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January 14, 2009

New Jersey Nets will not play preseason games at Prudential Center next season

The Star-Ledger
By Dave D'Alessandro

Stating unequivocably that "all discussions (with the Devils) are off," Nets CEO Brett Yormark dashed the brief hopes of NJ Nets' fans that they might see their team play preseason games in the new Newark arena.

The buzz about the Nets' brief sojourn into Newark for preseason games next fall died a quick and sudden death Tuesday night, when the team's CEO said that all negotiations with the Prudential Center have ceased.

Brett Yormark, the Nets' top executive, confirmed that he was in discussions with Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek over possibly holding three exhibition games in the new building, but that the arrangement wouldn't be feasible.

He also stressed, as always, that such a pursuit wouldn't have signaled any change in the team's commitment to move to Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn sometime in 2011.

Star-Ledger reporter Dave D'Alessandro is beginning to express some doubts about Yormark's rosy predictions:

Delayed repeatedly by legal challenges and financing issues, the construction of the $1 billion Barclays Center is schedule to start sometime this year, Yormark has said, but no groundbreaking date has been set.

Since the average construction of an arena takes 30 months -- according to the estimate of Nets owner Bruce Ratner -- it will be difficult to open the 2011-12 season in Brooklyn if work doesn't begin by this May.


AOL Sports, FANHOUSE, Are the Nets Dumping Brooklyn for Newark?
This article was published before the Star-Ledger ran today's story about talks falling through on Nets' preseason games in Newark.

Atlantic Yards Report, Yormark scotches Newark report, says arena will start this year
Norman Oder reviews Yormark's claims and the Star-Ledger's analysis of the arena opening:

Yormark has said it would take 24 months. Ratner said last June that "it will be about two and a half years to build our arena." I think the construction schedule indicates 32 months.

Whatever arena proponents say, work beginning by May is highly unlikely--it implies not only clearing of lawsuits but no delays in exercising eminent domain. Thus 2012 is a more likely best-case scenario.

Posted by lumi at January 14, 2009 5:53 AM