Exclusive: Spike Lee Says Barclays Center Is “Not Better” Than Madison Square Garden
The Barclays Center has been the talk of basketball, Hip-Hop and Brooklyn, but one person unfazed by the hype is Spike Lee. The acclaimed director, and Brooklyn native is a devout New York Knick’s fan and when asked if he will start supporting the Nets who have since moved to his borough, he refused to switch sides. “I’m not going with the Brooklyn Nets,” Lee tells Hip-Hop Wired.
Slated to open in September, the Barclays Center will boast several amenities including a 40/40 Club location outfitted with 80-inch flat screens, and a VIP section covered sponsored by Calvin Klein. Nets minority owner, Jay-Z will perform eight shows at the arena in September, while John Legend will be the first act to take the stage at Barclays Cushman & Wakefield theater one month later.
Regardless of the attention that the center has received, Lee is not impressed. However, he will visit the arena— if need be. “I’ll go, but I’m not a Brooklyn Nets fan,” he added. “ It’s not better than Madison Square Garden though. It’s three blocks from my office in Forte Green.”
“The Garden,” as it’s called, is New York City’s longest active major sporting facility and opened in 1968. Over the years, several music artist (including Jay-Z) have performed in the venue. In 1991, owners shelled out $200 million to renovate the location and added 89 suites. It currently hosts 320 events a year, but only time will tell if Barclays will become a viable competitor for the Garden.
Lee is currently promoting his Red Hook Summer release, which hits select theaters last week, and will expand to a wider national release on Aug. 24.
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Photo: Generation Kool