Brooklyn Nets face challenges of moving into new arena
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 11:13 PM
After many years of discussion and delays, the Nets are finally moving to their new home in Brooklyn for the start of the 2012-13 season. The Nets will begin the season in the new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. The arena will seat a little over 18,000 for basketball games. Many thought the day would never come for the Nets to move from New Jersey to Brooklyn. Here are some of the many challenges the team faced during this transition period.
The Nets faced a lot of initial opposition to the project from the community that resides in downtown Brooklyn. Development got off to a late start as a result of multiple problems with the project. The project has been clouded with controversies with the local community and lack of financing. Local residents sued over the state’s use of eminent domain to take over the property. The court ruled in favor of the Nets and construction eventually started.
An appeal to the decision almost cost the team a fortune because of some of the financial issues the team had in the development of this project. Any delays to the court decision would have cost the Nets their tax-free bonds which played an important part of the stadium’s financing. A loss would have been worth $150 million in construction bonds.
Competing with the Knicks
The New York Knicks have been the only basketball team in New York City for years. Their history runs deep with basketball fans in the area. Breaking into this space is not an easy task for a team moving to Brooklyn. Most teams that move to new locations have to establish their fan base, but the Nets have to do this while taking away from the space that the Knicks occupy. Fortunately for them, the Knicks have their own issues with ownership and public relations where there are some fans that would be willing to change and have a fresh start with a new team.
Producing on the Court
The Nets will have to work hard to put a team together that will produce on the court after finishing the 2011-12 season with a 22-44 record. Even with a new stadium in a new location, fans will only pay money for tickets if there is a product worth seeing live on the court. The Nets have taken the first step in doing this in resigning All-Star Guard Deron Williams
while trading for NBA Veteran and All-Star Joe Johnson
. These two should give the team a strong backcourt as they make a push for other elite players.