Nets/Barclays CEO Yormark claims "all I’m seeing is support for this project" and every decision has "put Brooklyn first"
SLAM: There have been some economic, housing and environmental issues that some people have had with Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards. There is probably going to be a group of folks who you can sway to come to Barclays even if they were previously against the arena being constructed, and there will be a group that won’t go no matter what. How do you identify those two different sets of people?
BY: As far as I’m concerned, all I’m seeing is support for this project. Anyone that was a naysayer, anyone that was truly not supportive early on, realizes that it’s happening. Obviously, we’re months away from opening, and that they need to embrace it. I think that’s the overall feeling. You’re always going to have people, in any situation, that don’t embrace a movement.
But I think this project, from Day One, has been about bringing sports entertainment back to Brooklyn. It’s been about Brooklyn, it’s been about job creation, it’s been about affordable housing. It’s been out doing what’s right for Brooklyn. There hasn’t been a decision that we’ve made that hasn’t put Brooklyn first and the people of Brooklyn first. If there are a few people out there who aren’t supportive, so be it. It is what it is.
But I think the majority of people love what we’re doing; they’re very supportive. In our season ticket sales alone, over 41 percent are coming from Brooklyn. Which is quite surprising for me because I knew that we would get the support from Brooklyn. But we’ve only released our 4,400 premium seats. We haven’t gone on-sale with our non-premium seating and people in Brooklyn are voting ‘yes’ for the Nets. Even at the premium seat level and there will only be more as we release the non-premium seats.
We love the support we’re getting. Our players go into Brooklyn quite often, and they’re doing community engagement. People are honking their horns and saying ‘We love you, Nets’ and it’s a great feeling.
Every decision has "put Brooklyn first"?
How about Bruce Ratner's acknowledgment that "the existing incentives for developments where half the units are priced for middle- and low-income tenants 'don't work for a high-rise building that's union built'" and that the announced and promoted ten-year timetable "was never supposed to be the time we were supposed to build them in.”