Monday, March 28, 2011

In the Record, Nets CEO Yormark says arena concert schedule coming soon; also, some lingering AY controversies lightly described

In the Record, Nets' new home moving forward, John Brennan quotes Nets CEO Brett Yormark, regarding a big announcement:
We’ve been talking to artists and promoters, and the biggest names in the business want to play here,” Yormark said during a tour of the arena site last week. “I think our opening-month celebration is going to be unprecedented. When we put out the artists’ names that are going to appear here. … Everyone sees the movement in Brooklyn. They understand that this is going to continue the renaissance in Brooklyn, and they’re embracing it. They want to be a part of it.”

Yormark has an ace in the hole when it comes to performers — music entrepreneur Jay-Z has a minor stake in the Nets franchise, and his wife, BeyoncĂ©, is a major recording star. The concert schedule that will serve as the “soft launch” for the arena, and the opening date for the Nets should be announced soon, Yormark said.
About those controversies

A sidebar, headlined Continuing controversy, mentions some of the clouds over the project:
  • the charges against state Sen. Carl Kruger and lobbyist Richard Lipsky, as well as Forest City Ratner executive Bruce Bender's supplication for subsidies with Kruger
  • potential plans for modular construction of housing, angering unions
  • Forest City Ratner’s EB-5 efforts
  • and an ongoing lawsuit regarding the project timetable
About EB-5

The EB-5 paragraph:
Forest City Ratner’s use of a federal program that attempts to lure hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to projects such as Atlantic Yards also has been criticized, because the investors — in this case, mostly from China — gain a fast-track toward obtaining green cards for themselves and their families. The program is supposed to reward those who create or save jobs in the United States.
Actually, it's been criticized, but not because investors gain a fast track. That's a fact of the EB-5 program, which, while not uncontroversial, is a legitimate response to similar efforts by other countries.

The EB-5 program has been criticized because no new jobs would be created, and it's highly dubious any would be saved, thus evading the spirit if not the letter of the law. Also, the marketing has been clearly deceptive.

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