NBA franchise still moving to Brooklyn in 2012 but agrees to allow new team to come to Garden State
Gov. Chris Christie Thursday announced that an agreement has been reached with the New Jersey Nets that will allow the team to move from the Izod Center in the Meadowlands and complete the last two years of its lease at the Prudential Center in Newark.
The move, however, is temporary. The Nets are still planning to move to a new arena in Brooklyn for the start of the 2012 National Basketball association season.
As part of the pact, the Nets agree to amend their territorial rights and allow another National Basketball League franchise to locate in New Jersey if the opportunity presents itself.
Jon Hanson, chairman of Chrisitie's Transition Committee on New Jersey Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment, obtained the agreement. Christie said he believes better positions the sports industry in the state in the future
"I'm pleased to announce a mutually agreeable resolution with the Nets organization that moves the sports industry forward, while protecting the public's interest and the future of professional basketball in the state of New Jersey," Christie said. "I am pleased that Jon Hanson was able to negotiate an agreement that has finally brought this long standing issue to resolution. Now the Nets will remain in New Jersey for the next two years and play in a state-of-the-art facility, while taxpayers will see revenue from the agreement. This is a win-win for both New Jersey and the Nets organization."
The agreement, approved Thursday in a meeting of the state Sports and Exposition Authority, authorizes the Nets to break their lease at the Izod Center and play the next two NBA seasons at the Prudential Center. They will share the facility with the National hockey League's New Jersey Devils.
Under the agreement, the Nets agree to pay the Sports and Exposition Authority $4 million over the next two years as an early termination fee. The fee may be off-set by various credits including: up to $250,000 each year for the guarantee of proceeds to benefit the Newark Symphony Hall; up to $100,000 each year for the leasing of two Prudential Center suites to the Sports and Exposition Authority, one during Nets games and one during general events; and, up to $100,000 each year in advertising credits.
"This is a good agreement for the Nets and a good agreement for New Jersey," Hanson said. "I'm happy the administration and Nets organization could come to a mutually beneficial resolution that affords the state fair compensation, while allowing the Nets to move to its desired facility. Moreover, basketball fans in our state can be pleased that the future of professional basketball in New Jersey has been addressed in this agreement."
— TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM