Field of Schemes
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December 17, 2009

Nets-to-Newark deal "all but collapsed"

The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that the plan to move the Nets to Newark in exchange for concerts going to the Meadowlands has fallen apart.

What appears to have happened: Earlier this week, state senate president Richard Codey introduced a bill to set up a new company, jointly owned by the state and the city of Newark, that would collect a $3-a-ticket tax and redistribute it to both the Izod Center and the Prudential Center. How exactly reshuffling money between the two facilities was supposed to help wasn't clear, but it turns out it doesn't much matter: Newly elected Jersey governor Chris Christie apparently didn't want to be rushed into a decision, so the deal is dead for now.

In any case, with Atlantic Yards construction looking like it's moving aheadanother lawsuit was dismissed yesterday, if you're keeping count — any Nets move would be for two seasons only. Nets execs, for their part, say they "continue to be encouraged" by the idea of an interim move — now they may have to decide if it's worth paying the $7.5 million fee to break their lease and get out of the Meadowlands two years earlier.

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