Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Nets will play two of three preseason games in Newark, one in Queens

In what may be a prelude to a temporary move (at least) to the Prudential Center in Newark, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that the Nets will play two preseason games there next October, and a third game at St. Johns University in Queens

"We are excited to bring our team and our brand to Newark and Queens for the pre-season schedule for next season," Nets CEO Brett Yormark told the newspaper. "We are looking forward to playing two games against two of our biggest rivals, the Celtics and the Knicks, at the Prudential Center. We are also excited to be playing a game at St. John's in Queens, a borough where we expect great support for the Nets when we move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2011."

Three more seasons in New Jersey?

As I've pointed out, 2011 is unlikely, leaving 2012 a more likely best-case scenario for a Brooklyn move. That would mean at least three more seasons in New Jersey and, given the poor attendance at the Izod Center, a temporary move to Newark--where the new arena has room on its schedule to accommodate an NBA team--has to be considered.

And if lawsuits and financing problems significantly delay or kill the Brooklyn arena, the test run at The Rock would help the Nets, New Jersey Devils (the main tenant), and city of Newark negotiate a future deal.

It's all negotiable

In mid-January, when a potential plan to play preseason games in Newark fizzled, Yormark told the Star-Ledger, "If that means taking us out of Izod Center, I'll consider that. However, all discussions (with the Devils) are off."

Now, as we realize, it's all negotiable.

In the Daily News

Daily News sports reporter Julian Garcia writes:
Since the Nets have been adamant about not moving to Newark, why would they want to give the impression that they might be if there wasn't at least a chance? It seems logical that by playing games in Newark they are sort of kicking the tires in case a permanent move there becomes necessary. And based on everything we've heard, it seems very likely that the Brooklyn thing will be much harder to make a reality than Ratner and his people are letting on.

2 comments:

  1. This could be the start of something big. No wonder cory booker was so optimistic in that recent radio interview about the nets "returning to jersey". Booker rocks, bloomberg sucks, long live the nj nets!!!

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  2. Forgot to mention nj governor jon corzine. Just like mayor booker, corzine has been extremely optimistic about the nets staying in jersey for the long haul.

    At a charity event last summer, he told a longtime nets' season ticket holder that he was very confident jersey would keep the nets.

    Even though corzine is biased on this subject, so is virtually everyone else who chimes in on it.

    What makes corzine's comment so significant is that he spent his entire business career working for goldman sachs, ratner's lead underwriter for bond financing of the arena and the rest of atlantic yards. Corzine was goldman's chief executive officer before leaving the firm to run for senator about 10 years ago. With his industry knowledge and contacts at goldman, corzine undoubtedly knows what the chances REALLY are of barclays arena ever getting built.

    Apparently, those chances aren't looking too good. And corzine said that BEFORE the economy and financial markets crashed last september. God-only-knows what ratner's chances are now.

    (On a side-note ... i love your website, norman, but the cumbersome and confusing registration process is VERY DISCOURAGING to potential posters. The moderation delay certainly doesn't help either. I bet that you would have a LOT MORE POSTS/COMMENTS if you could alleviate both of these problems.)

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