Nets Need Newark and Newark Needs The Nets

Louis FierroContributor IDecember 19, 2008

Try saying that title five times fast, but in all seriousness the New Jersey Nets aren't doing half bad.  Well at least on the road they're not. 

However, the youngest team in the league is having a tough time at home.  The fans simply aren's showing up to the games anymore and owners of this team don't seem to care.  I don't know about you, but I believe that the great state of NJ has NBA fans, just not ones that care about this team.  I know this because I am one of those people. 

Many Nets fans feel betrayed by the future move to Brooklyn, this coupled with the long walk to the arena, no PATH station exit which makes it hard for people from the city to get to the games, the poor game atmosphere (it is located in a swamp), and the fact that the IZOD Center may be one of the worst venues for NBA basketball ever built all but makes it impossible for fans to get excited about this team and want to see games

Bruce Ratner, the owner of the Nets is not willing to give up his dream of moving the Nets to the fantasy that is the Barclay's Center, located in a borough of a city that already has a team.  Now many of you good people at home reading my article may say what other choice does he have, and in this lays the conundrum. 

The New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Van der Beek is willing to buy the Nets and have them play in the new Prudential Center where the Devils are averaging 16,000 fans per game in a largely basketball oriented town.  Now if the Devils can draw this well in a city like Newark, surely the Nets can do much better. 

If the Barclay's Center is built the homes of many people will be lost, why then would the owner of this team not want to move the Nets to the Prudential Center.  It seems like the perfect situation, there is a great arena already built, in the perfect area for a basketball game, and the mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, is behind this move 100 percent.  The only plausible negative anyone could find with this move is that Newark is a dangerous city, but not even this is true as Booker has started the biggest turnaround in Newark the city has ever seen.

An NBA team will generate vast amounts of revenue that can help Newark complete its' turnaround, and give Newark the recognition it deserves.  But it seems Bruce Ratner doesn't care about the lives, and wants of others, even when his own investors urge him to scrap his idea and leave the IZOD Center ASAP. 

My final point is this: In a time of economic hardship, who could really afford to build a $4 billion arena which would be the most expensive in American history, when there is a perfectly good and new one ready and able.

So my cries for an NBA team to stay in New Jersey seem as if they will only be heard by you, the reader.  Ratner will continue to shell out $40 million a year to keep this team afloat in the Meadowlands until his dream of an arena is built, and the Nets will continue to sell buy-one-get-one-free tickets (no that is not a joke), but in the meantime what are your opinions on this situation.