Friday, January 04, 2008

On the Nets arena, the real story is 2011, not 2010

The recent round of reporting that the Nets won't move to Brooklyn until 2010 at the earliest is just bizarre. Yes, the Bergen Record reminded us yesterday that the Nets would've had to announce their intentions at the end of December had they intended to move in 2009, as they had long maintained.

But that one story led to a widely-reprinted AP story that even the New York Times published, even though the Times less than a month ago reported essentially the same story.

The Daily News, in its online coverage yesterday, added a highly-analytical quote from Forest City Ratner spokesman Loren Riegelhaupt: ""It's a very exciting thing for Brooklyn." Here's the Star-Ledger article.

Keep adding a year

Remember, back in March, Chuck Ratner of parent Forest City Enterprises seemed to admit to a 2010-11 schedule, then backpedaled, asserting, "We remain committed to our goal of opening the arena in time for the 2009-2010 NBA basketball season.” (Of course, the original goal was 2006.)

He was blowing smoke. We should take the current 2010 pledge with a grain of salt. Arena construction takes 24 months and can't begin until the pending lawsuits are cleared. As I wrote, it's possible they could be cleared by July 31, but under other scenarios, they will persist much longer.

Even if the legal challenges end soon, it still would take a scheduled three years to reconstruct bridges on Carlton Avenue and Sixth Avenue, and it would be a very unwise move to open the arena with a major traffic bottleneck next to it.

The Carlton Avenue bridge won't close until January 16. Three years from then would be mid-January, 2011.

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