Star Ledger: Newark hoop dreams
Apart from whatever Ratner may be dreaming, there is the stumbling block of a clause in the Nets’ contract with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns the Izod Center. If the Nets leave to play anywhere other than Brooklyn, the team must pay the authority a penalty that starts out at $12 million a year.
That clause was generally considered to be anti-Newark.
Something has happened. The hateful clause is being explained as a nonhostile means of preventing the Nets from pitting the Meadowlands against Newark. It was meant to avoid a bidding war for a short-term contract while the Brooklyn arena was built.
In fact, sources have told The Star-Ledger editorial board that if the Nets sign a long-term deal to play in Newark, the sports authority would waive that clause and happily cooperate with the Prudential Center for the greater glory and profit of both New Jersey venues.
It’s amazing how much Newark can benefit from clearheaded common sense. Having another sports team come to Newark would be huge for the virtuous circle I blogged about yesterday: Newark clearly has the infrastructure to bring another pro team to the city.
But will sanity and cooler heads prevail?