March 24, 2004

Yankees, Nets and Devils agree to split up: with the Nets going to Bruce Ratner's Brooklyn Basketball LLC. Plans for an arena on Flatbush avenue have already been made. Developers, however face increasingly organized and vocal resistance. While a move might be beneficial to the team's popularity, would it be good for Brooklyn?

posted by Jugwine to basketball at 09:36 AM - 14 comments

The team is going to huge, in part, because Jay-Z is part of the ownership. But me, personally, I can't say whether it's a bad deal for Brooklyn because I don't live there. It seems the age old "squeeze out the little guy to make way for big business" is going on, though.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:42 AM on March 24, 2004

Particularly interesting is this from the SBN link:

In the United States, "eminent domain" allows state governments to take over property, provided that its original owners are compensated. The property, however, is often priced well below market value, usually closer to an assessed value that may be only a fraction of what it would otherwise command on the open market.
Given the high price of real estate in NYC and the surrounding areas, it seems unlikely that the displaced residents would be able to find other places to live or move their businesses if they were bought out at prices below market value.

posted by Jugwine at 09:43 AM on March 24, 2004

it ain't going to happen IMHO... the nets are getting in line with almost every single pro sports franchise in the NYC area. we've seen models of shea pt 2, yankee stadium pt 2, a new MSG, a new stadium for both the jets and the giants and of course whatever small island planned to be built for the olympic bid. the only team that's making any headway is the jets.... so the nets can take a number and get in the back of the line because i don't know where all the money is coming from to pay for all these new projects... ultimately....i think it's in the best interest of nets ownership to go for newark, and though i've read about plenty of problems with making that move, i think brooklyn could be a worse altenative. forgetting all the local residents voaclly voicing displeasure with any move to brooklyn, if everything goes perfectly, the earliest any of this is happening is years away and by that time the current buzz around the nets as the best pro basketball team in the area will probably fade and NYC will reamin the knicks domain, as it is even now the nets are better. they'll stay in jersey if they are smart and try to re-build a better fan base.

posted by oliver_crunk at 10:02 AM on March 24, 2004

we've seen models of shea pt 2, yankee stadium pt 2, a new MSG, a new stadium for both the jets and the giants and of course whatever small island planned to be built for the olympic bid. the only team that's making any headway is the jets.... The difference, as I see it, is that the Nets are in the final stages of being sold to a group whose purpose is to move them to Brooklyn. Imagine if the Expos were sold to a group that wanted to move them to DC or Portland. It would logically follow that there was a much higher chance of them moving in the near future than staying where they are.

posted by Jugwine at 10:10 AM on March 24, 2004

i see that jug and though it might increase their chances, it's still too early to tell who is paying for what....and that's the crux of the matter. and in NY these things are an uphill battle....they've been fighting over the railyards in hell's kitchen for years. IMHO, this is no different. the local communities also can't be underestimated either.

posted by oliver_crunk at 10:22 AM on March 24, 2004

The objectionable part of the Nets arena plan in Brooklyn is not the arena itself, which will be built over railyards. The arena is just one part of a large development project, which will include a number of large office towers. The city hopes to use its power of eminent domain to get land to build these office towers. Presumably, the revenue from those buildings will enable Ratner to afford to run the Nets profitably. For the Nets, downtown Brooklyn is a much more desirable location than the Meadowlands. Of course, just about anyplace in the NY Metro area (with the possible exception of Staten Island) is a better location than the Meadowlands.

posted by andrewraff at 11:20 AM on March 24, 2004

the location may be more desirable than the meadowlands in terms of accessibility. but i agree with oliver, i don't think the fan base will be there. not with the knicks in town. newark is a better bet. you'd probably get a better mix of fans of teams outside the area (ie lakers) that you may be able to convert to fans of a hometown team.

posted by goddam at 11:31 AM on March 24, 2004

I'm a long way from New York, but it seems to me that the return of pro sports to Brooklyn would be huge for the team's marketing appeal. One of the great laments of sport was the departure of the Dodgers from the city.

posted by rcade at 11:54 AM on March 24, 2004

Maybe they've turned Newark around since the last time I've spent any amount of time there, but I can't see a move to Newark to be good for anyone let alone a sports franchise. If you think that the Nets would have a tough time selling tickets in Brooklyn, I can't imagine they'll have a better time in Newark. Just look at the population of the respective cities: Brooklyn, NY (Kings county) has a population of 2,465,326 while Newark has a population of 273,546 according to the 2000 census. To put it another way, if just 11% of the population of Brooklyn magically turned into a Nets fan when the team is moved, that would be more than the entire population of Newark. It's hard to argue that Newark would be a better fit for any team, unless as andrewraff mentioned, you compare it to the Meadowlands. It's not as if a Knicks ticket is a particularly easy thing to get, either. By last count they were the second highest in the NBA. If you price a Nets ticket competitively enough, I think you'll be able to lure people away fron the Knicks.

posted by Jugwine at 12:21 PM on March 24, 2004

Agreed Rcade. I think the Brooklyn Cyclones do really well there too, so the market is there. And eminent domain is how Boston was able to build their Convention Center in South Boston. There were quite a few small businesses there, mainly fish processing plants and low level service workers, that were given their walking papers. Since it was classified as a "revitalization project" by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, they never had a chance to fight City Hall.

posted by usfbull at 12:27 PM on March 24, 2004

jugwine, those statistics you cite about population are kind of misleading. brooklyn is *huge* you say it's the size of a county. if you were to include the surrounding areas of newark you'd probably come up with a population figure not quite as big as brooklyn, but not near as small as the gap portrayed in your post. the nets would do well in newark, they've rebuilt parts of the city and though the redevelopment is still in it's early stages, there's already been people returning to live and invest in the community again. the ironbound section and the new performing art center are neat places to live and visit. but, it still is newark, it's going to take awhile to dig the city out of the rubble it was in years past. the biggest problem with the meadowlands is with public transport. there is none. in newark this wouldn't be a problem....asking the average jersian to suffer through anymore traffic in addtion to already terrible commutes is too much. newark is a hub to southern/central jersey as well as NYC. moving to newark they would be able to build on the fan base that already exists. it's not that the knicks are a popular's a more a cultural thing. the knicks are the city. just looking at the history of the nets franchise, one can see that even the nets can't penetrate that even when they've been on the outside looking in (long island, meadowlands). the cyclones have done very well....but i think that has more to do with the cheap ticket and the romance of seeing a ballgame in coney island / brooklyn. the average fan will go to the history and lure of the garden and the knicks instead of paying the same price to see the nets in some mall in brooklyn.

posted by oliver_crunk at 12:46 PM on March 24, 2004

I agree, that the statistics are a little misleading, however if you include Newark's surrounding area, why not include Brooklyn's? Do you think there won't be Nets fans in Queens or (particularly) Nassau County? I'm not sure you can assume that people who live in the area surrounding Newark will be more likely to travel to games than those surrounding Brooklyn. Don't forget, though, that if the Nets were to move to Brooklyn, they would no longer be on the outside looking in, they'd be on the inside. You'd be able, presumably, to hop on the subway and get to the game -- something you can't do if the team is in LI or Newark or the Meadowlands. Comparing the public transport in Newark to the Meadowlands is like comparing the public transport in Brooklyn to Newark. There really is no comparison. Of course, the question is moot if the Nets can't field a decent team. In my experience, people in NY respect a winner and if the Knicks are terrible and the Nets are closer, cheaper and better, the team will have no problem attracting a fanbase. If they stumble in their first season, though, they may as well be playing on Mars (which still might be better than the Meadowlands).

posted by Jugwine at 01:22 PM on March 24, 2004

I agree, that the statistics are a little misleading, however if you include Newark's surrounding area, why not include Brooklyn's? because brooklyn is a county, newark is a city within the county essex with a population of 700k. granted, not 2m but if you want to include other surrounding areas....i'm sure jersey would easily push well over 2m peeps in essex, hudson, bergen, sussex counties...basically northern NJ. i'm not sure if you make it out to jersey much but the tranist time to newark from times square is comparable to parts of brooklyn. the PATH train functions much like a subway and the NJ RAIL would connect from NYC and pretty much anywhere in jersey. to say that newark doesn't compare to brooklyn's subway is true....but what does compare to NYC's subway? the point is...anyone from any of the surrounding areas could access newark very easilly via rail. this thread is degnerating into a jersey vs brooklyn thing...and me living in jersey, i'm sort of bias.

posted by oliver_crunk at 01:54 PM on March 24, 2004

oliver, let me say, as a brooklynite, you can keep the nets :)

posted by kokaku at 03:16 PM on March 24, 2004

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