Skip to main content

The Barclays naming right deal may not be a record, after all; will the revised agreement get noticed by the Times, which puffed it?

The most important issue regarding naming rights for the Atlantic Yards arena is why the state simply gave them away--because they were part of arena financing, an Empire State Development Corporation official said not-so-convincingly last July.

That deserves coverage. But also deserving of coverage, especially in the New York Times, is the revelation that the Barclays Center deal, once touted as record-setting, may not be a record, after all. Or, if it remains a record, it's by a fraction.

The big tout

On 1/17/07, in an article headlined NET$' NAME GAME: ARENA SETS RECORD, the New York Post reported--in a 365-word exclusive--that Barclays would set a record for naming rights for the Atlantic Yards arena:
The slam-dunk agreement is the "most expensive arena deal" in the country, exceeding the $9.3 million-a-year over 20 years that Royal Philips Electronics is paying to name Atlanta's Philips Arena, one source said.
The next day, the New York Times put a number on it, in an article headlined Record Price for Name on Nets' Arena:
Setting a record price for the naming rights to an American indoor sports arena, the British bank Barclays has agreed to pay nearly $400 million over 20 years to put its name on the Nets' planned future home in Brooklyn. The arrangement could double the old record of $185 million for 20 years that Royal Philips Electronics paid to name Philips Arena in Atlanta in 1999.
Another Times article that day, headlined What's in a Name? $400 Million, reported:
But the Nets aren’t laughable anymore, and yesterday, their principal owner, Bruce C. Ratner; some of his investors, like the rapper Jay-Z; and a few of their players were at the Brooklyn Museum to announce that Barclays will pay a record $400 million over 20 years to put its name on the team’s new arena.
It also was a bit skeptical:
Given the Nets’ history, it is also difficult to comprehend that Barclays is paying exactly what Citicorp committed in November for the right for 20 years to name the Mets’ new stadium, Citi Field...
No document ever confirmed the numbers. (That article was accompanied by a photo picturing, among others, Nets stars Vince Carter and Jason Kidd, and architect Frank Gehry, now all gone.)

Not a record any more?

Now, however, we know the revised deal is $10 million a year for the arena plus other unspecified payments to the Nets. The total that is hardly double the deal in Atlanta and, given adjustment for inflation, may not even be any larger.

(The details come from the Barclays Center Project Preliminary Official Statement prepared by Goldman Sachs, p. 95 of the PDF.)

A direct comparison isn't simple, especially given the unspecified payments, but here are two attempts. Should each total be considered a lump sum, $185 million in 1999 equals $239.1 million in 2008 purchasing power, according to MeasuringWorth.com.

Alternatively, the net present value of $200 million over 20 years, with a 6.5% discount rate (the same that Forest City Ratner gets from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on the Vanderbilt Yard deal), is $110.2 million. The net present value of $185 million over 20 years is $101.9 million. But having the latter in hand for a decade certainly might be a better deal.

(I recognize that there are multiple ways to calculate net present value.)

Reporting the news

Last Friday, the Post gave the news 96 words in print (after more lengthy blog coverage), in an article headlined $ave and a beauty for new Nets arena:
Barclays Bank will shave $200 million off its $400 million naming-rights fee for a planned NBA arena in Brooklyn -- and may wind up with two pro teams for half the price of one, financing documents revealed yesterday.

The documents, for Nets owner Bruce Ratner's $900 million project, leave the door open for the NHL's Islanders to join the Nets at the Barclays Center.
I don't think a cut in half is a "shave," but at least the Post covered it, as did the New York Observer--which reported the story shortly after I did on Thursday--and the Bergen Record/Star Ledger.

The New York Times and the New York Daily News, however, haven't reported on the revised deal, though they--especially the Times--has treated the previous deal as fact multiple times. Given the parent New York Times Company's business relationship with Forest City Ratner, some more skeptical coverage is in order.

Selected excerpts below.

From the Times

12/1/09, New Nets Arena Wins Another Court Challenge:
Barclays Bank has already signed a $20 million-a-year naming-rights deal for the arena, which will be called Barclays Center.
8/10/09, Atlantic Yards’ Developer Races a Court Hearing, a Bond Deadline and Opponents:
[Bruce Ratner] must get the financing done and start work by Dec. 31 in order to qualify for a much needed tax-exempt bond status and hold on to a $400 million naming-rights deal with Barclays Bank for the arena.
6/25/09, Atlantic Yards Project Enters a Crucial Period:
Mr. Ratner and the Nets have already signed a 20-year, $400 million naming rights deal with Barclays Bank
6/5/09, Developer Drops Gehry’s Design for Brooklyn Arena:
His 20-year, $400 million deal for the arena’s naming rights with Barclays Bank also expires at the end of the year.
5/31/09, For Nets, Barriers to Brooklyn Fall Slowly:
The same deadline appears to loom for the 20-year, $400 million naming-rights deal between the Nets and Barclays.
From the Daily News

3/18/09, Looting goes far beyond bonuses:
AIG doled out payments to a small group of banks, including UBSFor those who have forgotten, Barclays is the bank that agreed back in 2007 to pay $400 million in a 20-year naming rights deal for Forest City Ratner's proposed new basketball arena in Brooklyn.
10/12/08, Financial crisis could take bite out of sports' bottom line:
The club... hopes to receive a projected $400 million from Barclays Bank for the naming rights.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

So, Forest City has some property subject to the future Gowanus rezoning

Writing yesterday, MAP: Who Owns All the Property Along the Gowanus Canal, DNAinfo's Leslie Albrecht lays out the positioning of various real estate players along the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site:
As the city considers whether to rezone Gowanus and, perhaps, morph the gritty low-rise industrial area into a hot new neighborhood of residential towers (albeit at a fraction of the height of Manhattan's supertall buildings), DNAinfo reviewed property records along the canal to find out who stands to benefit most from the changes.
Investors have poured at least $440 million into buying land on the polluted waterway and more than a third of the properties have changed hands in the past decade, according to an examination of records for the nearly 130 properties along the 1.8-mile canal. While the single largest landowner is developer Property Markets Group, other landowners include Kushner Companies, Alloy Development, Two Trees, and Forest City New York.

Forest City's plans unc…