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Alibaba Co-Founder Joseph Tsai Agrees to Purchase Barclays Center in Brooklyn for $700M

Barclays Center Brooklyn

Barclays Center in Brooklyn opened in September 2012.

NEW YORK CITY — Joseph Tsai, co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has agreed to purchase Barclays Center, a 670,000-square-foot sports and entertainment arena that sits at the crossroads of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in Brooklyn. The multi-purpose stadium is the home of the Brooklyn Nets NBA franchise and the NHL’s New York Islanders.

Previous owner Mikhail Prokhorov, through his company Oneexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA Inc., sold the arena to an entity controlled by Tsai for approximately $700 million, according to the New York Post.

In a separate deal, Prokorov sold his 51 percent ownership in the Brooklyn Nets to Tsai, who purchased a 49 percent stake in the NBA franchise back in 2018. Multiple media outlets report the combined Nets and Barclays Center transactions will total more than $2 billion, bringing Tsai’s total investment to more than $3 billion.

The transaction requires the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. Tsai is set to become the sole governor of the Nets franchise and owner of Barclays Center once the deal closes, which is expected by the end of September.

“We are committed to maintaining Barclays Center’s iconic status by bringing together culture, community and entertainment for our fans and everyone in New York,” says Tsai.

BSE Global manages and controls Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders business operations, and will continue to do so under the new ownership. Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global, will oversee the transition to new ownership before departing for a new role. Yormark was hired in 2005 to oversee the Nets’ move to Brooklyn from New Jersey and also the development of Barclays Center.

Since opening in September 2012, Barclays Center has hosted events such as the 2019 NBA Draft and musical acts including Jay Z, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen. The venue features 18,000 seats and 101 suites, as well as dining outlets including the 40/40 CLUB & Restaurant by Tanduay Rum, Parm Italian Restaurant, Starbucks, Corona Beach House Bar and Palm Bay International Bar.

The U.S. Green Building Council certified Barclays Center LEED Silver back in 2013, marking the first professional sports arena in the New York metro area to achieve the status. Barclays Center’s development team included Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner Cos. and architects AECOM and SHoP Architects.

— John Nelson

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