Sunday, October 21, 2007

AY arena, says unskeptical Times, "expected to open in 2009"

In an article Saturday headlined Devils Win the Race to Be First , the New York Times reported how the New Jersey Devils' arena, the Prudential Center in Newark, outpaced all other planned sports facilities in the area, and will open this week:
Instead, it was [Jeff] Vanderbeek, the former Lehman Brothers investment banker, who opened his building before the Yankees and Mets, whose new ballparks are to open in the spring of 2009; the Giants and Jets, whose joint, $1.3-billion stadium beside Giants Stadium is scheduled to open in 2010; the Nets, who haven’t broken ground near downtown Brooklyn on a Frank Gehry-designed arena that is still expected to open in 2009; and the Red Bulls’ $140-million soccer stadium in Harrison, N.J.
(Emphasis added)

Can't the Times show a little more skepticism and report that, while the official schedule says 2009, much evidence contradicts such a prediction?

As I wrote on Tuesday, according to the construction schedule included in the Atlantic Yards Final Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Empire State Development Corporation, the Carlton Avenue bridge was supposed to have closed nearly a year ago for reconstruction, and construction of the arena and Miss Brooklyn (aka Building 1) was supposed to have begun in August of this year, but neither have occurred.

As noted in May, even New Jersey Nets President Rod Thorn told the Times, "But as far as saying that we've got to be good in 2009 or 2010, whenever we do go to Brooklyn, I try to look at it as if we're going to be in the same place."

Remember, speaking in March to investment analysts, Forest City executive VP Bob O'Brien said that "hopefully" the "ball team" would open in 2010, and Forest City CEO Chuck Ratner seconded that.

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