Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Comparing Apples and Basketballs

The Daily News reported yesterday (with an assist to the clever playmaker Matt Scheurman) that State Senator Velmanette Montgomery is arguing that the $100 million requested by FCRC for Atlantic Yards be blocked "until a desperately needed Sunset Park high school is built..." Which might make some sense if the senator wasn't simply against any money going to Ratner at any time. Cause we all know that should the money for the school be forthcoming Montgomery's position on the project funding would still be -NO!

And of course if the AY development is not going to mean a net gain in jobs and city revenues it makes no sense to fund it at all. If, however, there is going to be a huge influx of positive economic growth, and we believe this to be the case, than trying to hold the arena plan hostage to a school building that everyone admits has been 37 years in the making is plain silly.

The refrain should be: more tax revenue, more money for schools. Which is one of the reasons that the nascent Brooklyn Amateur Sports Alliance (BASA) will be in Albany today. The other reasons are derived from the fact that the arena development will be a major boon to amateur athletics in Brooklyn, to groups in Senator Montgomery's district for sure. And we inform these folks that their senator is opposed to AY, well, we'll let her explain her position to her constituents.

The BASA will be constituted officially next week and we plan to reach all across the borough with clinics that emphasize athletics and academics-basketball as a means to an end and not an end in itself. We also plan to do a borough-wide BB tourney this summer that links the diverse Brooklyn neighborhoods together. FCRC and the Brooklyn Nets will become a major stakeholder for amateur sports in Brooklyn and the rest of the city.

Watch out NYK! With the Nets success on the court and the Knicks abysmal management it will only be a matter of time before the Brooklyn Nets logo becomes the hot ticket item in this city. We anticipate that the BASA will be working alongside the Nets and FCRC for many years to come.