Thursday, June 04, 2009

Forbes.com, citing tight credit, estimates Nets move to Brooklyn at 50-50

In an article headlined Nets Face Deep Potholes On Road To Brooklyn Forbes.com cites evidence that the "Nets have been in full-court press mode":
  • a new VP of suite sales for the Barclays Center
  • six sales people relocated from New Jersey
  • a "lead-generating street team," 10 people to increase brand awareness
However, Forbes offers some caution:
The problem: There's a 50-50 chance at best that the arena gets built. The legal and political hurdles are now mostly cleared, but because opponents delayed the project so long, it's pushed construction into an era of economic turmoil and tight credit.

"The timing is about as bad as it gets right now," says industry consultant David Carter of the Sports Business Group. A big risk that's caught lenders' attention recently: Can teams charge prices high enough these days to cover the debt service on an expensive new venue? The empty premium seats at Yankee Stadium and the slow sales of personal seat licenses for the new football stadium for the Jets and Giants in New Jersey are evidence of misjudged pricing power.


Nets are quiet

What do the Nets say? It's good that, in this case, a business reporter, not a sports reporter, adds a dollop of skepticism:
Forest City Ratner, whose Nets are making the move sound inevitable, isn't saying how much private financing it has lined up, according to a spokesman.

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