Build the arena — with fed money!

The Brooklyn Paper
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These may not be the best of times, but they need not be the worst.

With the country’s economy moving deeper into uncharted territory, those with level heads will have the best chance of surviving.

There are plenty of lessons to be learned from past downturns, but the coming months will be gist for a new textbook, as uncertainty immobilizes business people, investors and consumers. The resulting fear — an undesirable but logical response to this uncertainty — feeds on itself and compounds our shared dilemma.

• • •

The bailout as structured by the House of Representatives appears to put its trust in politicians, whose backroom deals and fealty to special interests make them just as unlikely to act responsibly as the bankers and subprime real-estate promoters who got us into this mess.

Even before the Senate votes, pols everywhere are salivating over the spoils, and we can see where this is heading. Instead of utilizing the big surge in federal funds to fix infrastructure (on which future development can be built) and create jobs, they’ll seek to channel the cash to support an otherwise unsustainable status quo, immunizing bloated and inefficient public sector employee rosters from the economic realities assailing productive, tax-paying enterprises.

Politicians need to move beyond this impulse and retire, at least briefly, their political hats, donning instead a mantle of leadership.

In addition, the bill is packed with pork, whose meat is deemed totally kosher by those invited to the table, but whose ability to nourish the creation of jobs should be questioned case-by-case.

That said, what’s Brooklyn’s case?

• • •

The mayor, first elected as a “non-politician,” is seeking a third term as the consummate politician. If he follows a traditional politician’s pre-election strategy of using cash to reinforce his base, bailout money will sustain and grow a public sector that should instead be trimmed in line with private sector cuts.

The mayor’s mission now is to lobby for as much pork as the city can digest, and then enlist the very people who have proven time and again that they know how to generate real growth: the entrepreneurs, the creative types, the developers.

Given the current realities, these are the people we trust will spend the money productively.

• • •

The spirit of optimism that prevailed as Brooklyn boomed over the last 30 years is fading fast, the open wounds visible at every stalled construction site.

The word “depression” has more than one meaning.

Developers who are willing — and able — to pursue their projects off the government dole should be encouraged to do so and we should wish them well.

Those requiring government assistance should be offered a chance to bid for their hunk of pork. We should not reject offhand projects that might previously have been deemed unworthy.

• • •

In the case of Atlantic Yards, for instance, critics might continue to argue over the larger project’s aesthetics and suitability for a site bridging Prospect Heights and Fort Greene, but complaints over several hundred million dollars in government subsidies are suddenly dated when a trillion dollars is sitting there for the taking. As long as Washington is doling out the gravy, Brooklyn needs to have its plate under the ladle.

The most problematic, oversized components of Bruce Ratner’s proposal for Atlantic Yards should not be built, no matter how much federal money is being thrown around. But it would be appropriate to use federal stimulus cash to jumpstart the part of the original Atlantic Yards plan that makes the most sense: the basketball arena at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

Yes, The Brooklyn Paper has repeatedly argued that the financing scheme for the Nets arena was unfair to New York taxpayers. But if Washington money is channeled our way, that argument over subsidies to the project would be muted.

Bottom line: If we don’t get the money, Peoria will.

Just as we need to move past finger-pointing and blame-throwing in Washington and on Wall Street, we need to look forward in Brooklyn and remove vitriol from all sides of the Atlantic Yards discussion.

Constructing the arena and bringing the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn would quickly create construction jobs, boost the commercial district along Flatbush Avenue, and restore the spirit of optimism that built Brooklyn.

Isn’t that what an economic stimulus package is supposed to do?

— Ed Weintrob, Publisher

Updated with minor changes, February 6, 2009 at 2:04 pm.

Updated 5:11 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Bob from Downtown says:
"The most problematic, oversized components of Bruce Ratner’s proposal for Atlantic Yards should not be built, no matter how much federal money is being thrown around. But it would be appropriate to use federal stimulus cash to jumpstart the part of the original Atlantic Yards plan that makes the most sense: the basketball arena at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenue."

Uhm, Ed? The arena IS the most problematic, oversized component of Ratner's proposal. Doesn't affordable housing make the most sense, rather than a building that sits empty most of the time?

Finally, it wouldn't be appropriate to spend federal stimulus cash on a white elephant boondoggle that makes profits for Ratner but loses for the city. That would be, by definition, in appropriate.
Feb. 5, 2009, 7:56 pm
Bobbo from the World says:
A sure sign of the fractious opposition. Ed just checked his weekly advertising revenue and found, oh my God, we're in deep sh*t! He can see all those nice Nets ads, the ones with Devin Harris leaping tall buildings, filling his pages.

Hysterical...and yet, historical. Hilarious...and yet, nefarious.

Where's Gersh, the author of the headline about Atlantic Yards being dead? Has left under cover of night?
Feb. 5, 2009, 8:37 pm
Eric from New Jersey says:
"Doesn't affordable housing make the most sense, rather than a building that sits empty most of the time?"

Why would you assume it would be empty most of the time?

MSG has at least 65 events booked over the next 24 days:

while the Prudential Center in Newark has at least 19 events:
Feb. 5, 2009, 8:51 pm
Norman Oder says:
And who wrote:
"For Ratner, Atlantic Yards has always been about the money — not jobs or housing, not urban design or athletic excellence, but the massive sums expected to flow from the public trough."

That was the Brooklyn Paper a year ago.
Feb. 5, 2009, 8:52 pm
bob from downtown says:
"MSG has at least 65 events booked over the next 24 days:"

okay, so that is say an average of 2 hours per event, 65 events, 130 hours over 24 days? as i said, sits empty most of the time. houses nobody
Feb. 5, 2009, 9:01 pm
sid from Boreum Hill says:
a downsized arena and affordable housing can be built with the stimulus. I wonder why Brooklyn Paper is against doing that at Brooklyn Bridge know you could build the arena at brooklyn bridge park and not have the luxury housing there( I am just kidding)
Feb. 5, 2009, 9:40 pm
RK from PS says:
Actually MSG has events apx. 320 days/year. Pretty busy. No arena in the area even comes close.
And it's a fact of the NBA schedule Nets arena would only have apx. 45 Nets pre-season and in-season games. Maybe a half-dozen or more playoff games.
Concerts? Secondary market. Events play MSG first in this area. High-school events? Dept. of Ed or PSAL could not afford the rent, or the security needed.
And the rr station below MSG houses hundreds at this time of year.
Feb. 5, 2009, 9:57 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
So we sell out our dignity, due process rights and the Brooklyn we love because the public money slated to this developer (who doesn't have enough money) is federal instead of state? To state the obvious, federal tax money is still paid by citizens of the state of New York, and our dignity, pride and voice cannot be bought by anyone, including the federal government. That's Brooklyn, Ed. Spirit of optimism? Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all filled up here already.
Feb. 5, 2009, 10:18 pm
pete from nyc says:
sell out
Feb. 5, 2009, 10:22 pm
Norman Oder says:
"Is there no one who will look beyond the litany of lies and stop this charade?"

Brooklyn Paper, 1/1/9/08

More here:
Feb. 5, 2009, 10:28 pm
freddy from slope says:
buh-bye gersh.

just how much does your job pay to stick around this stinker? you spend a couple of years turning a dusty, nothing paper into a funny caricature that waives its hands at real issues and wins awards(sub-urban).

your ham-fisted corporate overlord undoes even the waiving by being a complete shill. sure some comments will be posted due to the editorial, but the damage is pretty steep.

oh career death, where is thy sting?
Feb. 5, 2009, 10:34 pm
Jane from Fort Greene says:
that photo isn't even what the arena will look like. stimulus for a ghost. great going ed.
Feb. 5, 2009, 11:05 pm
Sol from Park Slope says:
I agree with this editorial. The fact that it will create thousands of construction jobs, and jobs related to building maintenance, etc, is another good argument to support this project.
Feb. 5, 2009, 11:48 pm
freddy from slope says:

those numbers have been debunked for years. thats 1500 jobs for 10 years. aint no thousands anywhere.

"and jobs related to building maintenance"

yeah wonderful high paying jobs that can afford an apartment in this monstrosity. or at least east new york.
Feb. 5, 2009, 11:52 pm
Billy from Crown Heights says:
Are we reading the same editorial? I thought it was specifically about the arena, not about apartments. What's wrong with the arena?
Feb. 5, 2009, 11:57 pm
Pat from Bay Ridge says:
What's wrong with the arena is the idea of pouring tax dollars directly into the pocket of a billionaire team owner. If he wants a stadium in downtown Brooklyn, let him pay for it himself.

PS. There is no such thing as "building affordable housing". Call it what it really is, subsidized housing, and then ask yourself what the cut-off is for the subsidy.
Feb. 6, 2009, 1:09 am
bob from downtown says:
also wrong with the arena:

- requires eminent domain
- requires removing 2 city streets
- huge traffic generator
- neighborhood killer
- money loser for the city
- inappropriate in residential neighborhood (city zoning rules, which the state has overridden, don't allow an arena in a residential neighborhood)
- trojan horse for luxury condos and overpriced "affordable" housing.
Feb. 6, 2009, 1:15 am
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
Build it and they will come. For proof see IKEA.
Feb. 6, 2009, 2:20 am
david from greenwood says:
I'm sorry you feel that way. Crummy idea. We don't need Ratner's folly in Bklyn. We're already suffering from his crappy developments....
Feb. 6, 2009, 11:04 am
David says:
Thank God someone has silenced that moron Kuntzman....yes build the virtually every other large project that was predicted to be the end of civilization (Ikea, Metrotech, Atlantic Center, Marriott, etc...) The arena will be a huge plus for Brooklyn, bringing jobs, $ and will actually help join 2 neighborhoods and eliminate a gaping hole in the middle of our city.
Feb. 6, 2009, 11:18 am
bob from downtown says:
that's a joke, right?
Feb. 6, 2009, 11:46 am
Robert from Flatbush & 5th Ave says:
".like virtually every other large project that was predicted to be the end of civilization (Ikea, Metrotech, Atlantic Center, Marriott, etc...)"

Huh? Metrotech...Atlantic Center? Those projects went up with little opposition. And the Marriott? Who complained that one? What a disingenuous comment to compare those projects to the titanic Atlantic Yards.
Feb. 6, 2009, 12:45 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
I personally never expected luxury housing at Atlantic Yards. Who would want to live there when luxury housing along the shore(Williamsburg or Brooklyn Bridge) is available. No highway near it etc.... It will all be subsidized housing. Wait until Ratner comes back and asks more money for that too.

Ratner had his college buddies by pass all the city rules. if they hadn't it probably would have been built by now as a compromise with no Eminent Domain use(or very little) and surely a smaller project not the highest density tract in NYC that was proposed.
Feb. 6, 2009, 1:26 pm
John Doe from Peoria says:
I don't even know anyone who knows any construction workers.
Feb. 6, 2009, 4:34 pm
Daniel from Dunellen, NJ says:
Ed, another team that would roll into the new arena with the Nets are the NHL's NY Islanders. With talk recently of the Islanders possibly moving from Long Island to Kansas City, I think, and I've been one to keep the Nets in NJ and move them to the Rock (Newark).

But when I heard about the Islanders possibly moving to KC, you can bet this adds to the urgency to get the arena done.
Feb. 6, 2009, 4:51 pm
bob from downtown says:
the endless fixation on the fantasy-arena is blocking affordable housing and jobs from coming to that site
Feb. 6, 2009, 5:20 pm
Ian from Greenwood Heights says:
Was this meant for the April 1st issue or something?
Feb. 6, 2009, 5:57 pm
Jenny from the Block says:
Thank god, Ed, for coming to your senses. It's a very. very scary world right now... with this Recession - just in it's infancy - two years from now, people will be screaming for jobs. This project provides just that.

I do believe that Brooklyn can surpass anyone's dreams by having a professional sports team and the vitality that it brings to the area. For over 50 years, the boro has been mourning the loss of the Dodgers. So what's wrong with a professional sports team that will bring back the buzz to Brooklyn.
Feb. 6, 2009, 8 pm
David from Kensington says:
Absolutely, build the arena now.
Feb. 6, 2009, 8:16 pm
bob from downtown says:
how dare you spend time posting a comment when we are all in mourning. have some decency.
Feb. 6, 2009, 11:17 pm
Jenny from the Block says:
"how dare you spend time posting a comment when we are all in mourning. have some decency."

who died???
Feb. 7, 2009, 11:38 am
neiljames from Bed-stuy says:
The anti-arena crowd needs to realize they are just as selfish & greedy as they claim Ratner to be. They are only interested in protecting condos as oppose to seeing soo many jobless folks earn a living, while adding something to the further growth of our borough. I say built this thing with federal money and have the State/City own all or half of it along with the developer. It's about jobs, jobs, jobs!!
If ya'll want to live in a city with small scale development then move upstate. There are lots of vacancies & open space. You all are not going to hold this borough back or turn it into some small village town.
Feb. 7, 2009, 5:35 pm
Jim Vogel from Park Slope says:
"...jumpstart the part of the original Atlantic Yards plan that makes the most sense: the basketball arena at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues."

Ummm...Mr. Weintrob, some new Kool-Aid in the cooler? The arena is the part of the plan that has always made the LEAST sense! Have you not been reading your own paper for the last 5 years??? Count it out: traffic, air pollution, eminent domain abuse, billionaire subsidies from the public purse...and your argument is it's all OK with you if it's not the local public purse?

All that hemming and hawing at the top of your editorial about the anticipated abuses of the stimulus package, and you end up with the logic "Hey! the graft is gonna happen anyway, so let's get a chunk of change ourselves!"

I don't know if the Brooklyn Papers are looking to get bought out by the NY Post as well, but this editorial sure sounds like a floater!
Feb. 8, 2009, 10:50 am
Regina from Clinton Hill says:
Ikea destroyed civil war era buildings, neo-fascist Metrotech took down a slew of old buidings, and have you taken a good look at the shoddy construction of the Marriot. If these are your standards for success, perhaps you should not be living in Brooklyn!
Feb. 9, 2009, 3:56 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
it's impossible for new york state to spend 48 billion dollars a year on medicaid, (more than california and florida). then throw in the public employees payroll, then throw in the bloated, overpriced pensions and their health benifits of the public employees, then throw in the interest on borrowed money that the state has to pay back, what is left to spend for the rest of the states needs? not much... the politicians gave this state away to every special interst group.
Feb. 9, 2009, 10:22 pm
Al from Park Slope says:
I thought the article was fantastic and agree whole heartedly. The only question I have is for everyone talking about affordable housing. Affordable housing happens for the most part in 3 ways.

1. If The city or state is your landlord, which is not only socialistic but gets paid for by tax payers in the long run.

2. If a propert owner decides to apply for tax abatements which stabilizes the rents, however any capitalist landlord (all landlords) would weigh the numbers based on prospected rents for the apartments and the tax burden.

3. Rents are set in relation to whatever the market will bear. There is plenty of affordable housing out there, however it's in certain areas, such as Bed Stuy, East NY, Bushwick, red hook. But if people are going to be looking for affordable housing on P.P.W., they are looking in the wrong neighborhoods.

Thats how capitalism works. If I am not correct, then how does housing become affordable? Who then is subsidising the cost of that housing to be "affordable", or shall I say who is ultimately paying for someone to live in UNDER MARKET RENTAL housing.
Feb. 10, 2009, 8:54 am
Jeff from Dumbo says:
Seriously, If you want affordable housing, then move to an area where you can afford the housing.

And how can people say that the stadium is a "neighborhood killer" and the fact that it should not be built iin a "so called" residential area. First of all, there are plenty of apartments right next to Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Chelsea seemts to be doing just fine with a big bad stadium in it's backyard.

And on top of the construction jobs being created to build the stadium, think of the local businesses that will be booming with stadium crowds for games concerts..etc. That Too creates not only tax dollars but JOBS long after the stadiums construction jobs are completed.
Don't tell me that neighborhood watering holes such as Hanks or O'conners would not benefit. Or the prospective of any other American with a dream of owning a business would not target a new stadium as a great place to open a new store, restaurant etc.., again creating new jobs and new tax revenues for the city....

Feb. 10, 2009, 10:07 am
bob from downtown says:
is that how capitalism works? thanks for the lesson. i guess that means that huge government bailouts is how capitalism works too?
Feb. 10, 2009, 11:04 am
Queen of the Click from BayRidge says:

Ed, I've always been a big supporter of your writing, but I think you missed the mark!

Yes, there is governmental money, but this money should be used where it's needed for the people. Affordable housing and our schools are going to need that bailout money. The government should not fund businesses with this money.
Feb. 10, 2009, 11:25 am
Jeff from Dumbo says:
Well I am actually NOT a fan of the bailout. Im not saying I DO have the answer to fix the mess this country is in, but like any other addicted person of any sorts such as drug, alcohol or spending, you have to hit rock bottom and begin a slow road back to recovery, there are no quick fixes. Its like treating drug attcts with more drugs.

However, I do feel, as a business person myself, that an investment in money PRODUCING investments is better for the long haul of economy than in non money producing investments. For example:

Lets say you have 2 million dollars, you can use that money to buy yourself a home, but that 2 million dollars is now tied up in your home and simply sucks up your funds.
Now, if you take that same 2 million dollars and buy a building that throws off 5% or 10%, that 2 million dollar investment now EARNS you 100K-200K

What is the point? If you take the stimulus money and subsidize housing, that money will eventually run out. It MUST be invested in projects that will create a return on that stimulus investment, not suck it dry by using it to help people pay their rent so they can live in an area that they can not afford in our free market system.
Feb. 10, 2009, 11:47 am
Jim from Park Slope says:
This is still ONLY about using "stimulus money" to fund a billionaire's arena/stadium/whatever! All you people who are sure the arena would produce long term gains need to go back and check your facts. Study after study has shown that public investments in sports facilities NEVER EVER pay off. And the fantasy that they improve an area should be clear to anyone who looks at the area around Madison Square Garden (NO apartments for 1/3 of a mile, only hotels) Yankee Stadium, or Shea Stadium, etc. There are NO arenas or stadiums anywhere (with the slight exception of Wrigley Field) that have been placed in neighborhoods and done anything except produce blight. None. Zip. Nada.
You can find the facts, if you're interested, at, and by Googling (great verb, huh?) "arenas neighborhoods benefits USA". you'll get a lot to think about.
And don't even start talking about the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement! That's a watchword everywhere for underhanded payoffs! And that's where some of the "stimulus" money would go, into the 8 hand-picked, paid off groups that signed that sham.
NO stimulus money for billionaires and lackeys!
Feb. 10, 2009, 1:47 pm
guy from brooklyn says:
Jim from Park Slope:

Actually, it's anti stadium people only WANTING to think it's just about a "billionaires stadium". Why can't anti stadium people understand that there are a lot of Brooklyites who have a desire contrary to theirs who would love an arena in THEIR borough. As if the stadium is only going to benefit this one guy dubbed "the billionaire".

Lets put it this way, brooklyn is known for their basketball prowess yet we have to go to manhattan or Jersey to root for another boroughs/states team. Musical artists such as Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi, with their pride in their state, make their home state concerts not only huge happenings but boost the pride of the borough for the duration of their shows.

Imagine all the homegrown Brooklynites from JayZ to Neil Diamond to Barbara Streisand and on and on playing stadium dates in the borough they grew up in. Thats about a borough, not about a billionaire!!!!!!
Feb. 11, 2009, 10:25 am
Jim from Park Slope says:
So, guy, why don't you publish your address so we can send a few thousand people over to puke, urinate, and generally carouse on your stoop? I think all those Brooklynites who would love to have stadium/arena (the only difference is stimulus semantics...) should have that opportunity, and not just the folks who have invested their life savings and effort homesteading in an area a billionaire wants to make a bundle off of, and pay NO taxes for 30 years! Yeah, let's give a lot of Brooklynites that kind of opportunity!

Neil Diamond? Barbara Streisand???? How old are you??? You ought to know better at your age.
Feb. 11, 2009, 5:26 pm
bob from downtown says:
hey Guy from Brooklyn, since an arena is such a great idea for Brooklyn, can we build it on top of your home?
Feb. 12, 2009, 9:43 am
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
How can the Brooklyn Paper have the temerity to advocate that Brooklynites should want to see federal stimulus funds, intended to RESCUE the economy, used instead for more of the sort of malfeasance that has propelled us into our current economic problems especially when the paper seems readily cognizant that the economic downturn was engendered by, and that we got “into this mess” through, “backroom deals and fealty to special interests” and the irresponsible actions of “bankers and subprime real-estate promoters.”

The Atlantic Yards megadevelopment is representative of the worst kind of Wall Street and real estate industry rip-offs that are beleaguering our economy. The paper somehow forgets that the Atlantic Yards megadevelopment is in every conceivable way a net negative for the borough. That includes the proposed arena about which no positive distinctions should be made.
Feb. 12, 2009, 1:23 pm
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights says:
Part II to our comment-

In the paper’s (Mr. Weintrob’s) own words (from prior editorials):

“The Nets arena, a tiny part of the Ratner-Downtown steamroller, is a masterful diversion meant to detract attention from the larger plan's specifics.”


“The real story is that the Atlantic Yards project . . .(is) about a land grab by Ratner and his political clients”

Pretending that somehow it is possible to “jumpstart” the “baskeball arena” (in its “original” form?) with “federal stimulus cash” even while maintaining that the “most problematic, oversized components of Bruce Ratner’s proposal for Atlantic Yards should not be built, no matter how much federal money is being thrown around” ignores that the arena has been used as a flawed argument by unscrupulous politicians such as Mayor Bloomberg and Borough President Markowitz who are bound to continue to argue for Ratner’s 30 acre monopoly if the arena proceeds. “Jump-starting” the arena is as silly as jump-starting a car for a burglar making off with the family silver, expecting it will be handed back just as soon as he gets locomotion.

For more on this see Noticing New York on the subject at:
Feb. 12, 2009, 1:24 pm
guy from Brooklyn says:
I live on Flatbush and Bergen.....

But I guess you all are right. I really do love the railyards, they really are fantastic for the neighborhood, along with the dilapidated no longer used factories... I see why everyone would be against the stadium. The crowds that are brought in to the local businesses because of the blight in the area are so bustling. I mean who wants Concerts and sporting events and expo's and political conventions here. We are against that kind of fun and entertainment in this Borough. The Blighted railyards MUST STAY.

I guess it's too bad that the Brooklyn Dodgers chose L.A. as opposed to the new stadium that was to be built in the late 50's on the corner of Flatbush Ave. & 5th Ave. that Brooklyn offered to build to replace Ebbets field as we would not be having this conversation.......


And By the way Ratner.. We also hate that you brought Target, Guitar Center, Victoria's secret and all those other "great" places to shop into the area. We don't like your kind of fun around here.... We would like to see more Projects and Low income housing Subsidized by my tax dollars.... AND MORE RAILYARDS... PLEASE!!!!!
Feb. 12, 2009, 4:43 pm
sam from downtown says:
Hey, wise guy.

quit the straw man argument and visit:
Feb. 12, 2009, 5:06 pm
guy from brooklyn says:

Why then can't we build a stadium AND your proposed plan. Considering the original project called for a stadium AND 16 buildings, which Ed Weintrob in this article only made reference to building the stadium portion of the project anyway and NOT the other buildings.

So lets say we COMBINE the best of both worlds. We get a Stadium, and we get the entire rest of your plan. I'LL SUPPORT THAT!!!!

I mean most supporters of the stadium that I know of just want a stadium and could care less about office buildings or whatever those other buildings are supposed to be anyway. So lets build your parks and schools and let smaller local developers, architects residental apartments (at fair market or rent stabilized prices so that they are allowed to be capitalists and make money from their investment)...... and concede a stadium to the mass of stadium supporters.

Solution: Everybody wins
Feb. 12, 2009, 6:32 pm
sam from downtown says:
because the arena doesn't fit over a rail yard. the UNITY Plan is plan for the rail yards.

btw, it's not "my" plan.

most supporters of the project in government and elsewhere, and the biggest non government supporter, ACORN, care MUCH more about housing than an arena.
Feb. 12, 2009, 9:56 pm
guy from brooklyn says:
Well if the people behind the UNITY plan truly wanted to UNITE those who would also love a stadium in the area as well, then maybe they should put out a secondary plan that allows for both. It's a concession. Give a little to get a lot. If that were to happen then the stadium wanting Broklynites would surely get behind the plan which would make twice as many Brooklynites happy.

The Folks who drew up the unity plan are pbviously very bright creative people, Im sure within the vast footprint of the land in question they could somehow figure out how to implement schools, parks, housing and a stadium. If Wrigley field and Fenway park could exist in such an environment, then why couldn't brooklyn.

However if the Unity plan were to not budge, then they will be viewed as a group of dividers in my eyes, and not UNITERS. I feel uniting the 2 plans would be great. Then, as a stadium advocate, you would have my support.
Feb. 13, 2009, 10:16 am
sam from downtown says:
the land in question is the publicly owned rail yard. the rest of the land is privately owned.

the arena doesn't fit on the rail yard.

there ARE numerous places in Brooklyn where an arena would fit on publicly owned land.

If you go to the unity website though. you'll see that UNITY stands for "Understanding, Imagining, & Transforming the Yards." It does not seem to pretend to refer to unifying those who want an arena and those who don't.
Feb. 13, 2009, 3:42 pm
Tom from Bay Ridge says:
I thought the city wanted to develop Coney Island as an entertainment center. So why doesn't the arena end up there? Big subway lines, maybe a ferry service, handy to the BQE, slam dunk!

I never understood that Flatbush and Atlantic idea. It's a nightmare to drive in now, I can't imagine what it would be with an arena there.

But the billionaire should spend his own bucks, for sure.
Feb. 13, 2009, 5:15 pm
guy from brooklyn says:

Flatbush & Atlantic is one of the greates rail hubs in NY. Virtually every subway line and Long Island railroad is there. That would virtually eliminate the need for anyone to even want to drive to the Brooklyn Arena. I was recently at Madison square garden for a ranger game, the rush of the crowd after the game was to the trains.

I feel moving the arena to Coney Island would not work at all due to the fact it doesnt have the massive train network that Flatbush and Atlantic has, as well as the fact that the BQE spills into the Belt Parkway, which is the only way to reach coney Island. The Belt Parkway (whose Nickname is the Belt Parking Lot) would not be handy at all to reach by car as it's impossible to drive on that roadway most of the time for no reason at all.

Most people who go to Madison Square Garden whether from brooklyn, NYC, Queens or Long Island travel via rail because of the plethora of rail options. Atlantic and Flatbush offer the same options, thus making rail transportation the most inviting option which would as well limit the desire for people to even want to get there by car as is the case with traveling to the city and the Garden.
Feb. 14, 2009, 11:14 am
sam from downtown says:
Estimate is that 60% of arena visitors will drive.
Feb. 14, 2009, 11:07 pm
tom from Park Slope says:
Guy, I still think the traffic around Flatbush/Atlantic is worse than anything to be found around Coney Island. And Coney Island has better train service than either Yankee Stadium or Shea, while I've been at the Atlantic Station during rush hour, another nightmare. And Madison Square Garden has acres of pay parking lots around it, is that what you want for your neighborhood? If it's about train service, maybe the Jamaica station area would be better, I don't know. I just know it doesn't make any sense where they're talking about, and it sounds like it would screw up some nice residential neighborhoods. Basketball's not that important.
Feb. 16, 2009, 8:55 pm
Guy from Brooklyn says:
I guess the funny thing is I really could care less about NBA basketball. I mean the NBA in Downtown Brooklyn seems like a homerun all around, but frankly, I love going to see concerts and events of all sorts. I suppose the ability to lure an NHL team is easy enough as well.

For me, especially since I own my residence only a block away, I would love the ability to have an arena in my backyard, as i often travel to Nassau colesium, MSG, and New Jersey for all sorts of events. To be able to walk door to door in a few minutes as opposed to the trekking around NY & New Jersey is thrilling to me.

Well I guess we can agree to disagree. And it is nice to have a civilized conversation about this topic which at the end of the day, the decision is certainly a defining moment for generations to come for the borough of Brooklyn. That in itself is surely worthy of having great debate and discussion as it is for our love of Brooklyn that we do.
Feb. 17, 2009, 7:33 pm
Carolyn from bushwick says:
I have to say I severely disagree with Mr. Weintrob's sentiments in this editorial... OF COURSE Brooklyn deserves a piece of the pork, but let's face facts here, there are plenty of projects that can stimulate the economy that 1) Don't use eminent domain; 2) Aren't for the profits of a private developer; 3) Are actually sound public infrastructure investments (AY, sorry for me doesn't qualify--last time I checked an arena is NOT infrastructure. Furthermore, I am highly skeptical of projects like this really creating jobs. We should give any money to deserving organizations that fight for quality affordable housing, job training, social services and especially services for those most vulnerable, not to developers looking to make a profit.
Feb. 22, 2009, 11:59 pm

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