Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Times gets conclusory: "There will... soon be a Barclays Center"

The New York Times, which yesterday offered a truncated and contemptible print account of the deal expected between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Forest City Ratner for the Vanderbilt Yard, today offers a lengthy, fluffy story headlined M.T.A. Sells Naming Rights to Subway Station.

An excerpt:
There will, however, soon be a Barclays Center, the sports arena planned as the focal point of the Atlantic Yards project, and the developer, Forest City Ratner, has agreed to pay the transportation authority $200,000 a year for the next 20 years to rename one of the oldest and busiest stations in the borough.

This raises a few questions. An academic might talk of the intersection between public and private space. A straphanger may ask how all those names can fit into one announcement.

And if a company can pay to get its name on any station, a New Yorker might wonder what’s next: Coca-Cola Presents 59th Street-Columbus Circle?


A little skepticism

This raises another question: WTF?

There may soon be a Barclays Center. And certainly the MTA's passage of the deal today with Forest City Ratner, coupled with the Empire State Development Corporation's preliminary approval of a new AY plan, make it more likely than before.

However, when the Atlantic Yards arena was announced in 2003, it was supposed to open in 2006. Every year the goalposts move. A little skepticism--or at least a little hedging--is in order, especially since FCR is the parent New York Times Company's business partner in the Times Tower.

4 comments:

  1. The Times has been conclusory about Atlantic Yards since 2003.

    Still, WTF is a very good question.

    By the way, the adoption of the Modified GPP may appear to be a step forward, but isn't this all a step backwards for FCR and ESDC considering they approved the GPP in 2006 and now they have been forced to reopen the approval process.

    As wired as this whole thing is, it wasn't wired to happen this way. In December 2006 nobody in that board room yesterday expected to be back there having to adopt a changed plan.

    Another WTF question is where is the Times' article on that ESDC decision? Maybe their holding back to write THE big Atlantic Yards investigatory article this weekend as the Sunday Magazine cover story.

    Just kidding!

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  2. it's really starting to look like a done deal - is there any way left to stop this, or continue to delay? i'm depressed.

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  3. Sarah. stop it. depressed? it was a done deal 6 years ago, a done deal 3 years ago. (see my comment above)

    it is not a done deal, unless you and others despair. there is no reason for despair. you can start fighting back today by coming to the MTA meeting and expressing your opinions.

    the fight is far from over.

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  4. well, i went to the MTA board meeting, and expressed my opinion, but as expected, they voted to approve the latest FCR giveaway. it was encouraging to see several board members vote against this latest deal.

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