The first 3,000 seats set aside for the draft were sold out, so they released 1,000 more tickets last week, once again giving Newark Mayor Cory Booker hope that he can entice another NBA team to the Prudential Center once the Nets finally leave New Jersey for Brooklyn at the end of next season (if there is a next season).
The obstacles he'd have to surmount are huge. No market has three teams and while the Nets agreed to give up their territorial rights to New Jersey and not fight the relocation of a team to Newark, the Knicks haven't and can be expected to fight the idea with all its considerable might in NBA board rooms.
"We're definitely engaging in conversations with folks who have put out feelers about the potential for our arena to host an NBA team," Booker said during a phone interview with Al Iannazzone of The Record. Booker needs "The Rock" to be filled as many nights as possible so Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek can start paying the city rent on the arena.
- Mayor pushes for NBA team in Newark - Al Iannazzone - The Record
- Newark, N.J., Wants Another NBA Franchise Once Nets Leave, Mayor Says - Ben Watanabe - NESN
Mayor pushes for NBA team in Newark - Greg Newman - ESPN New York
Newark Rocks the NBA Draft 11 - Go Newark Hoop Fest