February 19, 2010: The NBA's Nets continue to forge ahead with the franchise's embattled plans to move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, NY. They will take a slight detour, however, as the team said it would play the 2010-11 season at the Prudential Center in Newark, and also likely for all if not part of the NBA 2011-12 season. The team said this relocation precedes the "permanent move to Brooklyn, planned for 2012" when construction is expected to be completed on Barclays Center.
Relocation to the Prudential Center would affect the team's numerous marketing partners, many of which have naming rights to specific areas within Izod Center. The team said that it planned to address the situation.
"Our planned interim relocation to the Prudential Center in Newark represents one of the many positive steps to take place for Nets Basketball during the next few months," Brett Yormark, the Nets president and CEO, said in a statement. "This temporary move not only gives our fans a state-of-the-art arena with the first-class amenities common in most NBA buildings, but also provides our players with a great atmosphere in which to play."
The move to the Prudential Center would reunite the Nets with the New Jersey Devils, which played at what was Brendan Byrne Arena and then Continental Arena until moving in 2007. The venue became the Izod Center in 2007. The Nets will pay $4 million to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates Izod Center. The fee could partly be offset via advertising, suite revenues and other financial considerations. The deal also includes an amendment to the Nets territorial rights, enabling the NBA to place another team in the state once the Nets move out.
"Before we make our permanent move to Brooklyn, this interim relocation to Newark enables us to continue our goal to further regionalize the team, not only in Essex and Union Counties, but also in New York City due to the direct mass transit access available between Manhattan and the Prudential Center," said Yormark. "We are confident that the NBA family will see this as a positive move, as we do. We look forward to being part of the community in Newark and will continue our extensive community outreach in the area."
Yormark accentuated that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie played a large role in helping to clear hurdles to make the intra-state move a reality.
"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," Gov. Christie said in a statement. "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."