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August 26, 2007

Civic project? The (unmoored) Nets net Wrigley as "off-season presenting sponsor"

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Atlantic Yards Report

Still pending, with a decision expected in September, is a lawsuit, filed in state court, by Atlantic Yards opponents and critics challenging the legitimacy of the environmental review. “The legislature did not intend a privately owned sports facility” to be a civic project, plaintiffs' attorney Jeff Baker contended in court on May 3.

But what is a civic project? It's defined as “A project or that portion of a multi-purpose project designed and intended for the purpose of providing facilities for educational, cultural, recreational, community, municipal, public service or other civic purposes.” Attorneys for the Empire State Development Corporation argue that sports facilities of course constitute civic projects.

That may be so, but how much are sports franchises about community spirit--remember the attorney for the MTA cited "civic pride"--and how much are they about marketing opportunities?

Wrigley's and the Nets

That brings us to... gum. Wrigley has become the National Basketball Association's official chewing gum. And a Forest City Ratner press release avoids the location New Jersey--no civic pride for the Garden State?--in announcing some special news regarding the Nets:
The Nets have named Wrigley as the first-ever off-season presenting sponsor for a sports team in the metropolitan area.

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Posted by amy at August 26, 2007 10:16 AM