It’s only fitting that Jay-Z, one of Brooklyn’s favorite sons, will be christening the arena that will host his Brooklyn Nets by doing a series of concerts in late September and early October. Jay-Z just announced that he was adding two more shows to the line-up at Barclays Center, on October 3 and 4, to give his fans more opportunity to grab tickets.
His five shows will be the first events at the new arena, which is owned by Brooklyn Arena LLC, a company for which Jay-Z serves as director—in addition to being a minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets.
Not only did Jay grow up in Brooklyn’s Marcy projects, several miles east of the downtown area where Barclays is located, but he also lived at one point on State Street, which is just a stone’s throw from the new arena. Perhaps with the young, poor Jay-Z in mind, he is pricing more than 7,000 tickets under $30 for each of the five shows. Jay said it was important to him that the venue be seen as more than a basketball arena.
“I’m going to open the building with a concert—or a couple of concerts, actually,” Jay-Z told Fox’s “Good Day New York” last September. “It’s going to be more than about basketball; it’s an entertainment arena.”
The arena has already announced concerts in the coming year by such acts as Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand and Neil Young— an eclectic mix of artists that make for an intriguing juxtaposition against the gritty urban backdrop of Brooklyn. But although someone like Barbra Streisand doesn’t exactly seem like a perfect fit for Brooklyn, the iconic diva is actually a Brooklyn girl herself.
Though he has gone on to worldwide fame—literally, as he just wrapped a tour with Kanye West that took them across Europe—Jay-Z has always maintained his connection to his hometown, certainly in the public eye. He still makes frequent references to Brooklyn in his lyrics, and he can often be seen sporting his New York Yankees baseball cap, which he has rapped that he has made as famous as the Yankees baseball team has.