Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Nets Coach Takes His First Tour Of Barclays Center

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Avery Johnson, the coach of the team soon to be known as the Brooklyn Nets, took his first tour inside the completely enclosed Barclays Center on Tuesday and NY1 cameras captured the tour. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.

The roof is up, the outlines of the seats and luxury suites are in place, and with six months to go until it opens, the billion-dollar Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn is starting to take shape.

"The frame of the building is about 99 percent complete, so it's a time of the building when we're just starting to put the finishes in," said Forest City Ratner Executive Vice President Bob Sanna.

NY1 watched Tuesday as Nets head coach Avery Johnson took his first look around the arena since the roof was put on in January. He also got the chance to see the locker rooms and his own office for the first time.

"This is going to be a real home-court advantage for the Brooklyn Nets and it's really exciting," said Johnson.

This is Brooklyn's biggest sports venue since Ebbets Field was knocked down after the Dodgers left town in 1957.

The arena is 70 percent complete, but the roster of Nets who will be playing in the new space next year is far from certain. The team's only true star, Deron Williams, will be a free agent and might not re-sign with the team.

The coach said he feels the players are excited by the possibilities of opening a new arena.

"This is going to be the best NBA arena in all of professional basketball, you know why? Because it has a wow factor," said Johnson.

"It looks great, we're actually doing an appearance down the street and we just stopped by real quick," said Nets power forward Kris Humphries.

There is already a handful of events scheduled for the building and the developer said it will be finished on time.

"We're on schedule. I mean, in this kind of business where you're outside all the time and materials are coming from all over the United States, any one thing can drive your schedule, but we're on schedule right now, scheduled to complete in September," said Sanna.

The arena officially opens its doors on September 28, when Nets co-owner and Brooklyn native Jay-Z holds a concert. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP