Newark Mayor Cory Booker, as quited by the Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi, expresses little shock over reports Nets owner Bruce Ratner (above, left) is seeking additional financial backing for the franchise. “What did surprise and disappoint Booker,” writes Politi, “was hearing that the team was only looking at potential investors interested in moving it to Brooklyn.”
“I have said from the beginning of this that the endeavor in Brooklyn is under a lot of challenges now, and I’ve said for months that the team is going to go up for sale,” Booker said Friday at a musical festival in Newark.
“I’m discouraged a little bit that they’re saying they’re only going to sell to people who are going to stay in Brooklyn, but the reality is, we’re going to do everything we possibly can to make sure that team stays in New Jersey. We need the revenue, we need the business opportunities. It really can become an economic engine for our state at a time when we need it.”
“I’ve done a lot of work to put the foundations down for a group of people who want to keep it in New Jersey,” Booker said. “There are a lot of people now who are vying for that. It really has to do with the sellers now, where the heart is. I’m hoping they open the team up to staying in New Jersey. I can show anybody that coming to Newark, New Jersey, will make that team a lot more money.
“There are so many reasons why the Nets should be in New Jersey, to the benefit of the franchise, to the benefit of the city of Newark, to the benefit of the state of New Jersey.”
Not only do I applaud Mayor Booker’s efforts in this regard, but if he’s successful, perhaps when the Nets are firmly ensconced at the Prudential Center, the club can take a tip from the neighboring indie baseball Bears and shed a spotlight on some local musical talent?