Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brooklyn 2012--or 2014? Nets sign two-year lease for Prudential Center in Newark, with option to renew

The timetable for the Nets' planned--although not finalized--move to Brooklyn has most recently been stated as the 2012-13 season, and a long-rumored new lease in Newark anticipates that timetable as well.

However, given the history of delays, and the potential for additional snags, the new lease offers two more years in Newark. As the Real Deal reported:
The New Jersey Nets have reached a long-anticipated deal to move to Newark's Prudential Center for the next two years , as the team plans for the Barclays Arena to open two years from now at the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.

"It's extraordinarily exciting," [Newark Mayor Cory] Booker told The Real Deal in a telephone interview. "Not only will it bring economic opportunity, energy excitement to our downtown, for the Nets they are going to receive one of the most exciting fan bases they've had in years and years." Sources said the lease with the Prudential Center includes an option to automatically renew for another two years.
Sealing the deal

The Star-Ledger reported that the Nets must pay a $4 million fee to break their lease at the Izod Center, but could raise some $450,000 via advertising, suite revenue and other credits.

Presumably an increase in attendance would help their bottom line, as well.

Shifting the goalposts

Remember, the team was originally supposed to move in 2006; when the project was approved in 2006, the year became 2009. Nets CEO Brett Yormark moved the goalposts so often than in January 2009 I posted a remix of his statements.

As of last September, Bruce Ratner predicted the move would come in the "11-12 season."

Today's press release from Yormark
East Rutherford, NJ—Brett Yormark, the Nets President and CEO, released the following statement regarding the Nets' upcoming interim relocation to Newark's Prudential Center, which will begin with the upcoming 2010-11 NBA season. This precedes the team's permanent move to Brooklyn, planned for 2012.

"Our planned interim relocation to the Prudential Center in Newark represents one of the many positive steps to take place for Nets Basketball during the next few months. This temporary move not only gives our fans a state-of-the-art arena with the first-class amenities common in most NBA buildings, but also provides our players with a great atmosphere in which to play.

"Additionally, before we make our permanent move to Brooklyn, this interim relocation to Newark enables us to continue our goal to further regionalize the team, not only in Essex and Union Counties, but also in New York City due to the direct mass transit access available between Manhattan and the Prudential Center. We are confident that the NBA family will see this as a positive move, as we do. We look forward to being part of the community in Newark and will continue our extensive community outreach in the area.

"I would like to sincerely thank Governor Christie for his support and leadership in making our interim relocation to the Prudential Center a reality. I would also like to express my appreciation to Mayor Booker and Jeff Vanderbeek for their steadfast efforts throughout this process."

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