Design & Development

Populous to lead major renovation of Barclays Center

Images: BSE Global

BSE Global, the parent company of Barclays Center, has announced wide-ranging plans to enhance the Brooklyn arena with two new premium membership clubs, with renovation work to be led by Populous.

Both spaces will feature private dining experiences equipped with elevated food stations and destination bars. BSE Global said the spaces will form part of the largest renovation in the history of the arena, which serves as the home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

The two new open-concept, premium membership clubs will be called The Row and The Key. The spaces will seek to diversify Barclays Center’s premium offerings and increase the overall club capacity at the arena.

Membership to both The Row and The Key will include access to all Nets games, as well as games played by fellow arena tenant New York Liberty, which plays in the WNBA. The clubs will also grant access to all concerts and events at the arena.

The Row (main picture) will reimagine the north side of Barclays Center’s Suite Level B into a 12,060-square-foot space, which BSE Global claims will capture the ambience of a “grand residence”. It will offer exclusive access to 184 guests and incorporate design details inspired by the brownstone row homes found across Brooklyn.

Members of The Row will have access to a private VIP entrance, theatre-style reserved seating, a full-service private bar with premium wine offerings and a team of sommeliers, as well as a dessert station serving fresh gelato and filled with complimentary sweets.

Barclays Center’s Suite Level B South will be transformed into The Key, a club space featuring communal tables repurposed from previous Nets courts, a full-service private bar serving beer on tap, interactive games, and a 44-foot-wide media wall that can show up to five views at once or be used as a full video takeover.

The Key (pictured below) will span 11,185 square feet and will also include suite reserved seating for 252 guests. Both The Row and The Key will feature all-inclusive private dining experiences equipped with elevated food stations, with each space serving items from a rotating menu curated by the arena’s food and beverage team.

Populous will lead the renovation work, while Shawmut Design & Construction will serve as the general construction group for the project. Work is set to begin at the end of the 2023-24 NBA season and will be completed ahead of the 2024-25 campaign, with construction not impacting the Liberty’s home schedule or any summer concerts at the arena.

Shanon Ferguson, chief hospitality officer at BSE Global, said: “Barclays Center is one of the most notable arenas in the world. As we just celebrated our tenth anniversary, we thought it was the perfect time to reflect on our customer experience and the ways in which we can continue to stay ahead of the curve to create lasting memories for our guests.

“Our guests have expressed a desire for greater club access with elevated food and beverage offerings and we believe these enhancements represent an actionable step to continue to deliver a world-class experience for them. We are excited about the opportunity to create timeless, non-traditional experiences that build generational fandom, while also drawing new guests to Barclays Center in unique ways.”

Adam Stover, senior principal at Populous, added: “Together, Populous and BSE Global set out to tell a story authentic to Brooklyn, creating two unique club concepts that would resonate with the diverse fan base in the borough, while still appealing to guests from outside Kings County.

“We spent many months visiting different neighbourhoods throughout Brooklyn to observe and learn about the distinct cultural, art, and culinary scenes, and also toured other venues across the country, truly making these projects a collaborative effort. From materials used in The Key and The Row’s designs, to culinary offerings found in each space, we were intentional that every detail incorporated throughout these new clubs tells the story of ‘The Brooklyn Way’.”