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May 3, 2009

Your Sunday Atlantic Yards Report Fix

The end of the Times's City section likely means even less attention to AY

The coverage of the Atlantic Yards fight in the New York Times has been biased and sadly incomplete. Expect to see even less coverage and commentary for this boondoggle as the Times' Sunday City section is about to disappear as a result of cost-cutting.

After today, you have two more weeks to say goodbye to the New York Times's weekly City section, which on May 24 (as noted in the Observer) will be replaced by a section consolidating it and the other regional weeklies, thus saving spending on newsprint and freelancers.

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I've been critical of the Times's use of the City section to cover Atlantic Yards, but also recognize that it's better than further diminishment of space and attention. (The Observer ran a nice piece about the loss of the section's urban essays.) But that's the newspaper business these days.

NHL Commissioner says Nets should play in Newark

Norman Oder finds a way to save over $100 million in Federal money: Instead of subsidizing a new arena in Brooklyn for the Nets, have them play at an arena that's already been built - Newark's Prudential Center.

Missed this one, from Newsday's Islanders blog April 24: [NHL Commissioner Gary] Bettman also was asked about the possibility of the NBA's New Jersey Nets moving from the Izod Center at the Meadowlands to join the Devils at the Prudential Center in downtown Newark. NBA commissioner David Stern told APSE the Nets are fine where they are, but Bettman had a different view.

"I don't understand why the Nets aren't playing at Prudential Center now," the NHL commissioner said. "The Devils are drawing, and the atmosphere is great. It has to be costing the State of New Jersey a boatload of money to keep [Izod Center] open. I hope, at some point, the Nets decide to go there."

Helping owners

On the NetsDaily blog, Brooklyn move supporter NetIncome comments: It’s all about helping owners. Stern knows the Nets’ owners would benefit from owning their own arena in Brooklyn and Bettman knows the Devils’ owners could use a tenant to shore up their finances.

True enough, given that the value of the Nets franchise has gone down but likely would go up significantly.

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But there's one big difference: the Prudential Center has already been built. The construction of the Barclays Center would be subsidized by federal taxpayers by well over $100 million. (I've estimated $165 million, but all numbers are in flux.)

Council Member, which sports entertainment corporation do you prefer?

An article in the The New York Times seems to be just so adorable in surveying who in the City Council is a fan of which baseball team. But there's nothing cute about how New York's sports franchises use up taxpayer money and destroy neighborhoods.

An article on the baseball allegiances of New York City Council members made the front page of today's New York Times, headlined In Council, It’s Mets 18, Yanks 13, and Neither 12.

Cute.

While Council Members were apparently asked about their "team preference," the question could have been better phrased, using language from Bettina Damiani of watchdog group Good Jobs New York, "Which 'sports entertainment corporation' do you prefer?"

Given that context, the next step would be to ask what other entertainment corporations they prefer.

Not in Dodgerland any more

Sports fandom just isn't pure any more. Not that it ever was--but the distance from Dodgerland ever increases. Maybe that's why some of the Council Members expressed no preference.

There was exactly one mention in the article of how the teams played hardball to get new stadiums built: Councilwoman Helen D. Foster of the Bronx said that she used to root for the Yankees “before they destroyed my community,” referring to the construction of the team’s new $1.5 billion stadium, which replaced public tennis and basketball courts, baseball and soccer fields, and a running track with smaller parks.

Meanwhile, in an article to be published tomorrow (in print) about the departures of key mayoral aides, the Times again ignores the potential connection between Finance Commissioner Martha Stark's resignation and the suspicious reassessment of the Yankee Stadium site.

Posted by steve at May 3, 2009 6:28 AM