Saturday, April 12, 2014

"Keeping your word means something in Brooklyn"? It's Orwellian how columnist Hamill misremembers Ratner's ticket promises

The Brooklyn Nets, astoundingly, have a legitimate shot to win a championship or, at least, a few rounds in the playoffs. After all they swept the champion Miami Heat this year and have a deep, if old, team that might thrive in a series where there are no back-to-back games.

So that led sycophantic Daily News columnist Denis Hamill this week to make the obvious, and unimpeachable, point that, should the team win, they should have their parade in Brooklyn:
Forget the Canyon of Heroes.
Brooklyn should parade in Brooklyn.
We’re jumping way out in front of ourselves here, but if all the planets line up over Kings County and the Brooklyn Nets win the NBA championship, they should have a victory parade in the footsteps of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers from Brooklyn Borough Hall over to Flatbush Ave.
They should march straight up the spine of Brooklyn to where Flatbush Ave. meets Atlantic Ave. and to Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets.
And there the dancin’ in the Brooklyn streets should begin.
OK. Still, for various reasons, people around Brooklyn don't care about the Nets the way Brooklyn of the 1940s and 1950s cared about the Dodgers. But he got Borough President Eric Adams and Mayor Bill de Blasio to endorse the low-risk notion of a Brooklyn parade.

Those $15 seats

Hamill, who now lives in Queens, feels a shiver of pride that has apparently also translated into amnesia:
When the arena was being built, I asked owner Bruce Ratner how much cheap Nets seats would cost. He said $15. Back in February I went with my family to see the Nets vs. New Orleans at Barclays and bought five nosebleed tickets at the box office for $75. 
Keeping your word means something in Brooklyn.
It's Orwellian, almost.

Actually, that's not close to "keeping your word." In his 8/1/12 column, Hamill quoted Ratner, "There will be 2,000 $15 seats at every Brooklyn Nets game, and 50% of Nets tickets will be $55 or less."

That lasted exactly one season. The base price for tickets in the second season (except for limited group tickets) rose to $25--"we are a business," said CEO Brett Yormark. Still, for various games, including apparently the one Hamill attended, prices indeed go down to $15. They've even gone to $8.

As for "keeping your word," well, how about that ten-year Atlantic Yards timetable and the rest of the Culture of Cheating?

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