BROOKLYN 2015 — So Far, the Barclays Center Isn’t a Dangerous Place at All

Kevin Schultz

Since the Islanders announced that they would move to Brooklyn back in October, one of the issues that has been heavily debated online has been the issue of getting to and from the arena and whether fans would make the trip from Long Island to the Barclays Center. It’s understandable and unfortunate that due to the move, the team will likely lose some of its eastern Long Island fanbase and driving to the games will pretty much be a thing of the past. Generally, most of the debate hinges on how many people will fill the arena and how far they’ll travel to do it.

Sometimes, in the debates that pop up on twitter, message boards, and even this blog’s comments, things degenerate a bit — as things on the internet are wont to do — and focus on some deep seeded issues like the crime rates in Brooklyn and how dangerous a place the Barclays Center is. That comes partially out of truth; some of the crime rates in Brooklyn are higher than the national average. It also comes out of some inaccurate and paranoid places induced by fear and racism.

The arena itself resides in Prospect Heights, part of the City’s 78th Precinct. According to the precinct’s commanding officer Michael Ameri, crime at the new arena is virtually non-existent.


“Crime is very minimal,” Ameri said at a 78th Precinct Community Council meeting Tuesday night. “Overall we’ve had about five crimes and most of them were just property crimes…I’m very, very happy and I think the community’s happy, because I’m not hearing many complaints.”

Yes, that’s five crimes committed since the arena opened in October and in that time it has hosted more than half a million people over 60 different events. It’s certainly always a possibility that crime is underreported due to a number of factors, but to underreport it to the point that only five crimes are actually reported? It would still have to be low to begin with.

The few crimes at the Barclays Center have been limited to property thefts, such as cell phones stolen from the employee locker room, Ameri said. Cops have also seen minor issues like disorderly conduct and ticket scalping, he said, and police responded to a crowd of rowdy Justin Bieber fans in November.

Rowdy Justin Bieber fans? That, uh, sounds frightening in its own right but isn’t necessarily a crime (although it could be depending on your view of popular music). But that’s not the most serious issue that has cropped up:

The “biggest issue” police have encountered so far has been double parked and idling limos and chauffeured black cars outside the arena, Ameri said, a problem that he said “maybe wasn’t anticipated” by the city and the arena. Police and arena officials are working on a solution, he said.

So far, so good it seems.

h/t to Nets Daily