Friday, May 15, 2009

Newark Mayor Booker predicts Brooklyn deal will die: "I think there's going to be a comeuppance very soon"

Three weeks ago on the WBGO radio show Newark Today with Mayor Cory Booker, the mayor asserted, "I believe the project in Brooklyn is not going to work," and in last night's show Booker expressed even more confidence in that prediction, again arguing for the Nets to move to Newark's Prudential Center.

The action began at about 47:50 with a New Jersey-born caller from New York named Bob.

CB: Bob, you're from New York, are you from Brooklyn?

Bob: No, I'm from Manhattan.

CB: OK, 'cause I'm trying to get those Nets from Brooklyn.

Bob: What is the status of the negotiations to keep the Nets in New Jersey and more particularly to move them to Newark?

CB: I'm going to go way out on a limb here and let you know maybe more than I should... I am confident now more than ever that the deal in Brooklyn is just not going anywhere. I think there's going to be a comeuppance very soon where the team is going to go up for sale. That's my prediction--I really do believe it.

I'm working on this issue more than I ever imagined I would, because the Nets in Newark would have a significant game-change, in terms of the energy and the excitement and the job opportunities and economic investment in our downtown. So it's something I'm working on a lot. I've watched the deal very closely. I know people that are involved in the deal. It does not look like it's going anywhere in Brooklyn.

The team's going to be put up for sale, and this is my fear--that there are going to be people competing from Kansas City to Seattle and Newark is going to have to get in that game. And there's a lot of very good investors who are already stepping up that want to purchase the team should it be put up for sale.

(Emphasis added)

Prudential vs. Izod

In the rest of the segment, Booker and Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, another guest on the show, discussed the importance of working out an arrangement with the Izod Center. Booker said he was "in active talks with people from the Meadowlands and the Sports Authority."

Of course, had officials from Bergen County, where the Izod Center is located, been on the show, the discussion might have been a little more contentious.

2 comments:

  1. One of the people that mayor booker knows very well is president obama.

    They are extremely close friends and booker campaigned early and often for obama during his run for the white house.

    I truly believe that booker is pulling strings behind the scenes to accomplish his "game-changing" goal of bringing the nets to newark.

    There are no better strings to pull than those of the most powerful man in the free world, the president of the united states.

    Unfortunately for ratner & forest city, neither mayor bloomberg or borough president markowitz have the connections that mayor booker has.

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  2. As i've noted previously, seattle is a non-starter as a potential bidder for the nets.

    Senate Bill 6116 ... a washington state tax measure to fund a new arena in seattle ... didn't even make it to the floor for a vote in april because there was so little support for it.

    No new arena in seattle means no nba franchise for seattle, period, end of story. Even the most ardent local supporters of the arena funding bill have acknowledged that seattle and the nba have permanently parted ways.

    Kansas City does have a new arena, the sprint center, but doesn't have the corporate & fan interest necessary to support an nba franchise.

    The nba's kansas city kings averaged only 8 or 9 thousand fans per game during their 11-year run (1974-85)in k.c., even though they played in the centrally located, brand new kemper arena.

    The kansas city scouts of the nhl had even less corporate & fan support, lasting only 2 seasons (1974-76) in k.c. before hightailing it to denver and then to east rutherford in 1982, where they became the new jersey devils.

    So mayor booker's comments about seattle or kansas city potentially acquiring the nets are a bit of a reach, to say the least.

    I think that booker is just using those 2 cities as leverage to drum up more nets investors from new jersey, which is a very smart tactic on his part.

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