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March 24, 2008

Luxury Suites for Sale at Proposed Nets Arena

Bruce Ratner tries to press ahead with the portion of the proposed Atlantic Yards project that potentially has the most benefits - for Bruce Ratner!

Daily News, 540G will get you a ritzy suite in new Brooklyn Nets arena

Developed Bruce Ratner has postponed the fancy apartments at his controversial Atlantic Yards project, but he's pressing ahead with something almost as expensive - luxury suites at the complex's basketball arena.

The 130 Frank Gehry designed suites will average $300,000 and top out at $540,000, officials said Sunday, despite the national financial crisis that has crimped plans for other buildings on the site.

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"We believe in getting out early and this is according to our original schedule," said Nets CEO Brett Yorkmark, who denied the team or developer Forest City Ratner was short of cash.

He said the three levels of suites will go on sale May 15 - each outfitted with personal servants, access to an exclusive lounge, flat-panel TVs and other fancy amenities. The announcement came one day after Ratner said the Gehry-designed Miss Brooklyn building and three other residential towers at the heart of the 22-acre project could be delayed indefinitely because of the bond and credit crises.

New York Post, It's a Suite Life For Nets Nuts

Basketball fans with deep pockets can be treated like kings while watching the Nets play in their new Brooklyn arena.

Renderings by renowned architect Frank Gehry and obtained by the Post show no expense being spared for 130 spacious, luxury suites to be included in the team's 18,000-seat arena planned for Prospect Heights, which the Nets hope to be playing in by the 2010-11 season.

The cost of leasing a suite at the Gehry-designed Barclays Center will run from $200,000 to $540,000 a year – or an average of about $300,000 -- when sales kick off May 15 at the team's new Manhattan showroom.

In fact, the only thing missing are gold-plated water faucets because there's just about every amenity imaginable for a sports venue.

"The whole white glove, street-to-seat hospitality approach is something we're going to lead with to deliver an unprecedented amount of service," Nets CEO Brett Yormark told the Post.

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Yormark said he's not concerned about the slumping economy affecting sales, adding "the suites will be in high demand" because of its amenities, spectacular views, Gehry's design, and Brooklyn's growing number of Fortune 500 companies.

But Robert Boland, a sports business professor at New York University, disagrees.

He said the accommodations and views will probably blow away the Garden's, but the planned arena can't compete with the Garden's events.

Barclays Center is expected to host a little over 200 events annually in its early years. The established Garden averages 400 – or a little over a one a day -- and has three main tenants: the Knicks, Rangers and WNBA's Liberty.

"Events almost always are more of a sell than accommodations," said Boland, adding the Nets must also deal with competition to sell luxury suites from new stadiums being built for the Mets, Yankees, Jets and Giants.

Posted by steve at March 24, 2008 8:20 AM