Much like the skewed
Crain's New York Business poll last September on "Atlantic Yards"
(leading, incomplete and missing questions, grossly uninformed study sample) The
Brooklyn Paper did a man on the street survey ("Vox
Pop: Ratner’s bank job") about the Ratner/Barclays naming-rights
deal. With a rather leading, yet absolutely factually correct, question:
Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner has sold the naming rights to his new arena for the Brooklyn Nets to a British bank with historic ties to slavery, the Holocaust and apartheid. How do you feel about that?
The Brooklyn Paper found these rather predictable answers about the–as
Land Grab calls it–"yet-to-be-built, not-quite-ready-for-ground-breaking-of-unless-the-courts-decide-that-Ratner's-land-grab-is-legal
“I don’t like it. It seems like they’re just stealing from the community. I don’t think they should do it because, they are already taking peoples’ money from taxes. The funding is not right.” Kevin Foster
“I’m for the stadium just as long as it creates jobs and they’re paying the right wages. But I don’t condone the idea of making a dollar off somebody’s hardships. I wouldn’t vote for Barclays. Why couldn’t Ratner pick one of our banks? The arena is in our country.” Billy Joe Walker, Far Rockaway
men on the street...
We think a fairer question might have included the point that the $300
million naming-rights' payday for the publicly-funded arena goes directly to
the developer, Forest City Ratner, who doesn't even own the arena and would
rent it with a $1.00 99-year lease, if
it is ever built. We readily admit that there is not much good for the public
coming out of this private naming-rights deal. We also think that were the questions
less leading, and solely about those financial issues, the men on the street
would have given similar answers.
Bouldin, over at Daily Gotham, had a few things to say about the Barclays
naming-rights controversy, including the irony of it all in the context of the
City's attempt to use eminent domain to build a parking lot over Underground
Railroad safehouses at Duffield street, not far from the Ratner project: Predictable
outrage over Atlantic Yards