It’s been a long road for Brooklyn, but the day is finally here. Later tonight, Jay-Z will christen the new billion-dollar Barclays Center with the first of eight concerts in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Before the inaugural performance, celebrities, industry execs, and close friends of the mogul attended the opening of the new 40/40 club located in the new arena, which serves home for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets (formerly the New Jersey Nets).

Rihanna, Questlove of The Roots, J. Cole, Lyor Cohen, Angie Martinez, Anthony Mandler, NBA All-Stars Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, and our own Miss Info attended the swanky event. Fans who visit the new 40/40 club will also get a full view of the new hardwoord court, which opens for basketball when the Nets play the crosstown rivals New York Knicks on November 1.

I walked around here earlier and I just seen everybody busy and at work trying to finish up and it was a great feeling. A guy stopped me in the hallway and said, ‘Man this is a great thing for New York City.’ And that’s what the whole thing was about.” said Jay-Z to MTV News when getting his first look of the new sports bar and nightclub on Thursday night.

Jay-Z speaks with MTV News at the opening, plus photos from the red carpet after the jump…..

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Jay-Z, Nas, Meek Mill & NBA All-Stars Celebrate ‘2K13′ Launch in NYC
Beyoncé & Jay-Z End Summer Off with Friends at NYC’s La Marina