Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Times columnist Vecsey: Nets should move to Newark

New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey, in a column today headlined Memo: Things Aren’t That Great Here, observes that a lot of New York sports teams aren't doing too well.

Perhaps the signal example plays hoops in New Jersey:
The Nets are trapped in the most dismal sports location in the United States — with one football stadium under construction, another perfectly good football stadium about to be demolished, a vestigial sports arena, a grotesque amusement center and parking garages looming over the swamplands, ugly as sin.

The Nets wanted to escape to Brooklyn but their owner, Bruce C. Ratner, has been thwarted for a few years because of the economy and land-use niceties there. (Forest City Ratner, Mr. Ratner’s company, was the development partner for the Manhattan headquarters of The New York Times Company.)

Now there is a prospective buyer for the Nets, Mikhail D. Prokhorov, a Russian businessman. We will see how that plays out. The Nets really should move into the Prudential Center in Newark, to get an energy boost from a city that finally has competent leadership.
Well, moving to Newark wouldn't make the Nets as much money as moving to a new arena in Brooklyn. But there's really no public policy argument for the federal government to subsidize another arena in the New York area.

We should see the Nets in Newark in a year, with or without Prokhorov, if only as an interim location before a move to Brooklyn. And we might see them stay, but it's too soon to tell.

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