Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The AY meme meets Mike Francesa: project is "about down the drain"

I'm skeptical of the reversal of the Atlantic Yards inevitability meme, but, as I wrote, it's interesting to see how widely it's spreading.

No Land Grab has a clip from WFAN's Francesa on the Fan show, in which Mike Francesa, who, like many sports talk show hosts, sounds authoritative, even though he's talking through his hat.

"It looks like... Ratner's whole Atlantic Yards dream is about down the drain," Francesa said, citing the difficulty in getting tax-exempt bonds, the economic downturn, and the fact that there are "three lawsuits," of which residents "won one."

Closer look

There are two major lawsuits, and the only win was more precisely a non-loss, a court's refusal to dismiss the case before argument.

Francesa was on more solid ground when he suggested that 2012 or 2013 are the earliest the arena would open--Forest City Ratner has finally started using 2011, but I think 2012 is a more likely best-case alternative.

He predicted principal owner Bruce Ratner will sell the team and it will move to Newark, where the Prudential Center has already opened.

As the owners of the Nets contemplate four more seasons in the Meadowlands, that potential Newark move has to be taken much more seriously--even if AY isn't "about down the drain."

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