Bruce Ratner on Nets, Barclays Center: "Never thought it would be this great"

Bruce Bennett

In an interview on CNBC Wednesday about his plans for Nassau Coliseum, Bruce Ratner spoke about how he was surprised at the success the Nets and Barclays Center had in Brooklyn this year.

"It's very exciting. yeah. more exciting than i thought it would be," said Ratner whose group still owns 20 percent of the Nets. "I knew it would be great, never thought it would be this great. To become an icon over night. it's amazing. amazing.

"It has to do with everything, the team, the architecture, Brooklyn, it all really did come together in the kind of way that i think was almost unexpected by most people. i knew it would be special, this special i didn't expect."

Ratner still controls the majority interest in the arena and his team, which includes Mikhail Prokhorov's ONEXIM, Jay-Z's Roc Nation and arena architects at SHoP, want to renovate the Coliseum into a smaller, more modern space. Ratner has advertised that the Islanders could play six games at the renovated arena. However, Madison Square Garden might be able to stop them, reports the Post's Josh Kosman. MSG also wants to renovate the Coliseum.

In an interview with Real Estate Weekly, published Wednesday, Ratner said, “I think in some ways [The Nets] are more important than the Dodgers.

“We have a large, low income population in Brooklyn and having a basketball team is something that people, low, middle and upper income can really rally around," he said. "Having young people have something to look up to and be proud of where they live is very important.”

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