 1957?  In October 2012 – the re-branded Brooklyn Nets will call the Barclays Center it’s home.  It will be the first National Basketball Association venue opened since 2008.

The project is being developed by developer Bruce Ratner (Nets Minority Owner), who acquired the Nets in 2004, with the purpose of moving them from New Jersey.  This site is located near the Atlantic Avenue – Pacific Street subway station (which will have 9 subway lines) and the Long Island Rail Road”s Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.  It’s one of the most transit-accessible locations in the country.  The Barclays Center will have 104 suites and be a state-of-the-art arena built for basketball and sight lines.

The Barclays Center will celebrate it’s opening with the following events:

  •  Rapper / Nets minority owner Jay-Z plans to open the Barclays Center by performing in a series of concerts. Sept 2012
  • Oscar De La Hoya‘s Golden Boy Promotions will bring boxing to the Barclays Center on October 20. Brooklyn native Paulie Malignaggi is expected to be on the card.
  • The first college basketball game played in the new arena – Maryland Terrapins and Kentucky Wildcats. Nov 2012
  • After nearly a decade of performing annual concerts in Madison Square Garden, Italian tenorAndrea Bocelli will make his Brooklyn debut at the venue, December 5, 2012, making it his only New York City performance in 2012.
  • Barclays Center will be the new New York City home of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and Champions on Ice.  The Barclays Center’s first Disney on Ice show is expected to be “100 Years of Magic”.
  • The Atlantic 10 Conference has announced that the Barclays Center will host the conference’s mens basketball tournament beginning in 2013.

It’s  been suggested that the New York Islanders could play games at the Barclays Center after their lease is up at at the Nassau Coliseum in 2015.  Since the arena is primarily configured for basketball – the seating could be re-arranged for hockey, but would only be able to seat 14,500 in it’s current hockey configuration  – which would make it the lowest seating capacity in the National Hockey League.

There are currently 2.5 MIL people living in Brooklyn and an additional 2MIL people living in Queens.  So, the notion of their not being enough people to span between MSG and the Barclays isn’t an issue.  The Barclays Center is it’s own brand and primary venue with it’s combination of ease of mass-transportation / residential and office buildings.  Historically, downtown Brooklyn was always an entertainment district.

The only notion that hasn’t been addressed are the plight of New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets.  Will the venue and majority owner Mikhail Prokorov be able to draw big-market talent to play at the arena.  Those questions can only be answered by General Manager Billy King, Head Coach Avery Johnson, All-Star Point Guard, Derron Williams and their coveted Free Agent Center – Dwight Howard.  There are alot of questions marks swirling around the NJ/BKYLN Nets.  You can definitely look for Jay-Z to take the lead on re-branding the team logos / uniforms / etc.

It’s all about Brooklyn with the Barclays Center.

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The Messier Project – M11 PRO Helmet – creating a safer environment for hockey players

The Messier Project – M11 PRO Helmet – creating a safer environment for hockey players

As a parent – who looks forward to his son participating in some form of little league competition – there’s one common concern — their overall safety.  As we look back over the last few years – there have been several instances when severe injuries have plagued our youth and/or at the collegiate level in sports.  The worse possible feeling is sitting there and watching the aftermath of your child or favorite athlete injured in a contact sport.  That’s when you tend to wonder “could the competition committee done something differently to protect its athletes on the field”.  Today, I’m looking forward to enjoying #HockeyDay on @NHLonNBCSports which will telecast 9+ hours of excitement.  In a few weeks, I’m traveling to North Carolina and will enjoy the New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center.   Yes, my Mark Messier #11 jersey (six-time Stanley Cup champion) will be accompanying me for the trip.

Now – what’s a hockey player’s most vital piece of equipment – it’s the helmet.  Today, we’ll discuss The Messier Project and its M11 / PRO Helmet. (Available in S – M – L sizes)  The M11 helmet, which debuted in 2009 is a collaboration between Mark Messier – hockey icon (who else can you name besides Gary Carter that’s beloved by two fan bases) and Cascade Sports – the head protection experts.  The new model – M11 PRO, which made its on-ice debut at the NHL Winter Classic Alumni Games on Dec. 31st as Messier – along with 11 other former New York Rangers and three ex-Philadelphia Flyers – wore the new helmet during the outdoor game.  In April, the helmet will officially hit hockey specialty stores and sporting goods shelves across the U.S. and Canada.  Today, more than 650 hockey teams and associations across North America — including all 26 teams in the National American Hockey League (NAHL) — wear and trust the M11. These players and teams are part of The Messier Project community, sharing a passion for the sport of hockey and a commitment to making head protection a top priority.

It’s equally great to hear that Cascade Sports makes all of its products in the United States.  The M11 PRO helmet features its Seven Technology, a revolutionary impact attenuation liner system designed to more effectively manage energy transfer from direct impact. On impact, Seven Technology compresses to laterally displace energy and within seconds, it completely resets to ready for the next impact.  Helmets are high tech gear, and just like your sticks and skates, proper care is essential for maximum performance – and when it comes to helmets, protection is performance.

The Messier Project’s “Get Tuned” campaign is to address the issue of head injuries and concussion, which has become an epidemic in hockey, through public awareness, product development, and equipment education aimed at players, coaches and parents.  A player advocate and lifelong leader in the game of hockey, Messier took an active role in the design and development of the M11 and M11 PRO and is leading the charge to make head protection a top priority in the sport and to promote safe play.  It’s rapid growth over the past two years is a testament to the fact that priorities in hockey are finally starting to change.  The Messier Project continues to enlist the hockey community in an important quest to change priorities in the sport – from the professional level to youth hockey.

For more information on The Messier Project, the M11 PRO, the M11 and the “Get Tuned” campaign, visit

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