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January 25, 2011

New Arena for the Nets Is Sprouting in Brooklyn

The New York Times
by Jonathan Abrams

Someone at The Times dropped the ball and allowed an article to make it into today's paper about Nets tickets selling for less than the price of a stick of gum, so in the interest of "balance," tomorrow's paper will include this non-news fluffery.

After several years of legal wrangling and the economic downturn, the Barclays Center is finally and firmly on the way after ground was broken last year.

“It got delayed so much and there were so many false starts, ‘I think we’re there, I think we’re there,’ and then the economy got bad and this thing happened and that thing happened, so unless you read carefully, you don’t realize how far along it is and that it’s really on its way,” Ratner said.

He spoke Tuesday from the 14th floor of a bank building across the street from the construction in Prospect Heights as snow fell and workers pieced together parts of the upper bowl. The arena is expected to open in the summer of 2012 and also host boxing, tennis and other events. The Nets will attempt to tap into the Knicks’ stranglehold of New York City and hired the marketing agency Translation, led by the recording executive Steve Stoute, to promote the brand.

“I think Brooklyn has been waiting for this, really, since the Dodgers left,” Ratner said.

The opposition that clogged the arena’s path would probably disagree. Ratner — a development partner of The New York Times in building its current headquarters — once doubted that the arena would be built when the economy collapsed, but regained optimism once the Yankees gained financing for their new stadium.

That's us, clogging the path of progress like an oversized dump. Didn't have anything to do with eminent domain abuse, backroom deals, massive subsidies, rigged environmental studies... shall we go on?

And now, a word from Mr. Credibility.

Brett Yormark, the Nets’ chief executive, said he expected no further delays.

“None whatsoever, and I don’t have my blinders on because I’m open to see any and all obstacles,” he said. “But we’re full speed ahead all the way.”

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Posted by eric at January 25, 2011 10:40 PM