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March 23, 2011
EXCLUSIVE: Barclays Center will be nest for the Blackbirds
The Brooklyn Paper
by Gary Buiso
The Blackbirds are looking to nest with the Nets.
The suddenly world-class Long Island University men’s basketball team is in negotiations to play a portion of its home games at the Barclays Center, catapulting the plucky squad to a national audience when the arena is completed next year.
“LIU [is part of] a strategic partnership that will encompass many areas of our business, including having several LIU games played at the Barclays Center,” said Nets spokesman Barry Baum.
In an article labeled "Exclusive," the Brooklyn Paper reports Barclays Center will be nest for the Blackbirds, which, as I explain below, helps put in context the hyperbolic support for Atlantic Yards recently expressed by the provost of Long Island University.
Note that the home court hasn't been doing that well, with fewer than 1800 seats filled--one tenth of the capacity of the Barclays Center. As the New York Times reported last week:
The team did not sell out its home games until the Northeast Conference final, when the gym (capacity 1,800) was packed with students and faculty members, and some local groups who got free tickets.
Numerous smaller academic institutions have used sports to gain a larger public profile, and LIU seems eager to adopt that strategy.
But the AY support still doesn't add up. The campus provost, Gale Stevens Haynes (a self-described basketball fan) said in a sworn affidavit in the case challenging the Atlantic Yards timetable (heard this month):
The students and faculty at LIU-Brooklyn are very supportive of the Atlantic Yards Redevelopment Project. The advantages of the Project are abundant.
... I know that the students and faculty of LIU-Brooklyn firmly believe that the important public benefits that will result from the Project will outweigh any adverse impacts of extended construction on our neighborhoods.
If LIU students don't care about their own university's basketball team, how do they care about Atlantic Yards? They don't.
Posted by eric at March 23, 2011 11:02 AM