Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brutally weird: ESDC blames project opponents for using name "Barclays Center"

The Atlantic Yards battle has produced its share of strange moments, and one of the weirdest--brutally weird, in fact--emerges from the legal papers filed in the appeal of a state judge's decision to dismiss a challenge to the Atlantic Yards environmental review.

In the brief from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), amid a dispute over whether a "civic project" must be publicly owned or leased to an entity with a civic purpose, the state agency strains credulity with a posture of baffling obtuseness:
Finally, Appellants labor to fortify their argument by calling the Arena the ‘Barclays Center.’ There is no record evidence that this name will be used, although this name has been reported in the press. In any event, the name of the facility does not change its civic character. The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center will not cease to be the cultural facility it has been since its creation simply because a captain of industry recently purchased the naming rights for $100 million.”

Well, one difference is that David Koch didn’t buy naming rights, but rather made a donation to a nonprofit organization after the theater was built.

If there's "no record evidence," shouldn't the developer's efforts (see screenshot) to call the arena the Barclays Center hold any weight? What about the efforts of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, as in his 2007 State of the Borough address? Indeed, the appellants note that the ESDC tries to minimize the name despite the presence of the BarclaysCenter.com web site.

This dispute is probably minor in the totality of the litigation. Still, given the enormous dispute over the reality of blight, you'd think the two sides could agree on the reality of naming rights announcements.

1 comment:

  1. ESDC says:
    "There is no record evidence that this name will be used, although this name has been reported in the press."

    perhaps they aren't being disingenuous, but rather paving the way for Barclays to pull out of the deal?

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