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November 17, 2007

Why does only Ratner benefit from naming rights at a "publicly-owned" arena?

Atlantic Yards Report

Last January, I raised the issue with the Empire State Development Corporation. Given that the arena would be publicly-owned, should the Local Development Corporation (LDC) that would be set up be in charge of naming rights? Can the LDC pass them on to Forest City Ratner?

Then-spokeswoman Jessica Copen responded, "Financing for the stadium comes ultimately from the team. The team has the naming rights. It's the same deal as with the Mets - who also sold naming rights to their new stadium."

That leaves out that tax benefits from financing, the significant public contribution ($305 million to infrastructure), the conveyance of city streets for $1, the threat (and use) of eminent domain, and more government assistance. (Here's the Independent Budget Office's September 2005 report that cites various special benefits.)

The naming rights, in fact, would pay for a good portion of construction.

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Posted by amy at November 17, 2007 9:16 AM