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February 17, 2011

Atlantic Yards and the Nets Barclays Arena dream real for Bruce Ratner - after 7-yr. nightmare

NY Daily News
by Denis Hamill

OK, some things are more tedious. Like Denis Hamill ♥ Bruce Ratner.

The first time I met him he was 59, and I walked with him along Dean St., where he explained his dream of building a sports arena for the "Brooklyn Nets" basketball team on this place called Atlantic Yards.

Today Bruce Ratner is 66, and seven years, 35 lawsuits, two architects and one economic meltdown later, he's sold off 80% of the Nets and 45% of the arena. But standing at a window 13 stories above the zigzagging yellow bulldozers and swinging boom cranes in the steel armature of the under-construction Barclays Arena, he says: "It's real."


NoLandGrab: Wait, Bruce Ratner's nightmare? Oh, right, it's been a picnic for everyone else for the past seven years.

Related coverage...

The L Magazine, Daily News Jerks Off Atlantic Yards Developer, Asks if He Wants to Come in Their Mouths, Too

Daily News columnist Denis Hamill recently sat down with devil-horned Bruce Ratner, developer of Atlantic Yards, to ask him if he's OK—does he need anything? A drink? A back massage? Maybe just an astoundingly fawning profile in a daily tabloid?

After a bunch of stupid idiots stood in Ratner's way—creating for him a "nightmare," poor thing—he's finally getting to build his giant stadium. "Next year Brooklyn will have its first professional sports team since the Dodgers left in 1957," Hamill writes. "The 18,500-seat Barclays Center will host more than 200 events, including big-name concerts, pro boxing promoted by Oscar de la Hoya, tennis, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and Disney on Ice."

Whoa, cool! Disney? The circus? Look out, Newark, New Jersey—Brooklyn could start encroaching on your reputation as Cultural Capital of the World! Maybe next we can has a Walmart?

More seriously, though, the piece is also glaringly inaccurate, as though it emerged from Ratner's deepest fantasies. Just about every sentence Hamill writes—literally, every sentence—contains a mistruth or a distortion about the pernicious project. Tireless anti-Atlantic Yards crusader Norman Oder goes through the piece paragraph-by-paragraph to reveal the fictions.

Posted by eric at February 17, 2011 10:52 AM