Nets to limit liquor sales at new arena

BY foxsports • June 21, 2012

High-rolling Brooklyn Nets fans will have to get their hard liquor by the glass at Jay-Z's proposed 40/40 Club in the Barclays Center.

A week after the Chris Brown vs. Drake bottle-throwing melee at SoHo hotspot W.i.P., Barclays Center reps made a point of assuring state liquor officials that there will be no bottle service — except for champagne and wine — at arena director Jay-Z's latest outpost of his club mini chain.

During a State Liquor Authority hearing in Manhattan on Wednesday night, Ashley Cotton, a spokeswoman for arena developer Forest City Ratner, said that suite holders will, however, be able to buy bottles of hard liquor.

"The 40/40 Club will have no bottle service," said Cotton, who defined such service as "bottles of hard liquor" like gin and vodka "being sold at inflated prices of up to $600 ... to be purchased and drank all at once in a club setting."

Hip-hop impresario Jay-Z, who holds a stake in the Nets, does offer bottle service in the Atlantic City and flagship Chelsea locations of his 40/40 Club, officials said.

The announcement came after activists living near the arena testified that neighborhoods, such as Park Slope and Prospect Heights, would staunchly oppose arena bottle service because it could bring drunk fans into their quiet, tree-lined communities.

The Barclays Center liquor-license application, which has yet to be decided, is also under fire from civic leaders because it calls for extending booze sales to an hour after events end at three high-end sections of the arena that, according to the application, hold a maximum of 1,867 people combined.

These sections are the 40/40 Club, Courtside Club lounge and 12 Jay-Z designed luxury suites called "The Vault." Jay-Z is expanding his sports bar and restaurant mini chain by opening a 9,000-square-foot (836-square-meter), 350-seat 40/40 Club at the Nets' future home, which is set to open Sept. 28.

The new club would be accessible only to ticket holders for NBA games, concerts and other Barclays Center events. Season-ticket holders would get first crack at reservations.

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