After Forest City Enterprises' Chuck Ratner earlier this month said the arena would open in time for the 2010-11 NBA season, Forest City Ratner released a statement that said the arena would open by the 2009-10 season.
That doesn't necessarily promise that the arena would open at the beginning of the season, just some time that season. The same language appears on the Atlantic Yards web site.
And Sports Business Journal, in its 2/26/07 issue, reported: The Nets, for example, could open their Barclays Center in early 2010 instead of late 2009, according to a source familiar with the project...
That would still contradict the estimates in the Atlantic Yards General Project Plan, approved by the Empire State Development Corporation on 12/8/06. That document states (p. 9):
Based on the current schedule, the Arena would open in time for the 2009 NBA season in October.
Wouldn't that be a tough season ticket sell?
Still, it might be in the developer's interest to move to Brooklyn as quickly as possible, because the new arena would have many more suites (172) than at the current Continental Airlines Arena at the Meadowlands (29) or even at the potential interim location in Newark, the Prudential Center (82).
Curiously, Sports Business Journal describes the Brooklyn arena as a $1 billion project. According to state documents, it's a $637.2 million project. That's a pretty big margin of difference.