Fort Greene

Forest City Enterprises selling its Barclays Center stake

October 20, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Who will buy the controlling stake in Barclays Center? It's about to be put up for sale, Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal reported Monday.

Bye Bye Barclays!

Or should we say, Buy Buy Barclays?

Forest City Enterprises, the developer that built Brooklyn’s instantly popular Brooklyn Nets basketball and entertainment arena, is putting its 55% stake in the property up for sale, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal reported Monday.

Investment bank Evercore Partners is repping Bruce Ratner’s firm in the sale, which will start by next week, the sports publication said.

First, preliminary info and nondisclosure agreements will be sent to potential buyers, with complete info to follow later.

The arena and related residential development on the land that surrounds it have been a flashpoint of controversy in Prospect Heights for many years. Nevertheless, Barclays, which opened in 2012, is America’s most popular arena as measured by concert-ticket sales in January through June 2014, according to figures from Pollstar.

The arena’s top valuation is $750 million, based on its annual cash flow of more than $30 million, investment banking sources told the sports publication. In recent reports about Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team owner Guggenheim Partners’ possible interest in joining forces with Nets owners, the arena’s value had been estimated at $1.1 billion.

Traditionally, sports teams control their arenas in order to profit from non-sports events held in them, the sports business journal noted.

Though Forest City is the controlling owner of the arena, a spokesman for the developer told the Brooklyn Eagle to ask the Nets for comment on the report of the pending sale process.

“Our goal is to identify a strategic partner as we continue to capitalize on the great performance of Barclays Center and the promise of Nassau Coliseum,” Nets spokesman Barry Baum told the Eagle in a statement. “The current management team will continue in its existing role.”

The controlling owners of the Nets own the other 45% stake in the rust-colored, donut-shaped arena building, which was designed by SHoP Architects. It will also become the New York Islanders hockey team’s home starting next year.

Forest City put its 20% stake in the Nets up for sale last spring, but hasn’t found any takers yet.