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December 4, 2007

The urban legend of O'Malley and Atlantic Yards

Yesterday's news that the famed Dodgers' owner Walter O'Malley was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame raised our antenna, because we knew it wouldn't be long before the urban legend — that O'Malley was hoping to build a new ballpark on the same site as Bruce Ratner's controversial Atlantic Yards plan — would come back to life like a zombie.

The first out of the box was The NY Times's "CityRoom" blog, which cited O'Malley's plan "within the current boundaries of the much-debated Atlantic Yards development." It has since been corrected to read "the new stadium would have been adjacent to the much-debated Atlantic Yards development," and further amended:

An earlier version of this article misstated the location of Walter F. O’Malley’s proposed Dodgers stadium from the 1950s in relation to the current-day Atlantic Yards site. It would have been adjacent to, not within the modern footprint of, the Atlantic Yards development. The article has been corrected.

TC-AtlanticCenterMall.jpg Still, it didn't stop the article from quoting author John Thorn, who keeps the legend alive: “When O’Malley wanted to build a stadium at Atlantic Yards, Robert Moses didn’t.”

Brooklyn Junction blogger recycles the myth (also favored by Mayor Mike Bloomberg):

At one point before the team moved, there was discussion of a new Brooklyn Dodgers stadium being erected by where the new Ratner-inspired New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets arena is in the pipeline at Atlantic Yards.

How much cooler would it be to have Major League Baseball than NBA basketball in Brooklyn?

We expect more to roll in before day's end.

For the record, the site coveted by O'Malley has already been developed by Bruce Ratner, where now sits his underwhelming Atlantic Center Mall, which sorta looks like a ballpark if you squint real hard.

The article in today's NY Times print edition did get the location right; however, "the paper of record" has made this error at least four other times in the past.

Posted by lumi at December 4, 2007 5:34 AM