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Nets' Future Brooklyn Home To Be Called Barclays Arena

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http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?s...9&aid=65993

Nets' Future Brooklyn Home To Be Called Barclays Arena

January 18, 2007

The Nets and Forest City Ratner Companies announced Thursday that London-based Barclays Bank has agreed to a deal for the naming rights of the planned arena in the Atlantic Yards project for Downtown Brooklyn.

The bank will pay more than $300 million over the next 20 years, making it the most lucrative deal ever for an arena in the U.S. Barclays has said it wants to build its U.S. brand.

"It is our intention that the Barclays Center becomes the cultural and sporting heart of this community," said Barclays Bank president Bob Diamond. "And gives New York an additional state-of-the-art, absolutely world class arena for a wide range of performances and events."

The 20,000-seat arena designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry is the centerpiece of the massive $4 billion project, which includes housing, office and retail space. It's the largest private investment in Brooklyn's history. The mayor says Barclays made a good move.

"If Brooklyn was a separate city, it would be the fourth biggest in the country," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "And the opportunity to put your name on something this big, and with this phenomenal design, this is the kind of iconic design that people are going to recognize from any part of the city and every part of the world."

The naming announcement came Thursday at the Brooklyn Museum with NBA Commissioner David Stern, Nets players and Nets part owner Jay Z in attendance, along with Brooklyn's biggest cheerleader.

?The only day that could make me happier is when our Brooklyn Nets, not only leave the Manhattan Knicks behind in the Atlantic Division dust, but also bring home the National Basketball Association Championship as well," added Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

In addition to the naming rights deal, the two groups are partnering to create a non-profit organization called Nets-Barclay Sports Alliance. Its goal is to promote sports and education as well as renovate basketball courts and sponsor tournaments in the borough.

But while there were cheers inside, outside there were jeers. A handful of protestors took to the streets saying the project is not a done deal. Residents who stand to lose their homes to make way for the arena are suing developer Bruce Ratner for abuse of eminent domain.

"I think that Barkley should not be speculating on the constriction of an area that has yet to be proven to be legal,? said Daniel Goldstein of Develop Don?t Destroy. ?And by speculating on that, they are jumping into this whole controversy."

Court hearings on the eminent domain lawsuit will be heard next month.

Nonetheless, the arena is scheduled to open in time for the 2009-2010 season.

See also: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...&refer=home
http://www.nysun.com/article/47005
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/19/sports/b...19sandomir.html
 

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