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Brooklyn Nets part of Barclays welcome for Democrats

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Ashley Cotton, FCR

Mason Plumlee was all dressed up and ready to mingle and each member of the Democratic National Committee visiting Barclays Center Monday was presented with a personalized Nets jersey as the ownership of the team and arena along with city officials pushed Brooklyn for the site of the 2016 Democratic convention.

Plumlee, who posed with 6'6" Mayor Bill DeBlasio, was apparently the only player who was part of the welcoming committee but Bruce Ratner and Brett Yormark were front and center.  Plumlee has become somewhat of an off-season ambassador for the team.

As the New York Times reported...

There were nods to Brooklyn’s diversity ("Even the rarely seen hipster culture" is on display, Mr. Schumer said), borough-specific style ("We have swag on lockdown," said Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo), and at least three references to Jackie Robinson.

Ratner invoked Jay-Z and others invoked  Lena Dunham of "Girls," the award-winning HBO series on young people living in the borough.

Brooklyn is competing with a number of cities, most notably Philadelphia. One issue for the DNC is the lack of hotel space in the borough, with only 3,500 rooms, far short of the 17,000 required. City officials noted that there are plenty more in Manhattan which as every Net fan with a MetroCard knows is a short subway ride away.  The borough has several key backers in its corner already, including former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.

If Barclays is selected, it would be the latest coup for Ratner and his partner, Mikhail Prokhorov,. The arena, which almost died in the drawing boards several times, now ranks first among venues in several revenue and attendance categories.  All Star Weekend will be held at the arena next February.

The convention would be the first in the city since 2004 when George Bush was re-nominated for president and hundreds of protestors were detained for up to three days on a pier, a move that wound up costing the city $18 million in court settlements.