This morning, Bruce Ratner, the majority owner of the Barclays Center and minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets spoke at a small business breakfast at Eisenhower Park. Among the topics discussed were the Islanders and Barclays Center as well as the Nassau Coliseum and his attempt to develop the area. Here are some of my notes from the event:
-"It has the potential to be great again" Ratner said about the Coliseum.
-Regarding his development, he said he feels the arena will be one of the most beautiful in the world. He also noted that designs for the arena were in the process of being finished.
-Regarding major elements of the arena, two things he repeatedly noted were content and customer service. He said how he receives numerous compliments for the service at Barclays Center and strives to bring the same service to the Coliseum. When speaking of content he noted concerts as being a huge element. Some other content items he mentioned were the six Islanders games, an AHL team, college sports, family shows, and Nets pre season games. Last year, Ratner hinted that the Islanders AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers could end up being the team that moves to the Coliseum.
-One thing that was unusual about the arena was that he said that the price of tickets will include the cost of parking.
-Ratner spoke about ticket sales and how a good team is needed to sell tickets. He gave an example of how in his first few years as Nets owner they were making the playoffs and tickets were an easy sell. However, in his last few years that wasn't the case and it was very tough to sell tickets. With the Islanders he said, "Were going to push to make the team good."
-Ratner discussed the process they went through to pick out the concessions in Brooklyn and how they are all local places in the arena. He said the same model will be used at the Coliseum with them getting products almost exclusively from Nassau and Suffolk counties.