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Showing posts from August, 2020

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

OK, MTV Video Music Awards won't be held at Barclays Center but rather dispersed to outdoor stages around NYC

Oh, well.

The 6/29/30 announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the MTV Video Music Awards would return to the Barclays Center Aug. 30, with limited or no audience (and later clarified to no audience), has been overtaken by a decision not to hold an indoor event at all, but rather several outdoor performances around the city.

That's a blow to arena managers' efforts to resume some revenue-producing events. That said, according to former arena executive Irina Pavlova, the arena operator would've incurred a loss.The VMAs are a “reputational” special event to put a venue on the map. It’s not a money-maker even in the good times. As a special event, it’ll have its own sponsors which don’t benefit the arena. Also huge load-in/out times, big egos etc = high costs that the venue absorbs— Irina Pavlova (@TheRealPavlova) August 8, 2020
Page Six reported yesterday:
A source told Page Six earlier this week that some staffers expressed they did not feel safe going ahead with the show. But…

Belmont arena said to be "made for music, built for hockey," with easier, cheaper loading than Barclays/MSG; would 15K-seat Coliseum become downsized "theater" for concerts?

‘MADE FOR MUSIC, BUILT FOR HOCKEY’, VenuesNow reported 8/6/20, suggesting that the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park, thanks to the much larger footprint than urban arenas, will save money and time for multi-truck concert productions.
The arena, scheduled to open in 2021, "sits on 400 acres," according to article, which isn't accurate. But the larger footprint does allow more loading docks and backstage areas
“What’s unique about New York is you have an elevator and turntable at Barclays Center that artists have to deal with for tour production,” Tim Leiweke, chairman and co-founder of arena developer Oak View Group, told the publication. “When you have a 24-truck tour like Drake, you’ve got to load in one truck at a time, go down, hit the turntable, spin it around and unload it. In the case of the Garden, you’ve got a ramp that takes you up five levels and you (unload) one truck at a time.”

That adds time, and cost, given union expenses. So much for the 2013 statement by th…

LIU announces new Roc Nation School of Music Sports & Entertainment (involving one prinicipal in ghosted Paramount project)

It's, um, interesting that Long Island University can issue a press release about a new initiative with Jay-Z's Roc Nation, but can't answer press questions about the fate of the apparently-stalled plan to renovate the Paramount Theater, right.

Here's coverage in the Associated Press, Roc Nation Partners With Brooklyn’s LIU to Launch New School and the New York Daily News, Jay-Z, Roc Nation open new school of entertainment management at Long Island University, based on the press release below.

There's no little irony that Brett Yormark, Roc Nation's President of Business Operations & Strategy, would say in yesterday's press release, "After many years of working with LIU, I know how important music and sports are to both Dr. [Kimberly] Cline and the LIU Board of Trustees, so I was thrilled to be able to partner with them."

After all, there's still a stale announcement on LIU's Paramount site, Revival of Legendary Theatre Underway, quot…

With ticket revenues nearly gone and sponsorship income plummeting, Barclays Center is in a deep financial hole (though FY 2020 was looking up)

The financially stretched Barclays Center, not surprisingly, is in deep(er) financial trouble after shuttering for the coronavirus crisis, with its $29.1 million in revenues dwarfed by $31.2 million expenses over the first half of this calendar year, according to financial documents released yesterday.

And it's worse than a $2.1 million loss suggests.

The arena is supposed to amass a significant cushion of net income, leaving ample cash to pay off some $36.2 million in annual required PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes). Those PILOTs include $24.8 million in net debt service to pay for arena construction, plus a significant chunk that go back into arena operations and maintenance (see below).

As described below, though the arena operating company was in the black for the first half of FY 2020, the annual net income will be too little to cover PILOTs.

That said, a default is not coming. Billionaire Joe Tsai, who owns the Brooklyn Nets and the arena operating company, "has sign…

Was Brooklyn Nets sale a record? Arguably, no. Seller Prokhorov instantly gave up $345M; most went back to buyer Tsai. (So, it was a better deal than Forbes said.)

In August 2019, it was widely reported that billionaire Joe Tsai would complete his purchase of the Brooklyn Nets from billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov for $2.35 billion, a recordprice for a U.S. sports franchise. (The previous NBA record was $2.2 billion.)

The two-stage transaction, which started in April 2018 with the sale of a 49% stake, closed in September 2019.

However, documents shared with investors in the Barclays Center construction bonds suggest a less impressive bottom line: the deal involved Prokhorov immediately giving up $345 million, which later translated into a Tsai rebate of about $300 million.

In other words, the deal, arguably, was not a record, given that haircut. And that rebate cut Prokhorov's profit, estimated in media reports between $1 billion and $2 billion.

A complicated deal bails out Barclays

That valuation adjustment derives from the awkward relationship between the Nets and their arena, which—though supplying a crucial, value-boosting home in the nation…

Another executive departure from BSE Global: VP of Diversity & Inclusion Maurice Stinnett

Two years after the Barclays Center parent company created a new executive position, the first person to fill it is gone.

A 8/7/18 press release, BSE GLOBAL CREATES TWO NEW EXECUTIVE POSITIONS, annoucied the hiring of Dr. Maurice Stinnett as Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, as well as Steve Powers as Vice President of Security. It stated:
As Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. Stinnett will create innovative programming tailored for inclusion and cultural competence by providing leadership and support across BSE brands. Dr. Stinnett was previously at Cleveland State University, where he served as the Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement. Prior to Cleveland State, Dr. Stinnett served as the Dean of Students at Central State University and was the Chairman for the World Leadership Program, a White House Initiative under the Obama administration designed to bridge cultures and encourage inclusive dialogue among universities in the Middl…

So, Forbes thinks the Nets (and arena company) are worth less than what Tsai paid

When Forbes last February valued the Brooklyn Nets at $2.5 billion I missed this key piece of fine print: "Our appraisals are what we think the team would sell for. So while [Joe] Tsai paid $3.3 billion for the Nets, we think the team is worth more like $2.5 billion because he paid around $1 billion for a money-losing arena business."

Actually, Tsai paid an estimated $3.3 billion for both the team and arena operating company.

That came to light after I looked at Forbes's 7/31/20 The World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams 2020, which ranked the Nets as tied for #38, valued at $2.5 billion, after Tsai purchased them--along with the arena operating company--last year for $3.3 billion.

I tweeted at writer Kurt Badenhausen, asking if they were saying the Nets were worth less than what Tsai paid, and he responded, "We believe Nets and rights to operate Barclays are worth less than what Joe Tsai paid."

That, indeed, is possible, given that the arena has lost money, though…

"Back in 2002 we had heard that Barclays Center would be coming to Brooklyn" (yes, it's plausible)

From the Business of Home yesterday, How Goldman Sachs convinced this New Jersey designer to change her firm’s name. an interview with Greenbrook, NJ–based Kesha Franklin of Halden Interiors.
When did you know that you wanted to be a designer? I actually didn’t know for the longest time—this was something that I fell into, or that found me, I should say. My husband is in the entertainment industry, so back in 2002 we had heard that Barclays Center would be coming to Brooklyn. The following year, there was a four-story building [near the Barclays site] that was vacant; we reached out to friends of ours and [decided to] partner on putting a bar-lounge and restaurant there. I have a background in corporate event production, so I knew that I could fill it and run it. But the part that we didn’t really think about was how to actually build it and get it to open.

Doing that venture is how I got exposed to interior design without even realizing it... (Emphasis added)

Yes, it's possible


Columnist Mike Wise on the NBA "bubble" and real life

Because, when it comes down to it, that's what it is -- a bubble. It doesn't reflect the real world. It doesn't reflect what's happening in society or, for that matter, mere miles from the area Disney has partnered with the NBA to cordon off from Orlando and Central Florida. — Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) July 29, 2020And more, ending with:
And if we're really going to heap massive praise on a locked-down sports league about to re-start -- amid record-breaking cases and fatalities in many states across the country -- we also need to acknowledge that the good happening in that bubble is not real life; it's sports. — Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) July 29, 2020But then:
If Covid-19 testing sites are shutting down in Florida in anticipation of the hurricane and NBA players are unaffected and continue to take multiple tests, this is where you have to have some cognitive dissonance to be and work in The Bubble. — Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) July 31, 2020On the…

WSJ: new (luxury) buildings will adapt to the pandemic with touchless options, better stairs (updated)

What Buildings Will Look Like After the Covid Crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported 7/29/20.

While part of the article concerned properties built out of cities, it also noted that designers are recognizing the demand for home offce space and private outdoor space, as well as more capacious stairs, to avoid elevators.
New buildings can have "horizontal ventilation, with each residential unit having its own system, as opposed to the traditional vertical system that filters air throughout a tower,: according to the article.
The article quotes former Forest City exeuctive MaryAnne Gilmartin, whose company MAG Partners plans a new luxury rental building in Chelsea:
[T]he crisis has inspired her to upgrade air filters, create a separate entry for deliveries, and add touchless elements that let residents use their phones to call elevators and open doors. The developer of a project in Oakland acknowledged the demand for work-from-home space, which is accommodated by furniture that can…

Tsai listed at #38 on CSNY's list of most influential Asian-Americans in New York's politics and policy

From City and State New York's 2020 Power of Diversity: Asian 100, subtitled "The most influential Asian Americans in New York politics and policy":
38. Joseph Tsai
Owner, Brooklyn Nets
Joseph Tsai is best known for the successful e-commerce company he co-founded, Alibaba. But the Taiwan-born Canadian businessman’s influence extends to New York since he became the sole owner of the Brooklyn Nets last year, making him one of the world’s richest sports team owners. Tsai made news recently with his statement supporting the peaceful protests against police brutality centered around the Barclays Center. Of course there's much more to say about Tsai's careful posture, belatedly welcoming such protests and belatedly swapping out oculus advertising for a Martin Luther King, Jr., quote. 
And there's more to say about his significant donations of PPE and ventilators, as well as his dubious defense of the Chinese government's Hong Kong policy.
And these rankings are…

ESPN: among NBA owners, Brooklyn Nets' Tsai has a financial edge

NBA owners' current financial turmoil portends future payroll problems, ESPN's Brian Windhorst wrote 7/27/20, noting the challenges faced by owners who rely heavily on their team-as-business (Los Angeles Lakers) or are invested in businesses slammed by the pandemic (Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat).

Given that "roughly 40% of the league's revenues come from ticket sales and arena sponsorships," that portends changes to the current collective bargaining agreement, requiring the players to share the strains.
Some teams, in the face of losses, may trade expensive contracts or even sell a draft pick, while others are sitting pretty, positioned to spend money to gain advantage: Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai recently sold about 25% of his shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, stock valued at $3.3 billion as of July 10. He denied rumors he was joining a group to purchase the New York Mets. As NetsDaily pointed out: Among NBA owners, Joe Tsai is doing very well…