Here’s an unanticipated downside to the New Jersey Nets’ plan
to relocate to Brooklyn: Wave after wave of Garden Staters will come,
That’s at least the hope of the team’s front office, which has
been aggressively courting its foam-finger-wearing New Jersey fans, even
as it markets the still-Jersey-based team to Brooklynites in advance of
the possible 2009 cross-rivers relocation.
“We want them [the New Jersey fans] to follow us to Brooklyn,”
Nets CEO Brent Yormark told reporters at a rare roundtable discussion
before a Net game last week.
“We have spent the last 12 months developing a theme — ‘If
you like us in Jersey, you’ll love us in Brooklyn’ — and
it’s really helped.
“I’ve told them, ‘Don’t vote with your wallets yet.’…
I’m betting on the fact that they will follow us.”
If the arena is completed, Nets brass expect it to attract many events
besides the Nets.
“Obviously, the anchor is Nets basketball, but this is going to be
almost a community center,” Yormack said. “We’re anticipating
dates, concerts, shows. We’ll have something for everyone, in and
around the community.”
Not surprisingly, opponents of the Atlantic Yards project accused Yormack
of not knowing the community in which he hopes to move his team.
“The arena is not a community center, it is a for-profit TV studio
that is inappropriate at an overburdened intersection in a residential
neighborhood,” said Daniel Goldstein, a spokesman for Develop Don’t
“The YWCA is a community center … Mr. Yormack understands Brooklyn
so poorly as to think that we need an arena to feel good about ourselves.”
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