Stimulus to Arena Entertainment
By Abiodun Giwa
Arena entertainment comes into focus on Tuesday as springboard for basketball’s competitive
development in New York, following Nets of Brooklyn and New York Knicks’ draw of their first 2
games. Elated fans say it bodes well for competition. Nets has defeated Knicks in Brooklyn and
the Knicks has won the rematch in Manhattan. Two weeks later, Knicks defeats Nets again in
“They are on our division. We see them four times a year. It is a rivalry. It is great for New York
to have that in Brooklyn and Manhattan,”Carmelo Anthony of New York Knicks has said prior
to Knicks' second victory over Nets.
Despite Knicks second victory over Nets, observers say it loud that the days the Knicks holds
sway are gone, and a new era of competition has begun. They add that without the emergence
of the Barclays Center, there wouldn’t have been a break in the monopoly of Knicks as the only
basketball team in New York. Fans of both teams say rivalry is good for the game, bringing the
new competition engendered by competition in sports and entertainment as good development
for business in the city and stimulus to Arena entertainment.
“Madison Square Garden is a huge place where many events are held at the same time, with so
much fun. There was nothing like that in Brooklyn before the Barclays Center. MSG was the
only arena for all, but now some of those events at MSG may go to the Barclays Center, and
MSG may lose revenue because it now has a competitor,” a facility manager in Manhattan who
wants anonymity said. “It is unfortunate that just as new artists don’t start out at MSG, the same
will affect them at the Barclays Center. Both facilities are large, famous and are meant for
popular artists and not start-ups. Unknown artists start out in local galleries and theaters.”
Melissa Osmond, president of Madison Square Garden in a story, Barclays Arena Rivals the
Garden’s Glow in New York Times agrees that to play in the garden is pinnacle of an artist’s
career. She acknowledges the garden’s tight calendar has meant it has few dates to offer
artists, and that Barclays has benefited. “We always respect any competition, but the garden
will always be the Garden. We have been privileged to be at center of New York City for more
than 130 years, with 400 annual events, the most of any arena in the country,” she reportedly
said in an email.
In a seeming response to Osmond, people say the Barclays Center has become an alternative
venue for artists, who hitherto have no choice when turn down at the Garden for lack of space.
“Barclays Center is doing what Madison Square Garden has been doing for a long time, to
accomplish what has taken the garden decades to achieve. The Barclays debuted with a bang in
an area the garden is considered as destination either for athletes or entertainers, where to
appear and be considered in the pinnacle of notoriety. Barclays has started like they are
achieving that level, operating almost on the same level like the garden, and seeming to have
achieved the feat. The question is whether Barclays will maintain the service and momentum.
A lot will depend on its sports team and its ability to continue attracting big level entertainers,”
Jim Murphy, a former police officer with vast knowledge of sports and entertainment in New York
Joe Fasano welcomes the competition between the Garden and Barclays. He says it affects
him being a regular at the garden. “I have always been a garden enthusiast. I love the garden.
I haven’t been at Barclays. But I will attend a show there soon to see the Islanders play. I am a
fan of the Islanders that has just moved to Barclays from the Coliseum just as I am of the garden.
Moving to the Barclays is the best thing that has happened to the Islanders. They didn’t have
room in the garden because the garden already had a hockey team-New York Rangers. Without
Barclays, the Islanders would have remained in the Coliseum with difficulties of inaccessibility
for their fans. I will be at Barclays for the Islanders. But I will also remain a garden’s regular,” he
said, verbally brainstorming on the renovation at the garden.
A visit to the MSG’s website shows that the arena is undergoing a comprehensive
It promises a top-to bottom renovation for a significantly enhanced experience for customers,
athletes, entertainers, fans, suite holders and partners, and prides itself as the foremost
entertainment spot in the tri-state. Located in the heart of New York City and connected to
Pennsylvania Station, in the thick of a busy business environment.
In contrast, the Barclays Center opened business in Brooklyn, July 12, 2012; a brand
new edifice sitting like a ship anchored at sea, cynosure of all eyes in Downtown Brooklyn,
and connected to Atlantic Train Station in a busy business environment. Most businesses
around its location say they expect the center will positively affect their own operations,
basing their expectation on the MSG’s business environ.
Some observers say that the renovation going in the garden signifies a response to
competition. They say improvement is what happens in a competitive environment to retain
customers from seeking services or products from another source and be relevant for
changing clients’ demands. They say service improvement isn’t part of monopoly, but
benefits of competitive market. “In monopoly, there is no reason to innovate. In competition,
you must constantly improve. He that deserves the customer wins the business,” Town
Bergin, a solo Videographer said, smiling.
John Whitten, assistant manager at Jones Lang LaSalle in Manhattan thinks renovation
in the garden isn’t on the spur of competition with Barclays. “Each has own customers.
So are teams playing in either Barclays, or the garden; it doesn’t mean because a supporter
watches the Nets that he won’t watch the Knicks. The garden is much more than sports that
Barclays is developing to achieve, but isn’t there yet.”