August 21, 2007
Flashback, 2000: the borough president criticizes the mayor over a sports facility
Atlantic Yards Report
Norman Oder fills in more of the backstory of Brooklyn's sports complex.
Just seven years ago, the Brooklyn Borough President disagreed with the Mayor over the siting of a baseball stadium in the Coney Island and the no-bid process behind it.
And backers of the original sports facility planned for the site wanted to ensure that public land and public subsidies supported amateur, not professional sports.
Developers were interested in the Sportsplex. As I wrote, the Daily News on 11/12/98 (BOROUGH BIGS NEARLY WHIFF ON RUDY'S BALLPARK CURVES) reported that developer Bruce Ratner had "talked with Brooklyn Sports Foundation officials about building the Sportsplex at cost, provided he can build an entertainment complex next door."
On 3/22/02, Golden's successor Marty Markowitz issued a press release about the Borough's State Legislative Agenda, citing a goal to "retain funding for the Coney Island Sportsplex and increase the allocation in order to attract an NBA franchise." Even in 2003, on the day of his next State of the Borough address, the New York Daily News reported (Marty’s Minding Our Manners, 1/23/03):
The borough president also goes to sleep dreaming of bringing a National Basketball Association team to Coney Island.
That plan, of course, fell by the wayside later in the year as Forest City Ratner's plan for Atlantic Yards emerged.
Posted by lumi at August 21, 2007 9:06 AM