Ratner buys Nets for $300m, asks for $1.1b in arena subsidies

According to the New York Times, developer Bruce Ratner has reached an agreement to buy the New Jersey Nets for $300 million, with the intention of moving them to Brooklyn. The Times also for the first time gives a breakdown of Ratner’s subsidy demands for his planned Brooklyn arena: $28 million a year in redirected sales and income taxes (which over 30 years should be enough to pay the arena’s entire $435 million construction cost); $150 million to build new roads, sewers and utilities, and relocate the existing train tracks on the arena site; and the cost (estimated at $500 million) of donating 11 acres of state-owned land at no cost to the developer. Total public subsidy: roughly $1.1 billion, for a project that Ratner had claimed would be “almost exclusively privately financed.”

We’d make an Everett Dirksen joke, but we already did that yesterday.


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