Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Coney Island arena option (and Newark, too)

From Tom Angotti's Gotham Gazette article today about Making Coney Island Green:
And why not put the arena for the Nets basketball team in Coney Island, as planner Simon Bertrang proposes? Two previous studies recommended Coney Island as a location for a professional arena, and until recently that view was held by Brooklyn’s political establishment. Wouldn’t the 18,000 seat arena that the basketball team’s owner, Forest City Ratner, now proposes to cram in between the Prospect Heights and Fort Greene neighborhoods make more sense nested in Coney Island’s amusement area?

If this were to happen – the Nets could lose $35 million every year the Atlantic Yards project is delayed -- a Coney Island arena should not go the way of the New York Aquarium, which is isolated from the amusement park. Nor should it be dropped in next to Keyspan Park, thereby creating a big enclave of professional facilities. But if properly designed, the home court for the Nets could be physically integrated with Coney Island’s recreational facilities.


About the location, Angotti has a good point, and one I and other critics should have acknowledged earlier. But would the Gateway site in Coney Island be better? That's not in the amusement area. So where might the arena go?

If the Atlantic Yards plan fails or is scuttled, the Nets, I'll bet, will move to the new arena opening next month in Newark.

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