Tuesday, October 04, 2005


New Newark arena undercuts Ratner's economic projections

Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, a consultant hired by Forest City Ratner to provide economic projections for the Atlantic Yards project, based his projections in part on no new arena in Newark. His 2005 report states:
Many of the numbers used in this report concerning Nets attendance, ticket prices, construction costs and other items come from projections done by or for the Nets. I have discussed these estimates with the Nets and they seem reasonable to me. The Nets project that the arena will not host an NHL team and that it will host 226 events during the year (assuming the eventual closing of CAA, no new arena in Newark, no NHL and no minor league hockey events at the Atlantic Yards arena.) The Nets project out three scenarios over time based on aggressive, moderate and conservative assumptions. I use the estimates from their moderate scenario. (Emphasis added.)

Except it looks like there will be an arena in Newark. In a 10/4/05 article headlined This Time, Newark Leaders Say, the Arena Will Be Built, the Times reported: In what officials insisted was the last of several ceremonies over the last seven years trumpeting the construction of a professional sports arena in New Jersey, Newark broke ground on Monday on a $310 million building that will be the home of the New Jersey Devils at the start of the 2007-8 hockey season.

ALso, the article curiously (and carelessly) claimed that the Nets had already left for Brooklyn:
The arena plan has surmounted numerous obstacles. The State Legislature, dominated by suburban lawmakers, declined to provide money for the project. The New Jersey Nets, which were to share the arena, departed for Brooklyn, and the group that owned both teams broke up.

Remember, the arena wouldn't open until 2009 at the earliest--and that's not counting the inevitable litigation.

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