Bruce Ratner talks Nets, Barclays Center, and Nassau Coliseum

Bruce Ratner is one of the finalists in bids to revamp the Nassau Coliseum. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese.

Bruce Ratner is one of the finalists in bids to revamp the Nassau Coliseum. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese.

The Brooklyn Nets minority owner and Barclays Center majority owner Bruce Ratner went on CNBA earlier this week to discuss the possibility that he could help revamp the Nassau Coliseum. He wound up talking about a few things that I thought were interesting so I wanted to go through what he said.

  • Ratner said the key to revamping the Coliseum was content. He said that they plan on having 300 events there in the first year and said that 200 are already booked. He added that the way they have made the Barclays Center a success is through content, good costumer service, and having a beautiful arena.
  • When asked if he could get enough content in Long Island because of overlap with the Barclays Center, MSG, and other area arenas, Ratner said that only five to 10 percent of the Barclays Center attendance figures were from people coming from Long Island. He also pointed out that Nassau and Suffolk counties are some of the richest counties in the country and added, I cannot emphasize enough how big that market is.”
  • Ratner added that they don’t plan on taking any subsidies from the local government for their revamp and that it was entirely privately financed. He added that all the infrastructure is already in place.
  • When asked if arenas can create local economies, he said that Brooklyn has helped spur local business and development and then added that there is an intangible aspect. He added that the intangibles bring a certain amount of pride in having a place to go and a place to see quality entertainment.
  • As far as sports at the Coliseum, Ratner remarked that they plan on getting an AHL team to replace the Islanders, but noted that they will still play 6 times a year there (he did say there is no chance for more than that).
  • Finally they got to the Nets as Ratner was asked about the trade with the Celtics involving Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and specifically if they were too old.Ratner noted that the trade really didn’t cost the Nets much and that even though the players were old, they are still very good.
  • When the three first round draft picks were mentioned (2014, 2016, and 2018), he explained how, since the team is planning on being a perennial winner, that the picks will be somewhere in the mid-20s of the first round and that they won’t be that important picks.
  • When asked if it was important to have a celebrity partner in these deals, like Jay Z with the Nets and Magic Johnson with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ratner said it’s not necessary, but in the Nets case it helped a lot mostly from a marketing standpoint.

Here’s a link to the CNBC website if you’d like to watch the video in its entirety. Good stuff. My favorite part, being a Brooklyn guy, is that there is no chance of the Islanders staying in Long Island. Sorry to all my Long Island friends, but the more hockey here the better.

By the way, we’ll find out sometime later this month if Ratner’s bid was accepted. The Nets could play one home game a year there if it is.

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