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Barclays Center debuts as America's top arena

Beyonce is scheduled to perform at Barclays Center

Beyonce is scheduled to perform at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in August. Credit: AP

 The Barclays Center has officially opened with a bang.

 The Brooklyn arena was named the top-grossing venue in America for the first half of 2013, according to Billboard, with $46.9 million in gross ticket sales revenue. According to Pollstar, the venue – which has hosted 51 concerts since it opened in September and will bring in Beyonce and Justin Bieber next week – was the third-biggest ticket-seller in the world, behind The O2 in London and Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

“We are proud to have become a destination venue that has been recognized globally in a short period of time,” Brett Yormark, Barclays Center CEO, said in a statement. “After receiving terrific feedback from promoters of major artists last week in Los Angeles, we are confident that we will expand our programming schedule and be in an even better position in year two of Barclays Center. As we prepare for the opportunity to renovate and operate Nassau Coliseum, we anticipate replicating our success at Barclays Center in Nassau.”

Forest City Ratner Companies, which owns and manages Barclays Center, is one of two bidders to renovate and manage Nassau Coliseum. Madison Square Garden Company is the other finalist for the project.

Madison Square Garden, traditionally the No. 1 venue in the world in Billboard’s rankings, finished at No. 2 among American arenas for 2013’s first half. The Garden was closed for two months this year, as the arena completes a three-year renovation, which limited the venue’s sales. It finished at No. 9 in the world on Pollstar’s mid-year list of ticket-sellers.

On Monday, Plainview developer Donald Monti – Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s pick for master developer of the Hub area – endorsed the MSG plan.

“We know our plan provides the greatest reward with no risk because taking existing buildings and making them great is exactly what we do,” Madison Square Garden Company President and CEO Hank Ratner said in a statement. “To have someone like Don, who has such a vested interest in the success of Nassau County, endorse our plan is extremely gratifying.”

The Dolan family holds controlling interest in MSG and owns Cablevision, Newsday's parent company.

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