The British Are Coming to Brooklyn, Thanks to Bruce Ratner

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Inside the newly named Barclays Center.Image: Gehry Partners via AtlanticYards.com


Any hope of corporate bucks not dominating pro sports disappeared decades ago. But at least the Mets' new ballpark — Citi Field, they'll be calling it — will be shilling for a New York company. Bruce Ratner, on the other hand, has sold naming rights to his proposed Brooklyn basketball arena to the London bank Barclays, as the Post reports today. And in some ways that's not surprising. It underlines the methods Ratner has used throughout his campaign to build Atlantic Yards: Beat your chest about how the project is all about Brooklyn pride, but don't let that stand in the way of maximizing profits. The even more interesting aspect of this deal will take time to unfold. Every Atlantic Yards figure that Ratner has hyped — except the physical size of the project — has turned out to be smaller when it actually happens. From the number of "affordable" apartments to the number of construction jobs, everything shrinks as it gets closer to reality. The Post story cites unnamed sources to claim that the Nets' naming rights will be "the most lucrative deal ever for an arena in the United States." That story line helps further Ratner's attempts to make Atlantic Yards seem inevitable. Just don't bet your Nets at the Barclays Center souvenir sweatbands on it turning out to be accurate. —Chris Smith