It looks like the Nets' round-the-world preseason tour isn't just about basketball.
When the Nets fly into Beijing for a two-game set against the Rockets on October 11, don't be surprised if minority owner Bruce Ratner is there to greet them. Ratner will be in China to lure investors to his Atlantic Yards project. Although he's told U.S. media the money is for a rebuilt rail yard next to the arena, documentation in China suggests the money--nearly a quarter billion dollars--is for Barclays Center. If true, the cost of the arena would rise to nearly $1.5 billion.
Norman Oder, the leading chronicler of the overall project, gathered data from a number of Chinese websites showing middlemen are portraying the investment as one in the arena and possibly the Nets. One site features Brook Lopez and Devin Harris. Ratner, who retains a 20% ownership in the team and 55% in the arena, is seeking the investment as part of the U.S. government's investment for green card programs. Investors who lay down money for U.S. projects are rewarded with green cards.
- While Ratner wants to use Chinese millionaires' money for railyard and land loan, in China, program portrayed as a piece of Nets/arena - Norman Oder - Atlantic Yards Report
- Markowitz will go to China to flack green cards for Ratner's project - Norman Oder - Atlantic Yards Report
Markowitz planning China trip to trade green cards for Atlantic Yards funding - Rick Calder - New York Post