BROOKLYN - The new Nets arena will be named Barclays Center. Officials made the announcement Thursday at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Nets principal owner Bruce Ratner, part owner and rapper Jay-Z, NBA Commissioner David Stern and local officials attended the ceremony. British bank Barclays, which does not have any U.S. branches, paid nearly $300 million for naming rights through the late 2020s. The arena is part of the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project, which will give the borough its first professional sports team since the Brooklyn Dodgers left. The development also consists of housing and retail space. Developer Forest City Ratner hopes to have the 18,000-seat venue up and running by the 2009-2010 season.

Critics of the project say Thursday's announcement was premature since legal challenges are pending. Some homeowners have filed a lawsuit to try and keep their homes in the wake of eminent domain for the project.

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