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Coming In Winter '08: Maybe Progress In Brooklyn

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At long last, the Nets may be about to begin the physical process toward moving to Brooklyn.  Perhaps.

As reported by Charles V. Bagli of The New York Times:

The developer Bruce C. Ratner has told state and city officials that he plans to break ground in December on his long-delayed $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, which will feature thousands of apartments and offices in 16 towers built around a glamorous basketball arena for the Nets.

But it is unclear whether Mr. Ratner will be able to meet his own deadline to start one of the most ambitious projects in Brooklyn in decades, given the softening economy, the crisis in the debt markets, rising costs and a persistent group of opponents who have filed one lawsuit after another.

It's remarkable to consider that the so-called serious talks about this were just beginning more than six years ago when Jason Kidd was beginning his time with the team.  That was a Jason Kidd who didn't seem interested in moving to Brooklyn once he arrived in Jersey...and now Kidd is already gone with no light at the end of the tunnel yet for the Brooklyn project.  To say it's been a slow trek is quite an understatement. 

From a purely fan-oriented standpoint, the sooner this move is actually consummated, the better.

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The current situation in Jersey is just a disaster for basketball fans.  Its location in the Meadowlands complex in East Rutherford makes a drive out to the IZOD Center an utter annoyance with the principal alternative being Port Authority busing.  The crowds in New Jersey have to be some of the worst in professional sports.  By and large, the fans don't show to begin with, and those that do can't be bothered to make noise or show any interest in the basketball game.  Moving to Brooklyn would give the team both a shot at a new fan base and an arena with convenient access both via the railroad and on foot.  Should be a pleasure.