Barclays, a leading global financial services company and the naming rights partner for the future Barclays Center, today affirmed its commitment to the future arena in Brooklyn and the updated timeline for a 2009 groundbreaking. The Barclays Center, which is designed by Frank Gehry, will be the world-class home of the Nets.

“Barclays is unwavering in its commitment to the Barclays Center and we are very pleased with our long-term alliance with our great partners, the Nets and Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC),” said Gerard LaRocca, Chief Administrative Officer, Americas, at Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays PLC. “We are very excited about being part of the continued renaissance of Brooklyn and we eagerly look forward to opening night at the Barclays Center.”

“Since we announced our 20-year naming rights partnership in January 2007, Barclays has offered nothing but resolute and great support,” Nets Chief Executive Officer Brett Yormark said. “We deeply appreciate our partnership with such a well-respected and distinguished company, which shares our love for Brooklyn and our strong sense of community.”

“We are thrilled to have Barclays as a partner,” said Bruce Ratner, chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, a subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, Inc., and the chairman of Nets Sports and Entertainment, LLC, which owns the Nets. “The Barclays Center will be one of the most spectacular sports and entertainment arenas in the world.  Even more importantly, it is a centerpiece of a development that will bring thousands of jobs and affordable housing units to Brooklyn.” Forest City Enterprises (NYSE: FCEA and FCEB) has an equity interest in Nets Sports and Entertainment.

In addition to its naming rights commitment, Barclays continues to play a major role as the co-lead in the financing of the Barclays Center. Momentum for the Barclays Center continued recently when the Internal Revenue Service issued a new regulation that confirms that tax exempt bonds may be used to finance the arena.

The multifaceted partnership among Barclays, the Nets, and FCRC includes the Barclays/Nets Community Alliance, which invests $1 million per year in local non-profits that work to improve the lives of young people in Brooklyn and surrounding communities through sports and other activities, including education and health care. Last month, the Barclays/Nets Community Alliance unveiled a new playground at Public School 19 in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, which marked the first of eight Brooklyn playgrounds that the Alliance will fund with a grant to Out2Play, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to building and refurbishing playgrounds throughout the New York City public school system.