Why Barclays is new name on NY subway

There is a Barclay Square in London and a Barclay Street close to the where the Twin Towers once stood in lower Manhattan. But the maps of New York City will soon have to be reprinted to make way for a brand new name among the myriad already attached to stations along the subway system: Barclays Center.



In a deal signed this week, the people who run the New York subway – the Metropolitan Transport Authority – agreed that the second busiest station in the borough of Brooklyn that for decades has been known to train riders as Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street will soon be called Barclays Center.

The name change will coincide with the completion of the first phase in early 2012 of a huge redevelopment of train yards owned by the MTA in downtown Brooklyn, the centre-piece of which will be the largest and most expensive basketball arena in the country. A certain British bank will hold the naming rights to the arena and, New Yorkers are now learning, to the subway stop that will serve it.

It is not the first time that a public transport system in America has dabbled with corporate naming deals to raise extra cash. The monorail taking gamblers up and down the strip in Las Vegas is called the Nextel after the telecommunications giant, for example. But London-based Barclays is the first company to get its name attached to a stop on the New York subway.

Critics who think the tradition of naming stops in New York according to their geographical location works perfectly well will wonder what the MTA will come up with next. Could 42nd Street be renamed Disney Junction or, worse, Tinkerbell Terminus? Perhaps Continental Airlines would like to buy the naming rights to Columbus Circle.

Officials at the authority are indeed indicating that anything that would provide more cash for a system that is already bleeding dollars would be considered. "We're not closing anything out," a spokesman commented.

Not clear, however, is how much benefit such arrangements offer corporations. Barclays, however, may have a special motivation. It is one of the most powerful banks in the world and, since it purchased much of the defunct Lehman Brothers last year, also in New York. But few denizens of the city have ever heard of it. That will soon change, particularly for those riding the subway through Brooklyn.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue