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NBA seems OK with Nets playing in Newark for now News New Jersey Nets

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News » NBA seems OK with Nets playing in Newark for now

NBA seems OK with Nets playing in Newark for now

NBA seems OK with Nets playing in Newark for nowNEW YORK (AP) - The NBA doesn't seem likely to stand in the way if the New Jersey Nets decide to move their home games to Newark.

The Star-Ledger reported Thursday that the Nets were considering playing regular-season games at the Prudential Center while an arena is being built in Brooklyn, as long as they don't have to pay an $8 million penalty to get out of their lease at the Meadowlands.

"Where they play is their decision, subject to approval, but there's no reason why we wouldn't approve them playing games in a beautiful new arena," NBA commissioner David Stern said.

The Nets played two preseason games in Newark, both drawing far more than usual at the Izod Center. The announced crowd for their 96-92 loss to New York on Wednesday night was 15,721.

Stern said he hasn't had any direct conversation with the Nets, but was aware of the report of a potential move.

"It's theirs to decide where, as they get ready to move to Brooklyn, where they play," Stern said. "We don't have a preference, it would be guided by their preference."

Neither the Nets nor New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority chairman Carl Goldberg would comment on the report. The sports authority, which is run by the state, operates the Izod Center.

Goldberg said that Gov. Jon Corzine asked him, representatives from the governor's office and Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek to find a way that both arenas can continue to operate.

Newark officials have long felt the Izod Center should close.

Goldberg believes an agreement is within reach.

"It would allow both arenas to operate in their respective geographies in cohesive fashion that ensures the economic health of both and provides the widest range of entertainment and options for the people of New Jersey," he said.

Nets owner Bruce Ratner's planned move to Brooklyn has been delayed by litigation, with another ruling from the Court of Appeals expected next week.

It got a boost with the proposed sale last month to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who will invest $200 million and make funding commitments to acquire 80 percent of the NBA team and 45 percent of the arena project.

Stern said NBA owners could vote to approve the sale by the end of the year. Even if the Nets play in Newark and are successful there, Stern is still convinced they will end up in Brooklyn, saying Prokhorov "intends to be an owner of the Brooklyn Nets and nothing else."


Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 22, 2009


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