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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

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After WPIX quietly exits arena retail space, Barclays Center operators offering pop-ups at "Featured on Flatbush"

The Barclays Center, it seems, is trying to make lemonade out of lemons. After WPIX-TV vacated (with no announcement) the Flatbush Avenue retail space that was part of a "multi-year strategic partnership" announced in December 2014, now arena operators are offering pop-up space ("Featured on Flatbush") to local merchants as well as vendors associated with arena events.
Tyrel Kirkham, VP of global merchandising for BSE Global, which operates the arena, told The Bridge that the space was used in April for the UFC championship: "Based on the success of that event, we decided to really build up a platform. That’s where we came up with the idea to extend it well beyond just our programming, to open it up to our sponsors in addition to, and most importantly, the community."
He suggested it was a way for small businesses to get their start--of course, that depends on the terms. Applications are available here.
This space is adjacent to the team store. There was …

Forbes: Brooklyn Nets rank #36 among the world's 50 most valuable sports teams (and #6 in NBA)

From Forbes, a new 7/18/18 article (and list) on the world's 50 most valuable sports teams:
The biggest gainer among the 50 richest teams is the Rockets, who shot up 14 spots to No. 40 at $2.2 billion after Tilman Fertitta closed on his deal to buy the team in October. Fellow NBA teams, Brooklyn Nets ($2.3 billion) and Golden State Warriors ($3.1 billion), also jumped at least ten places, with the league’s international growth prospects the best of any U.S. sports league and big market franchises valued at record multiples of revenue. It's not just international growth, or even potential gambling revenue, it's that NBA teams are "paintings for billionaires," and one of them, Joe Tsai, was willing to pay (in stages) $2.3 billion for the Nets.

What's interesting is the ratio of team value to operating income, which suggests the Nets are overvalued. (Note that I find the Forbes calculations confusing.)

Consider that the teams more highly valued than the Nets are…

Nassau Coliseum in flux: no Nets preseason game; suggestion for Isles returning full-time for two years

As with the Barclays Center, the Nassau Coliseum is a "never-say-never" project. Remember how the arena operators were supposed to bring a minor league hockey team to Long Island? That didn't happen.

Or how the Islanders were supposed to play a certain number of games in Nassau or face a fine? That got papered over by the plan for a part-time home rink while the Belmont arena progresses.

Newsday's Jim Baumbach reported 7/7/18, in Brooklyn Nets won’t play preseason game at Nassau Coliseum, that a contractually obligated preseason game won't happen because the NBA has reduce the required number of preseason game, leaving one home game in Brooklyn

A spokesman for Nassau County Executive Laura Curran told Newsday, “We’re in conversation with BSE Global about alternative programming.” Nor has BSE Global, the operator of the Barclays Center and the Coliseum, conducted the required annual open Nets practice and a clinic, Baumbach reported; the company is working on future…

Two top executives in arena company among the many contributing to Adams 2021

The New York City Campaign Finance Board yesterday announced that reports are now live for 2021 New York City candidates, including all financial activity from January 13 to July 12, 2018.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, unopposed in his 2017 re-election and aiming at the 2021 mayoralty, has a lot of money, some $915,339, with Comptroller Scott Stringer, also aiming at the mayoralty, the only one close, raising $818,654.

Notably, among Adams's many contributors, Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global, which owns the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center operating company, contributed $5,100--the maximum--on 7/12/18.

Yormark previously contributed $2500 to Adams in 2015, and $2,475 to Public Advocate candidate Daniel Squadron (who unsuccessfully opposed arena foe Letitia James) in 2013. So this is more than twice as much.

Adams also received $5,100 on 7/2/18 from Maureen Hanlon, president of Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc., the enterprise that owns BSE Global. S…

State Comptroller's latest report on the Brooklyn economy shows significant improvement (yet continued pressures)

At the March 2010 groundbreaking for the Barclays Center, Gov. David Paterson cited an 11.2% unemployment rate in Kings County and declared, "As the buildings rise on Atlantic Yards the joblessness rate will fall right here in Brooklyn."

He was right--sort of--but correlation is not causation. The unemployment rate has dropped considerably, even as the buildings--an arena and four residential towers--have risen slowly.

And while the Barclays Center surely has a direct and indirect role in tourism and hospitality jobs, it's hard to see this project--or any project, frankly--as the main cause.

Yes, 64 new hotels have been built in Brooklyn. But most of the job growth in leisure and hospitality--which more than doubled between 2009 and 2017, adding 30,100 jobs--came from  restaurants and bars, presumably serving residents with more disposable income.

Rather, as a June 2018 report (also at bottom) from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli shows, Brooklyn is the beneficiary of s…

Does the Barclays Center symbolize (as per Harper's) "The Death of a Once Great City"?

So, I've been asked: what do you think of the treatment of Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards in author Kevin Baker's jeremiad in the July 2018 issue of Harper's, The Death of a Once Great City: The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence?

My answer: like much of the article, while I'm sympathetic to many of the sentiments and critiques--and the Barclays Center deserves enduring taint--it goes over the top and thus sacrifices credibility.

Consider the article's opening, which suggests that New York "is approaching a state where it is no longer a significant cultural entity but the world’s largest gated community, with a few cupcake shops here and there."

C'mon. However much we might bemoan the fate of some choice parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn--and the failure of public entities to invest in infrastructure and policies to foster a more equitably growing city--that's just hard to take seriously. (See Ben Adler's 7/12/18 essay in Ci…

Another Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park lesson for journalists: Stick with a subject. Do the reading. Show up.

Following up on the main lesson of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park for student journalists--"Go beyond stenography and be wary of manipulation"--I should try to answer another question: why is this such a difficult topic to cover?

Because of depth, and breadth.

A long period of time

What do I mean? This project was announced in 2003. I followed it, informally, until mid-2005, when I jumped in, first with a critique of New York Times coverage, then a precursor blog. I never intended to keep writing a blog (and freelance articles) this long. Now, I have no particular plan to stop; the project won't be done until perhaps the early 2030s.

So I have what's called institutional memory. Because I can remember--or search quickly for information--that positions me ahead of other reporters who can't devote time to in-depth work. And I'm fortunate--and unusual--in being able to focus on one project.

(Sure, it is possible, by dint of hard work, to become better informed on a …