Saturday, January 09, 2016

WTF? In new Fodor's Brooklyn, the notable who gets to talk Prospect Heights is... arena CEO Brett Yormark

The new Fodor's Brooklyn guidebook contains "Q&As with notable locals," and some are excellent, like Ted & Marianne Hovivian owners of the BogArt, talking about Bushwick/East Williamsburg, and Paul Mak of the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, talking about Sunset Park.

But who gets chosen as the local Q&A for the Prospect Heights chapter?

Barclays Center/Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark, who lives in Manhattan (after moving from New Jersey), gets served some softball questions:

What do you see as the Nets' role in the Brooklyn community?
Brooklyn is a very diverse borough with more than 150 nationalities and the Brooklyn Nets serve as a link between all these communities. We take a very active role in the community, and whether it's doing basketball clinics, visiting hospitals, schools, or community centers, we are committed to promoting health, wellness, and education.

Well, Nets hype is spread around the borough, but the level of caring is directly linked to the amount of free publicity it can generate.

What's your favorite time of day at Barclays Center?
My favorite time at Barclays Center is when the Brooklyn Nets are in the final minutes of a close game and nearly 18,000 fans begin to chant BROOOOOKLYN! BROOOOOKLYN! It's chilling.

Well, the arena capacity is 17,732 for basketball but the typical crowd, given no shows, was 15,444 in the first season, and the Nets drew an announced 12,756--probably at least a 20% overestimate of actual people--not so long ago.

That's probably chilling Yormark in a different way, especially since he recently lamented that "We’ve got to give people a reason to show up every night."

I  understand the business reason to making nice to the guy who runs an important tourist attraction.

But I must note the irony that a guy who never lived in Prospect Heights--a neighborhood bearing the brunt of arena impacts--gets to speak for it and for Brooklyn.

Yes, Yormark and I have a wee bit of history.

Pumping up a Knicks game

Would you believe that the Nets have to offer a $15 food/beverage credit to entice people to buy tickets to the midweek game Wednesday January 13 versus the crosstown Knicks?


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