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Barclays Center
Barclays Center

  Venue Resources  
Address
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone
Official Website
Weather
Newspaper
Nets Gear
  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Brooklyn

  The Facility  
Opened 2010
Ownership
(Management)
Forest City Enterprises
(New Jersey Nets)
Cost of Construction $637 million
Arena Financing $150 million in government funds for streets and mass transit improvements. The owner is also seeking large tax credits. Nets owner Bruce Ratner plans to pay for the arena, the centerpiece of a $2.5 billion commercial and residential development that would stretch for three blocks along Atlantic Avenue.
Naming Rights Barclays Bank will pay $400 million over 20 years.
Arena Architects Frank Gehry
Ellerbe Becket & SHoP Architects
General
Contractors /
Construction Managers
Hunt Construction Group
  Other Facts  
Tenants New Jersey Nets (NBA)
2010
Population Base 19,000,000
On Site Parking Unknown
Nearest Airport J.F.K. International Airport (JFK)
Retired Numbers #3 Drazen Petrovic
#4 Wendell Ladner
#23 John Williamson
#25 Bill Melchionni
#32 Julius Erving
#52 Buck Williams

  Seating  
Capacity 18,000
Average Ticket $55.44
(2005-2006)
$
(2007-2008)
Fan Cost Index (FCI) $312.76
(2005-2006)
$
(2007-2008)
The Team Marketing Report FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
Luxury Suites 104 Suites
Club Seats Unknown
  Attendance History  
Season  Total  Capacity Change
1992-93 620,416 75% 19.9
1993-94 658,304 80% 6.1%
1994-95 684,102 83% 3.9%
1995-96 638,144 78% -6.7%
1996-97 670,628 82% 5.1%
1997-98 719,020 87% 7.2%
1998-99 415,353 83% -42.2%
1999-00 643,623 78% 54.9%
2000-01 556,573 67.7% -13.5%

2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
564,194 622,574 613,051 618,677

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
691,543 678,885 641,921 621,062

2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
537,230 581,378 460,719 704,702

2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
707,331

1992-2010 - Attendance at the IZOD Center, New Jersey, NJ.
1998-1999 - Attendance for 25 games due to NBA lockout.
2010-2012 - Attendance at the Prudential Center, Newark, NJ.
2011-2012 - Attendance for 33 games due to NBA lockout.

Sources: Mediaventures

Barclays Center

The Barclays Center is a proposed sports arena to be built partly on a platform over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority-owned Atlantic Yards at Atlantic Avenue in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is part of a proposed $3.5 billion sports arena, business and residential complex. The site is intended to serve as a new home for the New Jersey Nets, currently based at Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The MTA site is 8.3 acres; the Atlantic Yards project site would be 22 acres.

Barclays Center
The arena, along with the rest of the complex, is a project of Brooklyn developer Bruce Ratner, who acquired the Nets in 2004, with the purpose of moving them from New Jersey to this site near the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street New York City Subway station and the Long Island Rail Road terminus in Brooklyn, one of the most transit-accessible locations in the city. The move would mark the return of major league sports to Brooklyn, which has been absent since the departure of the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1957 (their proposal for a new stadium at the Atlantic Yards to replace the unprofitable Ebbets Field had been turned down by the city in the past). Ratner's group had hoped to have the arena open for the beginning of the 2010-2011 season, but the team announced on January 3, 2008 that the arena will not open until 2010 at the earliest. It has been discussed that the Barclays Center may be the NBA All-Star Game site in the 2013-2014 season.

Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the arena would host the Nets, along with concerts, conventions and other sporting events, competing with Madison Square Garden and the Prudential Center among other facilities. The arena's roof would feature a park open only to residents of the Atlantic Yards complex, ringed by an open-air running track that doubles as a skating rink in winter with panoramic vistas facing Manhattan year-round.

The arena will also be able to host hockey games with an NHL sized rink. Brooklyn is geographically the western end of Long Island, and many on other parts of the island have roots there, suggesting that the New York Islanders could play games there (perhaps permanently). The Nets and Islanders shared Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum from 1971 to 1977.

It has been reported that London-based Barclays Bank has agreed to pay the team $400 million over the next 20 years for the naming rights of their future Brooklyn home. On January 18, 2007 it was announced that the arena would be called Barclays Center, becoming the third major league sports venue to be called a center in the NYC metro area.

Barclays Center

BROOKLYN IS BASKETBALL

That’s right, the NBA in Brooklyn, USA. Can you think of a more perfect fit?In the history of the hoops game, no city has influenced the style and rhythm of the sport more than Brooklyn. The fast paced, “in your face” action of today’s NBA was born right here on the asphalt of Brooklyn’s playgrounds and now we can bring it back to the hard wood of a beautiful new arena located in downtown Brooklyn.

Our borough’s influence on the game goes way beyond the heart pounding style we have come to expect from NBA games. Brooklyn was, at one point or another, home to basketball greats like Michael Jordan, Red Auerbach, Red Holzman, Connie Hawkins, Lenny Wilkens, Bernard King, Billy Cunningham, Ro Blackman, World B. Free and Stephon Marbury.

For those of you who don’t think Brooklyn is major league, think again! No city on earth has a history in sports as rich and storied as Brooklyn’s. As home to the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers from 1890-1957, Brooklyn acquired a reputation as a passionate sports city. Wildly enthusiastic crowds came out to see the lovable Dodgers play at old Ebbets Field and in 2001, when baseball returned to the Borough in the form of the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones, Brooklyn’s dedicated fan base picked up right where they had left off.

The Cyclones have led their league in attendance every season since their inaugural game, playing in front of a full house nearly every night in the intimate Keyspan Park on Coney Island. In 2003 alone, 317,124 fans pushed through the turnstiles for the Cyclones 38 home games, making the Cyclones the best draw in their New York-Penn League and proportionally, one of the most well attended teams in all of baseball.

Quick Facts about Brooklyn and the Nets:

If removed from greater New York City, Brooklyn’s population of 2.5 million would make up America's fourth largest city.

The Brooklyn Nets would play in a 20,000 seat, downtown arena designed by an icon of modern architecture, Frank Gehry.

A move to Brooklyn would be a homecoming of sorts for the Nets who came into existence in the old American Basketball Association as the New York Nets.

Brooklyn, NY, December 10, 2003

Frank Gehry, internationally acclaimed architect, unveils vision for world-class basketball arena and mixed-use complex for downtown Brooklyn

Development spearheaded by Forest City Ratner Companies will bring professional sports to Brooklyn along with new residential units, commercial and retail space and six acres of public space including an open-air, rooftop skating rink

Internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry and Bruce C. Ratner, President and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, today unveiled a master plan for the arena that will house the Nets basketball team that Mr. Ratner is seeking to bring to downtown Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Arena will be the centerpiece of a mixed-use development called Brooklyn Atlantic Yards. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Brooklyn-born basketball All-Star Bernard King hailed the exciting plan at a news conference in the Ceremonial Room of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall.

The 800,000 square-foot Brooklyn Arena will be the focal point of Brooklyn Atlantic Yards, an urban complex of housing, commercial and retail space, as well as six acres of landscaped
public open space – including a park on the Arena’s roof, ringed by an open-air running track that doubles as a skating rink in winter with panoramic vistas facing Manhattan year-round.

Barclays Center

“Great urban planning incorporates many different uses into a cohesive neighborhood – and truly great urban planning invites the public to participate in the space, whether they work there or live there or they’re drawn there to visit,” said Bruce Ratner, who is leading a group of investors bidding to purchase the NBA franchise. “The Nets will be a huge draw for sports fans from throughout the borough and all of the New York metropolitan area, and we intend to give them a first-class team to root for – in a Frank Gehry Arena as dynamic and remarkable as the borough it’s named after.”

“This is an important opportunity for everyone,” added Frank Gehry. “Our goals are to create a great Arena for a great team, and to create something really special for Brooklyn.”

“Downtown Brooklyn has experienced a remarkable revival over the last twenty years, and with one of the world’s greatest architects – Frank Gehry – working with Forest City Ratner Companies to develop this proposed master plan, the Brooklyn Arena and the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards development will be a truly monumental achievement,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Gehry’s unique urban design fits into the streetscape and provides new landmarks and public spaces to make this borough and our entire City proud. This project complements our Administration's vision for dramatically redeveloping Downtown Brooklyn that we announced earlier this year and is now going through the City's public land use review process. Our Administration is ready to put on a full court press for its approval - just as we're prepared to team up with Forest City Ratner Companies and with the elected officials and people of this borough to bring the Nets to Brooklyn. We're rooting hard for their success.”

RATNER SEEKS ARENA INVESTORS
March 23, 2006
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner is seeking additional investors to help support losses the team is experiencing while it waits for a new arena to be built in Brooklyn. Reports say the team is losing up to $30 million a year and Ratner will sell a $60 million share of his stake to raise the money.

Ratner bought the team in 2004 for $300 million. However, he was able to raise only $240 million, which left the team's former principal owners, a group of investors led by philanthropist Raymond Chambers, with a 20% stake in the Nets. However, according to the terms of the sale agreement, Ratner cannot call on that group of owners for cash. Also, any shares Ratner sells to new investors will not reduce the Chambers group's 20% stake, according to the ownership agreement.

Ratner is still working to acquire all the land needed for the Brooklyn project. The plan still needs environmental and other reviews and the state and city have yet to approve their $200 million in financing to build infrastructure. If the process takes longer than expected, Ratner is planning to remain at Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands for an additional season, but that will also mean additional losses. He hopes to open the new arena in 2009.

RATNER SHRINKS DEVELOPMENT
April 6, 2006
Copyright 2006 MediaVentures

Reacting to neighborhood opposition, New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner has reduced the size of his planned project in Brooklyn that will include a new arena for the NBA team.

The Empire State Development Corporation, the state agency shepherding the project through its legal review also agreed to study the effect that alternate proposals would have on the area.

The development corporation also agreed to expand the main geographic area under study out to half a mile from the proposed project site, from the current quarter-mile, and increased from 65 to 93 the number of intersections where the traffic impact will be examined.

The changes are unlikely to mollify the project's harshest critics. The project remains imposing, featuring tall residential towers that will soar over the surrounding neighborhoods and reshape the Brooklyn skyline. The height of the project's two largest towers, including a 620-foot building that will sit near the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, remain virtually unchanged. Critics also noted that the project is still nearly half a million square feet larger than it was when Forest City Ratner unveiled preliminary plans in 2003.

The maximum size of the project would be cut by 475,000 square feet, down to about 8.7 million square feet, with most of the reduction coming from the elimination of some 440 market-rate condominium units. The number of floors in the project's 16 buildings would be reduced by about 23, although five of the buildings would be taller than earlier plans called for. The arena would remain the same size, and the development would still include 4,500 rental apartments, half of them going for less than market rates.

WORK TO BEGIN IN DECEMBER ON BROOKLYN ARENA
September 11, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - Developer Bruce C. Ratner has told state and city officials that he plans to break ground in December on his long-delayed $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, which will feature thousands of apartments and offices in 16 towers built around a glamorous basketball arena for the Nets.

But it is unclear whether Ratner will be able to meet his own deadline to start one of the most ambitious projects in Brooklyn in decades, given the softening economy, the crisis in the debt markets, rising costs and a persistent group of opponents who have filed one lawsuit after another.

The developer has been rushing to have a November closing on his deal with state officials and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns a section of the 22 acres he plans to use for the project.

Ratner, who is the chairman of Forest City Ratner; his bankers at Goldman Sachs; and David Stern, commissioner of the National Basketball Association, met with bond-rating agencies to discuss the proposed financing for the $950 million arena, which was designed by Frank Gehry. But that financing plan for the arena, known as Barclays Center, is dependent on a favorable ruling by the Treasury Department in the coming weeks that would allow Ratner to use tax-exempt bonds and a final victory over court challenges. If he is barred from using tax-exempt bonds, his costs will increase substantially for what would already be the most expensive arena in the world.

Either way, bankers and real estate executives say it will be difficult to sell bonds for an arena at a time when New York's real estate boom has quieted and investors and lenders are wary of backing large-scale projects.

Ratner has asked government officials recently for as much as $100 million in additional cash for the project, citing rising costs and problems in the bond markets, according to two officials who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations. The city and the state have already agreed to provide $300 million in subsidies and tens of millions in tax breaks.

Still, in a conference call with stock analysts, Charles Ratner, the chief executive of Ratner's parent company, Forest City Enterprises, said that Atlantic Yards was the biggest project in their development pipeline and that he was confident that "we can make it happen" by the end of the year.

One reason Ratner may be forging ahead is his deal with Barclays Bank, which officials say provides him with $20 million a year for naming the arena after it. The naming rights contract requires Forest City to close on the land and the financing by the end of November. (New York Times)

NETS MAY FACE FURTHER DELAYS
October 2, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - The developer of the ambitious Atlantic Yards arena and residential complex in Brooklyn said that the project could be delayed for another six months after a state appellate court failed to dismiss a court challenge brought by opponents of the $4 billion project. In September, the developer Bruce C. Ratner vowed that he would break ground in December on the long delayed project, where he plans to build an office tower, 15 apartment buildings and a basketball arena for the Nets.

The developer has fended off a number of lawsuits brought by critics of the project over the past two years. He and state officials had expected that the state Appellate Court would also dismiss the latest suit, which sought to block the state from using eminent domain to seize private property for Ratner's project.

Instead, the court denied a motion to dismiss the suit, opening the door for oral arguments in the case next spring.

In a statement, Ratner said the court ruling may delay the project for six months. "Atlantic Yards will be built and it will create thousands of needed jobs and affordable homes," Ratner's statement said. "This is all the more important as our city and country confront one of the most difficult downturns in history."

Opponents of the project, including the group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, were thrilled. "The seizure of my clients' homes and businesses is unconstitutional," said Matthew Brinckerhoff, a lawyer who filed the lawsuit. "We are pleased that the court has recognized the merit of our case and will now hear the arguments in full."

Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner companies, is also awaiting a ruling by the Internal Revenue Service on whether he can issue tax exempt bonds to pay for the $1 billion arena, which is the first project to be built.

Barclays Bank, which had signed a $20 million a year sponsorship and naming rights deal for the arena, said that it was still behind the project. A clause in its contract with Forest City requires the developer to close on the property by the end of November. (New York Times)

NETS' ARENA TO BENEFIT FROM TAX PLAN
October 23, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

New York - Federal tax officials ruled that the developer of a billion-dollar basketball arena for the Nets at the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn can use tax-exempt bonds to pay for the building, providing some rare good news for the delay-plagued project.

The ruling would also allow the Yankees and the Mets to issue a new round of city-issued tax-exempt bonds worth hundreds of millions of dollars for their new homes in the Bronx and Queens.

Under the new ruling, federal officials essentially gave a green light for the three sports arenas, among the world's most expensive, to use tax-exempt bonds. But tax experts said that the ruling would not allow other governments to issue such bonds on behalf of professional sports teams. The rule was adopted by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

Still, the New York teams may have difficulty finding investors who will buy the bonds, given the current turmoil on Wall Street and in the credit markets.

Critics of public subsidies for sports teams were dismayed by the long-awaited ruling. "This is the same kind of socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the rest of us that's gotten us into the current economic mess," said Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, from Westchester. The ruling came four days before Randy Levine, president of the Yankees, and two city officials are due to testify at a Congressional hearing investigating the tax-exempt financing of the new $1.3 billion Yankee Stadium.

Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio who is chairman of the subcommittee holding the hearing, has said that city officials could be prosecuted if the IRS determines that they had lied about the value of the land on which the ballpark sits. Bruce C. Ratner, the developer whose Atlantic Yards project has been hobbled by delays, lawsuits and a weak economy, was elated.

"We are of course very pleased with the Treasury Department regulation," said Joe DePlasco, a spokesman for Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner. "The tax-exempt financing was always part of the plan for the development of the arena and the regulation released today acknowledges that. The regulation will help us move forward with a project that is critical to the ongoing economic vitality of Brooklyn and the city."

The city has already issued $1.5 billion in bonds on behalf of the new ballparks for the Yankees and the Mets. This allows the teams, which are responsible for making the annual payments on the bonds, to save million of dollars a year in financing costs.

The federal tax laws were revised in 1986, in part to make it harder for local governments to issue tax-exempt bonds on behalf of sports teams. But in 2006, the IRS approved a plan submitted by the Bloomberg administration to issue bonds for the Yankees, the Mets and possibly the Nets. The Yankees promptly raised $1 billion, including $943 million in bonds, while the Mets raised $612.9 million, including $547.35 million in tax-exempt financing.

But months later, after those bond sales came under criticism, federal tax officials moved to tighten the rules governing the bonds, a proposal that the Bloomberg administration had lobbied against.

The proposed change would have jeopardized the Yankees' plans to obtain another $250 million in tax-exempt financing and the Mets' desire to raise an additional $100 million, as well as the Nets' project. The Treasury Department essentially allowed those projects to proceed on a grandfather clause, based on the 2006 ruling.

Yet new questions have emerged about the way the city and the Yankees structured the deal and valued the Bronx stadium's land, which varied between $21 million and $204 million, according to several different assessments.

Under the team's arrangement with the city, the Yankees will make annual payments in lieu of taxes that are roughly equivalent to the bonds' debt service, about $57 million. But critics contend that the city may have inflated the value of the land. (New York Times)

FOREST CITY SUSPENDS WORK EXCEPT IN BROOKLYN
December 18, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

New York - Forest City Enterprises, parent company of Brooklyn-based mega-developer Forest City Ratner, is the firm is suspending all new development except Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn. The project includes a new arena for the NBA Nets Forest City Enterprises president Chuck Ratner said in a conference call with investors and analysts that the financial crisis has forced the company to shift strategy from a development focus to a property operator focus.

"This strategy then says that we intend to put virtually all new development on hold until economic and market conditions improve meaningfully," he said.

The company will not stop projects under construction already, Ratner said, nor will it halt Atlantic Yards, the more than $4 billion planned project that would build a new Nets basketball arena and more than 6,000 units of housing in Brooklyn.

Later in the call, he noted that over the last four years, the company has started an average of $800 million annually in new development projects. Those days are over.

"With the exception of Atlantic Yards, we will start - in 2009, we do not expect to start more than one building," he said.

Just how and when the company will be able to start the massive project, given the tumultuous economic climate, Ratner was unable to offer specifics.

"We continue to work with the public parties," he said, doing some small preliminary work on the site. I think we can successfully do that until we are prepared to start - I can't tell you today when that day will be it's not a question of entitlement, it's a question of the marketplace."

Suffice to say, observers say financing for a $950 million arena would be a bit of a heavy lift in this market, to put it mildly.

Forest City has said it cannot try to secure financing for the arena until it closes on the rail yards, and in turn, it cannot close on the rail yards until it finishes litigation, which is due for a hearing in coming months. (New York Observer)

RATNER MAY TRIM BACK PLANS FOR BROOKLYN ARENA
January 15, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - Developer Bruce Ratner is considering scaling back his ambitious plan for a $1 billion Frank Gehry-designed arena for the New Jersey Nets basketball team in downtown Brooklyn.

Gehry's design has been one of Ratner's major selling points as he has battled neighborhood residents and pressed government officials for approvals and subsidies. But now, with the recession and credit crisis in full swing, the Nets and Ratner are exploring new concepts for the arena that would transform it from an architectural masterpiece into a much less expensive and much more traditional sports venue.

A spokesman for Forest City Ratner Co., Ratner's development company and the team's controlling owner, said Gehry had not been fired. But he acknowledged financial issues had forced Ratner to consider alternatives.

"We are continuing to speak with many arena experts and working hard to find ways to build a world class venue in an incredibly difficult economic environment," the spokesman said.

Gehry's buildings, known for their curving glass and metal surfaces, involve the kind of unique elements that can greatly increase the price of a structure. The New York headquarters of the InterActive Corp., which resembles a massive sailboat, has more than 1,000 unique pieces of glass.

Gehry has overseen the design of nearly every element of the planned Brooklyn arena and the proposed surrounding development, from the overall building architecture to the lighting and plumbing fixtures in the luxury suites. A final design has never been approved, but preliminary designs included massive glass atriums, and tilted levels of seats built in the fashion of a butterfly's wings.

The arena is the centerpiece of Ratner's controversial $4 billion Atlantic Yards endeavor proposed for a site above a rail yard at Flatbush and Atlantic avenues. The plan includes a billowing office tower Gehry nicknamed "Miss Brooklyn" and thousands of new apartments.

Last year, as the economic downturn set in, Ratner announced he would pursue only the arena until the market could support more residential and commercial structures. The Nets are losing more than $30 million a year playing in the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey and desperately need a new arena to increase revenues.

The Daily News reported that Ratner needs to trim the arena's $1 billion cost to get financing for the project, and hopes to remove architectural flourishes or substitute cheaper materials to get it built. (Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News)

RATNER RECONSIDERS TRANSIT UPGRADES
January 22, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

New York - Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards project is in such financial upheaval that the developer is now trying to cut back on much-needed transit improvements, which he promised in exchange for approval for the controversial $4 billion project.

Bruce Ratner is reportedly in talks with the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority about cutting costs on a revamp and move of the Long Island Rail Road's Vanderbilt Rail Yard, which he agreed to purchase three years ago for $100 million.

The news has Atlantic Yards opponents seething because Ratner wasn't the highest bidder for the 8.3-acre rail yard site, but the MTA agreed to sell it to the developer anyway, allowing him to move forward with his plan to build an NBA arena and 16 office and residential towers in Prospect Heights.

The arena, which earlier this month Ratner also said he is trying to cut costs on, is to be built over the existing rail yard at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

Ratner's $100 million bid to the MTA was $50 million lower than a rival proposal by Extell Development. An agency appraisal found the rail yard worth $214.5 million.

Ratner won out after convincing the MTA his plan was actually worth $445 million, by claiming it included $345 million in transit enhancements.

Those were to include construction of a $182 million replacement rail yard, an environmental cleanup, and other improvements around the bustling Atlantic Avenue transit hub.

The MTA declined to discuss the talks. Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco said the developer is "committed to doing" the rail-yard work, but he declined to discuss the effect of shaving costs on the finished product.

Ratner, meanwhile, has yet to pay the MTA the $100 million for the site, and he's in talks about spreading out the payments, reports said. (New York Post)

ARENA GLASS COSTS MAY CRUSH BROOKLYN ARENA
February 5, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - The stratospheric cost of protecting the Atlantic Yards from terrorist attacks could be the death knell for architect Frank Gehry's flashy NBA basketball arena.

The bulletproof glass facade proposed for the glitzy arena will cost $625 per square foot, a source familiar with the designs told The News.

"I think the owners clearly didn't have their financing tied down for this project, and that's going to be the biggest hurdle," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity about the sky-high prices associated with securing the 850,000-square-foot arena against terrorism.

"With the security concerns at the arena, there's not much you can do to make it that much cheaper," added the source.

Developer Forest City Ratner has hired value engineers to find ways to cut costs at the $4.2billion development project.

Sources close to the project said the cost of reinforcing the arena's thick glass with a ballistic-resistant glaze shocked even Gehry's own designers.

"The office was very surprised at how expensive the glass configurations actually were," said the source, who added the arena's price tag jumped from $637 million to $950 million because of the cost of protecting it from attack.

The Police Department, the New York State Office of Homeland Security and Forest City Ratner met to discuss security at the arena in early 2008, a Homeland Security spokeswoman confirmed.

Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco declined to discuss security matters at the project, but a source close to the developer said security and other matters have made the arena too expensive to build.

"Security is one component of the cost of the arena, but by no means the most significant," said the source. "There are a whole host of reasons why the current design is expensive, including the size, the signature look and the materials. It would be very difficult to fund this arena in this economic environment." (New York Daily News)

NEWARK MAYOR LOBBIES TO KEEP NETS
March 5, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Newark, N.J. - Mayor Cory Booker described himself as a "hopeless dreamer" when he spoke of bringing the Nets to Newark, the odds of which seem slim to none.

Everyone associated with the Nets' owner, Bruce C. Ratner, insists there is no way the Nets are staying in New Jersey. Ratner's vision has always been that the team would be the crown jewel of a sprawling real estate complex in Brooklyn.

"The fact is, we're going to Brooklyn," Brett Yormark, the Nets' chief executive, said. "We don't have to use state money to build anything," Booker said. "The Nets coming to Newark would supercharge the city. I'm working on it every day."

He added, "We think it's the right thing for the state, it's the right thing for the team and it actually makes sense."

From the moment Ratner announced plans to move the team to Brooklyn, the project has encountered wave after wave of protest. Using money, influence and political muscle, Ratner has waded through resistance the way a fighter wades through punches in hopes of landing a knockout blow.

There have been victories along the way, but no peace.

In early February, a major lender agreed to extend its loan and not demand full payment, which was due that month. Late last month, a state appellate court ruled against opponents who had challenged the $4 billion project on environmental grounds.

Another major decision remaining is a lawsuit challenging the state's use of eminent domain to seize private property on behalf of the project. A defeat could be devastating for the project, which is already reeling from the poor economy.

The Nets, meanwhile, who struggled to draw fans when they were going to the NBA finals, are again relying on opposing teams' stars to draw. Newark could help stop the bleeding.

"The team is hemorrhaging money," Booker said. "I can show Bruce tomorrow how bringing the team to Newark will stop the hemorrhaging the team is doing right now."

In the event Ratner eventually wants to sell, Booker is looking at ownership groups willing to bring the NBA to Newark.

"I am talking to some people who are interested," he said. "I know that we can show them that this can be a moneymaking team."

Last May, Ratner said the Nets were not on the market. But that was before a global economic tsunami hit. Still, with sponsors on board, there would seem to be no sentiment to sell.

The Nets have eight founding partners and it is believed they will be announcing a ninth next week.

"Corporate America believes in the project, the Barclays Center specifically," Yormark said, referring to the proposed Brooklyn arena. "They know we're going to get there, and they want to be a part of it." (New York Times)

March 5, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Developer Bruce C. Ratner chalked up a legal victory for his proposed Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn when a state appellate court ruled against opponents who had challenged the $4 billion project on environmental grounds. In the opinion, the court agreed with a lower State Supreme Court decision that the state had acted properly in reviewing and approving the project, which includes an arena for the Nets and up to 6,000 apartments on 22 acres. Still, the project has a number of other roadblocks to clear, including another lawsuit, before it can break ground. Opponents of the project vowed to take the matter to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals. (New York Times)

NETS' BROOKLYN PROJECT CALLED DEAD
March 26, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - The multi-billion Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn is dead, according to one who should know: the "starchitect" who was going to build it.

Asked by a trade paper about "unrealized commissions" he most wishes had been built, famed 80-year-old architect Frank Gehry brought up Atlantic Yards.

"I don't think it's going to happen," he told the Architect's Newspaper in an interview published online.

The comment suggests the troubled relationship between Gehry and developer Bruce Ratner is over. Ratner's controversial $4.2 billion project has been stalled because the bad economy has dried up financing.

Gehry's Los Angeles-based design firm laid off all two dozen employees working on the Atlantic Yards project in November.

The sprawling project included a NBA basketball arena and five soaring Lego-like towers. A second phase of 11 towers, affordable housing and public space was also planned but never finalized. Mayor Bloomberg this week suggested the project may still get built - but on a smaller scale and without Gehry.

"It would be sad if Atlantic Yards gets built without the Gehry design, which would've been phenomenal for this city," Bloomberg said. "I gather at this point it looks like that the only ways Ratner's going to get that done is to do it at a lower cost and not to do everything at the same time." (New York Daily News)

NEW JERSEY CONGRESSMAN SEEKS TO CANCEL BARCLAYS DEAL
March 26, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

New York - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to seek a cancellation of the $400 million naming-rights deal for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The arena, proposed as part of a multi-use project with 16 skyscrapers near the site of the old Ebbets Field baseball park, would-be future home of the New Jersey Nets basketball team.

Pascrell write in his letter to Geithner that it is inappropriate for British-based Barclays Bank to spend such a sum over a 20-year period for arena naming rights, since Barclays just received $8.5 billion in U.S. taxpayer bailout money from struggling AIG.

Pascrell said he is aware that the Mets' deal with Citigroup for similarly-priced naming rights agreement for CitiField remains in place even though Citigroup is a bailout recipient. But he added that the Mets' park opens next month, while the Barclays Center has yet to break ground. He questioned whether Barclays was legally bound to spend the $400 million.

Pascrell did not distinguish between Citigroup, which received a direct bailout, and Barclays - which received such money indirectly through AIG.

AIG received more than $170 billion in federal bailouts to keep the insurance and financial services giant afloat, and the company earlier this month revealed the identity of some of the companies that saw its debts repaid by AIG. That included Barclays' $8.5 billion which AIG owed Barclays from credit default swaps. (Bergen Record)

April 2, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

The long delay in starting to build the Nets' proposed arena near downtown Brooklyn is helping to cause huge financial losses. For the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, Nets Sports and Entertainment, which owns the team and real estate in Brooklyn, had a pre-tax loss of $77.8 million. That brings the three-year total of losses to $228.2 million, according to a 10-K filing by Forest City Enterprises, the parent company of Forest City Ratner. Forest City Ratner is developing the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project, the site of the arena. Forest City Enterprises owns 23 percent of the Nets, who play in the Izod Center at the Meadowlands. Because of the way losses are allocated among the partners, and the increased capital that has been advanced to the team by Forest City, its share of the team's pre-tax losses for the last three years is $76.5 million. "The team is expected to operate at a loss in 2009 and will require additional capital from its members to fund the operating loss," the company said in the filing. (New York Times)

RATNER CLEARS LEGAL HURDLE FOR ARENA
May 21, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - An appellate court has said the use of eminent domain to take land needed for a new $800 million arena for the Nets in Brooklyn does not violate New York State's constitution. Developer and team owner Bruce Ratner says he hopes to begin construction on the new arena this year.

The decision allows Ratner to qualify for tax-free bonds to build the arena and the go-ahead to purchase the MTA-owned rail yard on which it will be built.

Foes of the project said they would appeal - possibly delaying the project from several months to three years.

The decision affects nine property owners and about a dozen residential and commercial buildings expected to be bulldozed by Forest City Ratner to make way for the unpopular $4.2 billion project in Prospect Heights.

A separate legal battle over the accuracy of a state environmental impact study could also reach an appellate court later this year, the lawyer said.

The 20,000-seat arena is only one piece of a 22-acre development that would include an office tower and more than 6,000 apartments, including up to 2,250 for low- and middle-income families.

Given the anemic economy, the housing and the commercial building may have to wait for some time. But Ratner said he planned to complete the design for the arena, obtain final government approvals and issue the bonds for the project by fall.

ELLERBE BECKET TO REVIEW PLANS FOR NETS' ARENA
May 28, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - Architects Ellerbe Becket have been hired to review the designs drawn by noted designer Frank Gehry for a new arena planned by the NBA Nets in Brooklyn.

The move is seen as a way for team owner Bruce Ratner to reduce costs on the project. The project is also dependant upon housing, retail and other uses for which demand has declined with the economy.

The design review is expected to be complete by July when Ratner is expected to consider the plans and decide what changes are needed.

BENEFITS OF BROOKLYN ARENA SHRINKING
June 4, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - The benefits of a new arena planned by NBA Nets owner Bruce Ratner for Brooklyn are diminishing according to a new analysis from the city's Independent Budget Office. "It now appears that given the additional city contributions and the higher cost of the arena that the net fiscal impact from the public investment for the arena will be negative," said Independent Budget Office Deputy Director George Sweeting.

The findings are a reversal from a 2005 Independent Budget Office analysis, which had determined that ticket sales and other spending in Brooklyn by out-of-towners coming to Nets basketball games would provide an estimated $25 million in tax revenues over 30 years.

With city funding to the project rising from $100 million to $205 million over the past four years, the economic benefit to the city has diminished significantly, Sweeting said.

The estimated cost of building the arena also has soared, from about $600 million to $950 million, an increase that will subsequently allow developer Forest City Ratner to dip into more tax-exempt bonds than first expected, Sweeting said.

"The standard argument is that - and it's been studied now by a large number of economists - public investment in sports facilities is not good use of public dollars," said Sweeting. A spokesman for the Economic Development Corp. insisted that by only analyzing the arena - and not the 16 residential and commercial towers also proposed for the site - the IBO had released inconclusive information.

RATNER ADDS ARCHITECTURAL FIRM
September 10, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - ShoP Architects of Manhattan has been added as part of the design team for a new arena in Brooklyn to host the NBA Nets.

The venue was originally designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, but costs drove team owner Bruce Ratner to ask Ellerbe Beckett to scale the venue back. City officials were unhappy with the new design and the new firm is expected to add some flair back to the structure.

Ellerbe Beckett and SHoP Architects are now collaborating on an updated design for the $770 million arena, the centerpiece of the long-stalled Prospect Heights project that also includes 16 residential and office towers.

The new design shows a weathered steel structure with a dramatic canopy and bands of glass that would allow pedestrians to see into the building, while sports fans view the skyline from their seats.

The state is expected to give the arena final approval on Sept. 17. Three weeks later, Forest City Ratner, the development firm, plans to begin marketing and selling about $700 million in tax-exempt bonds for the project. At the same time, the company will be marketing 100 luxury suites and premium seats. It hopes to get control of the land and begin construction in November. If all goes as planned, Ratner says, the Nets, now playing in East Rutherford, N.J., will play part of the 2011-12 season in Brooklyn.

BROOKLYN ARENA COULD RESULT IN $40 MILLION LOSS TO CITY
September 17, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

New York - The city's Independent Budget Office says a new arena planned in Brooklyn for the Nets could result in a net loss to the city of $40 million over 30 years.

The report stands in contrast to an earlier report in 2005 by the same office, which concluded that the 18,000-seat arena would result in a net fiscal benefit for the city. Since then, city subsidies for the project - now estimated to cost $772 million - have grown. So has uncertainty about the project, which would transform a 22-acre site that is currently centered around a below-grade railyard owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The figure of a net loss of nearly $40 million comes from the budget office's estimate that the project could cost the city $169 million over 30 years, while generating $130 million in new revenues from economic activity.

The report finds that the arena would result in a net gain to the state of $25 million over 30 years, as well as $6 million in new tax revenues for the transportation authority.

According to the report, the state would gain - even as the city loses - because the state has put up less capital money for the project and because the state can tax the personal incomes of the basketball players who will now be working in New York - instead of New Jersey, where the Nets are now based.

Sizable tax revenues granted to the arena mean that public entities will be denied some $219 million in foregone revenues - also known as opportunity costs: $181 million for the city, $16 million for the state and $22 million for the transportation authority.

The budget office, which is independent of both the mayor and the City Council, said it focused on the arena because the arena "accounts for virtually all of the discretionary benefits flowing to the project." Other benefits available to the project would be available "as of right" to any developer, not just Forest City Ratner, the report found.

The report does take into account an estimate of the direct and indirect economic activity that would be generated while the arena - which is supposed to be built for the start of the 2011-12 National Basketball Association season - is being built.

NETS' NEW OWNER TO PUT CASH INTO ARENA EFFORT
September 24, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has agreed to purchased 80 percent of the NBA Nets and 45 percent of a proposed arena for the team in Brooklyn, giving current owner Bruce Ratner $200 million to move the project along.

Under the agreement, Ratner's Forest City Enterprises group will retain controlling interest in the proposed Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but relinquish authority over basketball operations. It also will give Prokhorov's Onexim Group the right to purchase up to 20 percent of the Atlantic Yards Development Company, which will develop the area around the proposed $800 million arena.

The ownership transfer is contingent on the move to Brooklyn. If the Atlantic Yards project is forestalled or abolished, Forest City retains controlling partnership of the Nets.

The deal is also contingent upon the National Basketball Association's approval of Prokhorov and the Nets' move to Brooklyn, which still faces two major obstacles: an Oct. 14 hearing in the New York State Court of Appeals regarding eminent domain issues, and a December deadline to break ground or lose access to financing from tax-free bonds.

If the deal is approved, it will result in the first majority owner in NBA history to not be a native of the U.S. or Canada.

The NBA Board of Governors must also approve the transaction, but Commissioner David Stern gave it his personal blessing.

"Interest in basketball and the NBA is growing rapidly on a global basis, and we are especially encouraged by Mr. Prokhorov's commitment to the Nets and the opportunity it presents to continue the growth of basketball in Russia," Stern said.

Ratner must also contend with a legal challenge. Opponents of Ratner's real estate project are asking the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, to block the state's use of eminent domain on behalf of the developer.

The project may also face a challenge from a community activist group called Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, said it likely will sue the state agency for approving the modified plan without the supplemental environmental review it said is required.

Meanwhile, the Empire State Development Corp. has approved a modified plan for the Atlantic Yards development.

The first residential building will get start going up about six to nine months after the arena construction begins, the developer said.

Ratner must break ground on the arena this year or he will lose the benefit of $700 million of low-cost tax-exempt debt.

Prokhorov, Russia's richest man, is a 44-year-old industrialist who is worth an estimated $9.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine. He began to amass his fortune in 1993 when he acquired Noriksk Nickel, an inefficient metals operation in Siberia that he transformed into an industrial giant.

October 15, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

New York state's Court of Appeals has heard arguments about whether the Bruce Ratner's $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project constitutes legal public use of government authority to condemn property and force its sale for redevelopment. The project includes a new arena for the NBA Nets. Some small businesses and homeowners are challenging the Empire State Development Corp.'s move to force them out, saying it's wrong simply to enrich developers. Ratner recently said he expected to prevail in court and sell almost $600 million in tax-exempt bonds by a Dec. 31 deadline. Federal courts and lower state courts have rejected the Brooklyn challenge.

NETS MAY MAKE NEWARK ARENA THEIR INTERIM HOME
October 22, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Newark, N.J. - The NBA Nets are considering an early departure from Izod Arena in the Meadowlands to spend at least one season at the Prudential Center in Newark before moving to their new home in Brooklyn.

The Nets have played two pre-season games in Newark and drew nearly 16,000 fans to one game against the Knicks. A game against the Celtics brought in about 13,000 people.

The team could face a financial penalty for leaving the Izod Center early. Its lease runs through the 2011-12 season and the Nets can opt out at any time as long as they are moving to Brooklyn. Otherwise, they are subjected to the $8 million penalty.

Nets owner Bruce Ratner is reluctant to leave the Izod Center because a move to Newark could undermine the Brooklyn plans and give New York officials the impression they're playing one side against the other, the team officials said.

Meanwhile, the Nets are preparing to sell up to $700 million in bonds to finance the arena in Brooklyn, but those in the bond market say the team could have a difficult time finding buyers.

If developers of the Atlantic Yards project don't issue bonds by Dec. 31 to fund the arena's construction, the debt will lose tax-exempt status, which would kill the project. This week, a New York state appeals court in Albany heard oral arguments on a property-rights case brought by Brooklyn residents who oppose the development. A final ruling is expected in several weeks.

Bankers arranging the financing are comparing the Nets arena to Madison Square Garden, New York City's best-known arena, touting its location and accessibility to public transportation as big crowd draws. But the bond sale is coming at a time when consumers and corporations are cutting back on sports spending and competition in the arena business in the metropolitan New York region is as fierce as it has ever been.

Goldman Sachs Group and Barclays bankers have spent weeks in discussions with three credit-rating services and bond insurer Assured Guaranty Ltd. over ratings and terms on the bonds.

The developers are hoping for an investment-grade credit rating on the bonds and to issue them at annual interest rates of roughly 6.5 percent. Whether the debt will be insured - which could be key to selling the bonds - remains uncertain, as debates continue about the arena's revenue-earning potential.

Revenue from the arena - which includes ticket sales, advertising and naming rights - will pay off the debt. The past year has seen top sports teams including the New York Yankees, New York Giants and New York Jets struggle to sell premium seats and luxury suites in new stadiums. The Nets, meanwhile, are a struggling franchise that lost more than $30 million last season playing at the Izod Center in New Jersey.

Still, supporters of the project say the state-of-the-art arena's location at a transportation hub in the country's biggest market virtually guarantees success.

When the Atlantic Yards development was envisioned several years ago, selling bonds to finance the arena's construction was expected to be a cinch. In 2006, $1.5 billion in insured bonds were issued to finance ballparks for the Yankees and New York Mets at rates as low as 4.5 percent. Earlier this year, additional tax-exempt bonds tied to the ballparks were issued at yields ranging from 3.5 percent to 7 percent.

Last month, the Nets' principal owner, Bruce Ratner, announced a deal to sell 80 percent of the team to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who also plans to buy a 45 percent stake in the Atlantic Yards project. The deal is contingent on approval and financing for the arena.

NEW LAWSUIT FACES RATNER IN BROOKLYN
December 3, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - An alliance of neighborhood groups and government officials have gone to court to challenge the research done before approval of a new arena in Brooklyn for the NBA Nets. The new lawsuit comes as the state's highest court dismissed two other challenge to the project that threatened to stop it in its tracks.

The New York Court of Appeals dismissed the challenge to the use of eminent domain to acquire land for the team's new arena and a larger multi-use development. It also rejected a claim that the taking of land for the project would primarily benefit a private developer rather than the general public. Three other lawsuits challenging the project remain.

The new decisions are expected to allow team owner and developer Bruce Ratner to sell bonds to finance the arena and hold on to state money that will aid the $4.9 billion project. Two rating agencies assigned an investment grade rating for $646 million in bonds for the project.

Ratner plans to sell $500 million in tax-exempt bonds and, separately, another $146 million in subordinated debt. The revenues to pay the bonds would come from the sale of luxury suites, premium seats, advertising and sponsorships, as well as ticket revenues and concessions. Barclays Bank has already signed a $20 million-a-year naming-rights deal for the arena, which will be called Barclays Center.

Both rating agencies highlighted the city's commitment to the project, but noted the weak financial condition of the Nets, and the uncertainty, given the recession, of predicting revenues from premium seating and sponsorships. Ratner recently signed a deal to sell an 80 percent stake in the Nets to the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov, who would cover the team's operating expenses for the next several years.

One of the rating agencies, Moody's, said the remaining lawsuits were not a concern.

Ratner expects construction of the 18,000-seat arena will take about 28 months, enabling the Nets to move from East Rutherford, N.J., to Brooklyn about June 2012.

The new lawsuit against Forest City Ratner and the Empire State Development Corp. claims the revised plan for the $4.9 billion project was not give sufficient study of the risks and construction schedule. It also claims the public development corporation has ceded too much control to the private developer.

Forest City is set to pay the state $100 million for 8.5 acres that will be part of the massive development which is slated to include, a stadium for the Nets basketball team, residential towers, retail space and potentially an office building. In June, the state agreed to revise the project plan, which was initially approved in 2006, to allow Forest City to pay the money over two decades instead of in one lump sum. That followed revelations by Forest City that various aspects of the project would be delayed.

DEAL COULD RESOLVE RIVALRY BETWEEN NEW JERSEY ARENAS
December 10, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Newark, N.J. - A new deal could position the Prudential Center in Newark as a sports venue and the Izod Center in the Meadowlands as an entertainment venue under a new plan being worked out between the owners of the two arenas.

The deal reportedly would see the Nets move from the Izod Center to the Prudential Center while the Prudential Center would agree not to bid for entertainment shows sought by the Izod Center. Both facilities, which are only a few miles apart, have been bidding against each for the shows, making it difficult for either to make money.

The Prudential Center is owned by the NHL New Jersey Devils while the Izod Center is owned by the New Jersey Sport and Exposition Authority. To make the deal work, the owners would create a new venture, Jersey Presents, which would schedule events and divide revenues.

The venues would also levy a ticket surcharge of $1 for sports events and $3 for other events. The money would be divided between the venues under a formula still being devised.

The Nets, which have been losing tens of millions of dollars a year, would avoid paying a $7.5 million penalty to the Izod Center for breaking their lease to move to Newark. They would also pay a significantly lower per-game rental fee, and earn a share of suite revenue they generate at the Prudential Center. The Devils and the Nets would also sell ticket packages together.

New Jersey officials hope the move to Newark's newer arena could help keep the Nets from moving to Brooklyn in 2012. A performance clause in the proposed deal would require that the team spend minimum amounts on player salaries and marketing as long as they remain at the Prudential Center.

The Nets say they are focused now on arranging financing for their Brooklyn arena. That must be in place by the end of the month or they will lose state money needed for construction. Team officials say they will consider a move to Newark after that deal is done.

The agreement is also expected to please businesses around the Izod Center which have been working hard to make sure the venue doesn't close. As a rule, those who attend entertainment shows at the Izod Center tend to utilize area restaurants and other businesses more than sports fans.

One other constituency may be needed to pull the plan off: the New Jersey legislature.

If the new fee is added by the venues, the money becomes taxable. However, if it is ordered by the legislature, it becomes tax-free. Governor-elect Christopher Christie is opposed to the surcharge, so to avoid his veto, the legislature must act before he takes office Jan. 19.

Legislators have already started arguing about the fee with some calling it a bailout for the Prudential Center and others saying it's a state subsidy for Newark.

VALUE OF NETS' NAMING RIGHTS DEAL DEBATED
December 10, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

New York - Barlcays Bank is disputing reports that its 20-year naming rights deal for a new arena for the Nets in Brooklyn has been renegotiated to nearly half of the original amount.

Reports referred to a statement sent to investors by Goldman Sachs that put revenue from the deal at $10 million a year rather than the $20 million a year originally reported. The document tells potential investors what revenue sources will be used to repay the $500 million in bonds that will be sold for the $900 million arena.

Nets CEO Brett Yormark told Sports Business Daily, "In most cases naming rights deals have different allocations for fee payments by the naming rights partner. In our case, while the PILOT Revenue Bonds Official Statement discloses that $10[M] a year will flow to the Arena, other substantial fees will be paid to the Nets, as well as fees being paid for hospitality and certain media rights. Our partners see the value in the Barclays Center and continue to affirm their investment."

The document from Goldman Sachs says the bonds will also be supported with $11 million from sponsorships, $2.5 million from luxury suite leases and $4.5 million from concession sales. Annual debt service is estimated at $30 million, but no interest rate was projected.

The outline also includes unspecified revenues from seat licenses and club seat licenses. It also notes that the New York Islanders could be a potential tenant in the building, although the building is not being built for hockey and relocation of the Islanders would likely be subject to approval by the New York Rangers which control the Brooklyn territory.

NETS SELL BONDS, BUT SEE NEWARK DEAL COLLAPSE
December 17, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

New York - It took just two hours for more than $500 million in bonds to be sold to support a new arena in Brooklyn that will be the future home of the NBA Nets. But that success was quickly followed by another problem - a deal to move the Nets temporarily from Izod Arena in the Meadowlands to the NHL Devils' arena in Newark fall apart. The agreement would have allowed the Nets to break their lease at the Izod Center, opening the door to a temporary move by the struggling NBA team to the more modern Prudential Center, which hopes to become a showcase for sporting events in New Jersey. The Nets would share the building with the Devils hockey team, until the team's planned move to Brooklyn by 2012.

The arrangement would also seen entertainment shows moved to the Izod Center to end the competition between the two venues. The deal was aimed at benefitting all sides, generating additional funding for both the sports authority, the operators of the Prudential Center and the city of Newark, while offering the Nets an opportunity to sell more tickets and share in additional luxury suite revenues.

The deal collapsed when legislators, who must approve legislation needed for the plan to work, decided it was unfair to rush the bills through without input from the state's incoming governor, Chris Christie.

Christie has said he is opposed to new taxes and a ticket tax is part of the plan needed to allow the changes to take place. He will be sworn in Jan. 19.

Team officials say they will hope they can still make the plan work.

As for the bonds, underwriters - Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital - handled the sale of the tax-exempt bonds, which totaled $511 million. The developer and his partners will raise the rest of the money for the 18,282-seat arena privately. Ratner, the chief executive of Forest City Ratner, is expected to complete the master closing for Atlantic Yards with various city and state agencies next week. At the same time, Ratner plans to close on the sale of an 80 percent stake in the Nets to the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov, pending approval by the NBA.

The two partners will invest $293.4 million in the arena and use a $131 million subsidy from New York City.

They hope to open the arena by June 2012. The housing at Atlantic Yards may take longer, given the flagging real estate market, although Ratner has promised to start one residential tower after the arena is under way. He must also contend with several lawsuits challenging the project.

The bonds are backed in part by the sale of premium seats, luxury boxes, advertising and sponsorships at the arena, which will be called Barclays Center.

Barclays agreed to pay $10 million a year for 20 years for the naming rights under a deal that has been revised twice since it was struck in 2007. The original deal was worth $400 million and was set to expire at the end of 2008. The bank agreed to extend the deal.

April 8, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

A meditation chamber is planned for the Nets new Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn. The concept was envisioned by the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, the fiery pastor of the House of the Lord Pentecostal Church who has played a behind-the-scenes role to acquire various "community benefits" from developer Bruce Ratner. This meditation room appears to be one of them. "The idea is to say to people there are values in reflection, contemplation," explained Daughtry, who gave the convocation at the groundbreaking ceremony for the arena. "Whenever you're in the arena, you can go to meditate."

April 22, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

New York Nets owner Bruce Ratner has reached the final agreements he needs to acquire the land required to build the Atlantic Yards project that includes a new arena. The owner of a condominium won a price that was nearly six times the original offer. The owner agreed to vacate the unit by May 7 to help meet a construction timetable. The effort also produced deals with the other two remaining holdouts - a self-storage facility and a real estate developer. Those tenants, whose land is elsewhere on the Atlantic yard footprint, agreed to leave by June 30. Those deals set the stage for Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov to buy the team. He wanted all of the land issues settled before he took over.

August 12, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

The New Jersey Nets and owner Mikhail Prohkorov have begun the application process for changing the team's name, according to Bloomberg News. Nets spokesman Barry Baum told the news service the team filed paperwork with the National Basketball Association. If accepted, the change would become official before the 2012-13 season, when the Nets plan to move to Brooklyn's new Barclays Center.

RATNER SAYS ARENA WILL BE READY FOR 2012
September 30, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - The site of a new $900 million arena for the Nets is little more than a hole in the ground, according to the Bergen Record, but team owner Bruce Ratner told the newspaper that the venue will be open for the 2012 season.

"Nothing is ever 100 percent, but in the construction area, things go pretty smoothly. And we left ourselves some time between July and Nov. 1, so I don't think that's going to be an issue," the newspaper reported.

Ratner added that he and other arena executives "hadn't really approached" backup plans if construction lags. But the Nets' deal to play two seasons in the Prudential Center in Newark, starting this fall, contains an option to play in Newark in 2012-13 if necessary.

Utility relocation at the site is 75 percent complete, Ratner said, with that work and the demolition of two buildings on the site scheduled to be finished by the end of the year.

The arena will "go vertical" - with steel going up at the site - in the first quarter of 2011, Ratner said.

Ratner also showed off the temporary plaza plan outside the arena, which includes a train station at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues with a roof that is to be planted with flowering, seasonal plants. Ratner told reporters he hoped to begin work on the second of 17 buildings that would be part of the Atlantic Yards project, "starting in eight or 10 months."

The residential component of the multibillion-dollar project - as many as 6,430 units - is likely to move ahead of an office space component that has been scaled down to 336,000 square feet, the Record reported.

October 14, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Stolichnaya signed a five-year accord to become the official vodka of the Barclays Center, which will be the home of the Russian-owned New Jersey Nets from 2012, according to Bloomberg News. Stolichnaya, owned by the Moscow-based SPI Group, will have exclusive branding around the Brooklyn facility and in the arena's six bars, an e-mailed statement from Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment said. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

JUDGE HANDS OPPONENTS A WIN IN BROOKLYN ARENA BATTLE
November 11, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - A state Supreme Court judge gave opponents in the effort to block construction of the Atlantic Yards project a win this week when she agreed to hear further arguments in a dispute over the project's environmental review, the Bergen Record reported.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and other opponents have argued that the Empire State Development Corp. withheld from the court that the development agreement had been amended to allow a 25-year build-out for most of the project.

Supreme Court Judge Marcy Friedman agreed in the 21-page ruling, saying that the state agency must offer an explanation why a new environmental review - which could substantially stall the project - is not needed, even though the previous 10-year deadline is no longer in effect.

A groundbreaking was held this spring for the $950 million Barclays Center, the Nets' arena, which will be the first of 17 tall buildings that are in the project blueprint. The Record said Steel is scheduled to go up at the arena site starting next month, and three residential buildings - with construction starts tentatively set for 2011, 2012, and 2013 - would follow.

The revised development timeline was finalized on Dec. 23, and Friedman criticized the agency for not advising the court of that change at a key January hearing. Friedman then ruled in favor of the project in March, setting the stage for the arena groundbreaking and for infrastructure work at the site near downtown Brooklyn.

Friedman added that if ESDC is to assert a 10-year build-out is still a reasonable assumption, and that a revised 25-year timeline's effects on "neighborhood character, air quality, noise, and traffic" would be unnecessary, "then it must expressly make such findings and provide a detailed, reasoned basis for the findings."

RATNER WILL COMPLETE ARENA, OTHER PROJECTS MAY BE DELAYED
April 7, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

New York - The New York Post says documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by developer Bruce Ratner and his Forest City Enterprises warn that non-arena portions of his Atlantic Yards plan in Brooklyn could experience "further delays" leading to most or all of the rest of the 22-acre, $4.9 million project being scrapped.

Risks to investors cited in the SEC filings include the potential of rising construction costs and financing rates, loss of arena sponsorships and inability to meet government-approved construction deadlines, the newspaper said.

"If any of the foregoing risks were to occur we may . . . not be able to develop Brooklyn Atlantic Yards to the extent intended or at all," according to one of the developer's SEC filings.

Ratner and Forest City - in a doomsday scenario - could potentially lose $525 million on the project, "excluding any potential write-offs for the arena" and "liquidated damages," the filings say.

Forest City reported "record" earnings the past year ending Jan. 31, in part fueled by selling Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov a majority interest in the money-losing New Jersey Nets, who will move to the Barclays Center arena for the 2012-13 NBA season.

The Post said the filings also reveal the Prokhorov deal in May was a greater financial windfall for Ratner than what was announced publicly.

Prokhorov paid Ratner $223 million for 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of the arena, and agreed to pay for $60 million in team losses and assume 80 percent of the Nets' $200 million debt. Both parties had claimed the deal was for $200 million and other "funding commitments."

The arena is set to open in summer 2012, but the timetable for the rest of Atlantic Yards remains unclear.

July 14, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

The Atlantic Yards development, not including a new arena for the Nets now under construction, must undergo further environmental review to examine the impact of delays on the project, State Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman ruled. The New York Times said the decision was critical of the Empire State Development Corporation, the state agency that oversees the development, but it will not stop the developer, Forest City Ratner, from working at the site. Justice Friedman did order a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to determine the effects of the project's extended timeline. Judge Friedman also called for further examination as to whether or not to approve the Modified General Project Plan for Phase II, which consists of most of the construction.

August 11, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

The Barclays Center and Coca-Cola have cut a multimillion-dollar deal to make the soda giant the exclusive soft-drink provider at the Nets' new NBA arena when it opens in September 2012, the New York Post reported. Officials declined to disclose the deal's terms. Sources told the Post it's similar to the seven-year, $1.7 million per-year pact the arena had cut with Jones Soda. As part of the Coke deal, Nets fans could be treated to special Brooklyn-themed flavored beverages, along with the company's trademark soft drinks and juices. Coke will also partner with the Nets in providing community health-and-wellness services.

August 25, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Soon after the defeat of Nassau County's referendum to build the Islanders a new arena, Brooklyn arose as an attractive option for the team's relocation. Newsday says that possibility is now looking more realistic. A league spokesperson confirmed to Newsday reports that Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner and CEO Brett Yormark met with NHL officials at the league office in Manhattan recently. The spokesperson declined to discuss the nature of the meeting, but an additional league source defined it as "very general and conceptual in nature," the newspaper said.

March 22, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

When the Barclays Center, the new Nets arena at Atlantic Yards, opens in September, all of the bottled water on sale will be "Brooklynized," according to Grub Street, the food blog of New York magazine. The blog says "The water comes from a new but rapidly growing Florida-based, Larry King–approved franchise, the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co., which claims it's found the secret to making great bagels: ‘Brooklynize' the water via a custom filtration process so it resembles 'Brooklyn' water, which of course is actually just New York City water. (The company says the water itself comes from ‘regional bottling facilities.')"

JUDGE RULES AGAINST STATE IN BARCLAYS DECISION
April 19, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Brooklyn, N.Y. - The state violated the law by approving the Atlantic Yards mega-project without considering its long-term impact on surrounding neighborhoods, according to an appellate court ruling that won't halt the construction of the nearly-finished Barclays Center or several residential towers slated to rise around the arena, the Brooklyn Paper reported.

In a unanimous decision, the Appellate Division found that the Empire State Development Corporation, the quasi-government agency overseeing the massive $5 billion project, acted illegally in 2009 when it approved developer Bruce Ratner's plan without assessing how a 25-year build-out would affect the lives of nearby residents.

At the time, Ratner said the 22-acre project, which includes 16 planned towers with 2,250 units of below-market-rate apartments in addition to the under-construction $1 billion arena, would be finished in 10 years - even though he had secured an extension from the state until 2035.

The decision upheld a lower-court ruling by Supreme Court Judge Marcy Friedman last July that requires the state to conduct a new environmental review of the second phase of the project, which consists of 11 towers that Ratner plans to build east of Sixth Avenue. But the ruling has no bearing on the first phase of the project, which includes the arena and proposed residential towers.

Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco vowed that Atlantic Yards will advance, despite the ruling. "We remain on track to open the world class Barclays Center arena in September and moving forward with construction of the first residential building," DePlasco said.

State development officials wouldn't say if they plan to appeal the decision, but promised to complete the massive project in its entirety.

April 26, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says Brooklyn may not be a viable potential destination for the New York Islanders because it's hard to reach for the team's fan base in Long Island and Queens. There has been speculation that the team could join the Nets in the new Barclays Center. The New York Daily News said Bettman reiterated that the league ideally wanted the club to remain in Nassau County. The Islanders plan to leave outdated Nassau Coliseum after their lease expires in 2015. Nassau voters rejected a $400 million referendum last year for a new arena.

New Jersey Americans / New York Nets / New Jersey Nets / Brooklyn Nets

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