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Barclays Center Tops Madison Square Garden in Ticket Sales

by Photo of Scott Davis

According to Billboard, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is America’s top-selling arena

Barclays Center Tops Madison Square Garden in Ticket Sales

The Brooklyn-Manhattan rival has heated up in recent years as Brooklyn has experienced a revival that has made a run for New York City's top borough. The rivalry became fiercer when the New Jersey Nets moved into Brooklyn, challenging the New York Knicks as the top team in New York. With that, came the duel between the historic Madison Square Garden and the newly furnished Barclays Center. Within the year, it appears Brooklyn is winning.

According to a list done by Billboard and reported by New York Times, Barclay's Center was America's top arena in ticket sales, finishing second worldwide behind London's O2 Arena. In a little less than a year -- Barclays opened in September 2012 -- the rust-colored arena sold $46.9 million tickets to MSG's $39 million, which ranked fourth worldwide.

The caveat, however, is that Madison Square Garden has undergone renovations the past two years, including event-less summers when the Garden is less busy as the New York Knicks and Rangers enjoy the offseason. Basically, MSG has been limited to a very select period of time when concerts are less frequent during basketball and hockey season. According to a report by NorthJersey.com, MSG sold out 22 of its 33 events, whereas Barclays only sold out 20 of its 90 events. The distinction in the number of events also explains the sharp contrast in number of tickets sold -- Barclays sold 657,000 in the year to MSG's 194,000.

However, whereas Barclays figures to be a prominent part of New York City and Brooklyn's revival, Madison Square Garden is standing on loose supports. New York City extended MSG's lease for 15 years earlier this year, which is not all that long for an iconic building. James Dolan, president of MSG, has undertaken $1 billion in renovations that improved seating, restructured hallways and luxury suites, and will have rafter walkways that will cross the building. However, 15 years means MSG may be moving in the not-so-far future, thus effectively wasting a whole lot of money on temporary renovations. Would a relocation help or hurt the Garden's ticket sales?

Somewhat surprisingly, Newark, New Jersey's Prudential Center finished fourth in the U.S. in ticket sales and eighth worldwide. Despite a less-than-premiere location, the arena's owner said a top-flight venue would attract top-flight acts such as Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift (weird that they belong in the same sentence). Newark has been steadily improving its city and much like Brooklyn hopes to do with Barclays, Newark hopes the Prudential Center can become a cultural centerpiece for an improving city.

Meanwhile, in New York, the borough rivalry keeps heating up. This summer marks the last year of the Garden's renovations, and with this data now available, they will surely launch full force to compete with Barclays. In Brooklyn, the Nets just secured a great team, adding former Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to a core of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez. Barclays and the Nets, with ties to Jay Z, have been pulling in major acts like Justin Timberlake and Beyonce and will look to top their already great year. The Knicks will look to respond, but right now Barclays has all of the momentum.

The hunters have now become the hunted in Brooklyn.

Let CHARGED.fm get you the hottest summer concert tickets!


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