Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nets CEO: FCR hopes to break ground in October-November

In an interview with WFAN on Wednesday, Nets CEO Brett Yormark spoke confidently that the Nets would move on schedule--though, as he didn't mention, lawsuits likely will push things back. He later hedged a bit.

Optimism about move

At about 6:00 into the segment, Yormark declared, unequivocally, "We'll be in Brooklyn for the 09-10 season."

At about 18:30, he said, "There's a lot of activity on the site right now, we're doing a lot of demolition. We're relocating the railyards. We've just ordered steel and we're expecting, hopefully, to break ground, in October-November. It usually takes about 24 months to build an arena that's 850,000 square feet, so we think we're going to be right there for the 09-10 season, and very excited about it."

If FCR breaks ground this fall, the developer would almost certainly have to work around some buildings it does not yet own and have not been condemned.

Bruce & Brooklyn

At about 22:00, in response to a fan eager to have the Nets come to Brooklyn into a new arena, Yormark offered some praise for his boss: "When you talk about Bruce Ratner, you're absolutely right. He is dedicating himself to putting Brooklyn on the map, and he's really done that in all the right ways, obviously with MetroTech, Atlantic Center, and now obviously the Atlantic Yards project, which will be anchored by the Barclays Center."

Yormark added some good market research, if not a solid construction estimate: "And when you think of Brooklyn, if it wasn't a borough it would be the fourth largest city in the U.S., it's been underserved in the area of sports entertainment for years, and we will be there for the 09-10 season, and it's going to be one of those great moments in sports."

Hedging a bit

Finally, at about 24:20, Yormark hedged slightly, saying, "We do have at least two years in Jersey."

And, of course, team owners are hedging their bets, as they've extended their lease at the Continental Airlines Arena through the 2012-13 season, just in case.

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