As we had predicted all along, as the final approval for Atlantic Yards and the Brooklyn Nets was sealed yesterday, the DDD folk song army went down singing. The opposition simply didn't have the resources to challenge the impressive grass roots and conventional political campaign unleashed by Forest City in its efforts to build the $4 billion complex.
In the face of this reality it is quite comical to read the comments of the Municipal Arts Society's Kent Barwick who told the Times, "From the beginning, the project has been a public-private partnership in which the public has not been represented." This statement is reminiscent of Louis XIV's comment-"L'Etat C'est Moi." The level of public involvement was indisputably immense, particularly in comparison with the level of support that many other large developments have had in this city.
For now, the opponents of the plan, aside from looking for new digs, need to put their faith in an eminent domain challenge that is a definite long shot. In spite of all of the huffing and puffing it appears to us that the Kelo decision makes this kind of challenge even more problematic. Which means that in all likelihood the Brooklyn Nets will begin play in the borough in the 2009-2010 season.
This gives the franchise three years to begin to further develop a fan base, something that the Brooklyn Sports Alliance has been working on for the past two years. FCRC needs to now incorporate its sports allies so that the support for the team will be as strong as possible. If it does than the Knicks will be in for one spirited rivalry that will be good for the entire city.