Jay-Z to Launch New Basketball Venue
Jay-Z is set to christen the new home of his New Jersey Nets basketball team by headlining the first concerts at the venue.
The Empire State of Mind hitmaker is a part-shareholder in the franchise, and has been closely involved in plans to relocate the team from its current home at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York next year.
During an interview on the Fox 5 news network on Monday, he revealed the team will officially be renamed the Brooklyn Nets after the big move to the Barclays Center ahead of the Nba's 2012-2013 season.
Jay-Z said, "It's great. I have a reason to come to Brooklyn often, which is fantastic for me because this is my foundation."
The rapper hopes to make full use of the Barclays Center by turning it into a venue to rival Manhattan's Madison Square Garden - and he will launch the Nets' new home with a few gigs of his own.
He added, "I'm going to open the building with a concert - or a couple of concerts, actually. It's going to be more than about basketball; it's an entertainment arena."
Jay-Z is also hoping to use his superstar power to attract new Nets fans - he will front the team's promotional campaign in a bid to sell special All-Access seats at the 18,000 capacity arena.
Nets Ceo Brett Yormark says, "The message is that the Barclays Center is much more than basketball. There will be great concerts and other entertainment - so who better to deliver that message than the world's number one entertainer, Jay-Z?"