FanPost

Have the Nets been following the Kings' lead?

I used to follow this site religiously for the last 4 years, but for a variety of reasons I only visit occasionally these days, which is why some of you may not recognize me. Anyway, those who have visited this site regularly for years know that I have never agreed with any proposed move out of the Prudential Center, nor do I believe the Nets will actually play their home games there (the Knicks will play home games in BK before the Nets do, IMO). And that's IF the arenum is built to full completion (which it appears it will be, but I would not be surprised if construction is halted or delayed at some point over the next year). I bring all of this up for you all to understand where I'm coming from and what you're about to read.

I won't go into all of the reasons why I know this 'move' is nothing more than a large-scale PR stunt simply designed to eat into the NY b-ball viewing market. If I did list all of the reasons, this post would end up being a 10,000-word essay! As a 20-year fan of the Nets (and current season-ticket holder - long live the Rock, baby!), I have to ask why the Nets have chosen to field losing squads the last few years, as well as mediocre teams from the time Bruce Ratner - an admitted b-ball novice - took over the team?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-berri/how-the-sacramento-kings-_b_836757.html

Which leads me to Barclay's Center and the Nets. At north of $1 billion, this arenum cannot possibly turn a profit anytime soon, even if there were sellout events every day of the year for the next 10 years. As you will read in the above attached article, it's clear why fans don't come to games - LOSING. I think the Nets have employed this tactic for the same reasons the Sac-town Kings have faltered. To extract more public money from a team so they don't have to pay for their bad decisions. Sounds a heckuva lot like a publicly-financed bailout to me. But this alone does not explain the Nets' situation.

Why build an arena that can't possibly make money - again - the only reason to build a new facility in our Capitalist system? Considering the MASSIVE amount of direct and indirect public financing (thru eminent domain, dissolution of air-rights bidding over MTA-owned rail yards and politicians that looked the other way when the remainder of the Atlantic Yards project was "delayed" due to Ratner's financing issues), someone will have to pay, and that will be NY City and State taxpayers. And the bill won't be cheap. And the owners won't have to pay. This is the shell game that's being played on us, the fans. The classic bait-and-switch, with our Nets as the bait. And we're going to pick up the tab, ultimately.

Lastly, why build an arena in the same metropolitan region (BK and Jersey are part of the NY-NJ metro area) when a brand new state-of-the-art arena already exists just a 15-minute train ride southwest of midtown Manhattan (Pru Center, in case you haven't guessed)? It has all the bells and whistles and expensive suites of modern arena. Population doesn't explain this issue when there are simply a limited number of events available to fill all of the arena in our region. Unless Barclay's is hosting sold-out shows of Disney on Ice for over 200 days a year and siphoning most of the events from the other arena in the region, there's NO WAY this arena can compete.

I know the vast majority of you either won't agree with me or will dismiss this as the final rant of a disgruntled fan. But I can assure you that after following this project (and the original Newark arena before it) for the past 13 years that this situation will not end well. And don't think for a second that a multi-billionaire owner is gonna throw his money away on bailing out this team and supporting the construction of the World's Most Expensive Basketball Arenum without extracting substantial financial concessions in return. After all, how do you think he became a billionaire in the first place?

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