Big Money

Alibaba cofounder set to buy SHoP-designed Barclays Center (and the Nets, too)

The Cor-ten steel facade of Barclays Center at night. (Bruce Damonte)

The cofounder of online retail giant Alibaba is buying the Brooklyn Nets as well as their home arena, the SHoP-designed Barclays Center.

The Brooklyn complex is home to the Nets as well as the NHL’s New York Islanders (although that team is set to split its games between Brooklyn and Nassau County, New York before its final move to a new stadium complex in 2021). Alibaba’s Joseph Tsai already owns 49 percent of the stakes in the Nets—the to-be-signed deal will grant him full ownership of the team as well as the building.

The deal is worth more than $700 million, but it’s not clear how much of that sum is for the arena. Including the stake he already owns, Tsai is expected to shell out $2.35 billion for the Nets.

The soon-to-be previous owner Mikhail Prokhorov started to acquire the Barclays Center and the Nets in 2010 and finished the acquisition in 2015. According to the New York Post, Prokhorov bought the team for $875 million and the building at $825 million, which means he’s about to rake in a ton of money on his investment.

The Brooklyn Paper reported that the NBA Board of Governors has to sign off on the sale before it’s official, a deal which should be sealed by the end of next month.

Since 2012, the 19,000-capacity Barclays Center has crowned the intersection of busy Flatbush and Atlantic avenues. The building’s glass curtain wall facade is fitted with 12,000 parametrically-modeled weathered steel panels, and the sloping, concave green roof makes it easy to spot from above.

Black and white sectional diagram of a looping stadium venue

Drawing of the facade paneling (Image via SHoP Architects)

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