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Constitutional Rights v. Naming Rights
Ratner Announces Arena Naming Rights Deal With Barclays Bank
Arena Faces Uncertainty ofFederal Eminent Domain Lawsuit
BROOKLYN, BARCLAYS, BROOKLYN, NY -- The NY Post announced today
that developer Bruce
Ratner has reached a lucrative arena naming rights agreement with London-based
Lost in this highly speculative agreement to brand the publicly
funded arena proposed in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, is that
the construction of "Barclays Center" depends on the outcome
of the federal eminent domain lawsuit filed in October. The suit claims
that the use of eminent domain to clear out homes to pave the way for
the arena is unconstitutional. Currently 12 individuals (homeowners, tenants
and business owners representing 26 residents) are plaintiffs on a federal
lawsuit which says that the seizure of homes by New York State for
Bruce Ratner's "Atlantic Yards" and its arena is unconstitutional.
The arena cannot be built without the taking of those homes.
"Barclays is supporting an abuse of the Constitution. Barclays Bank
and Bruce Ratner are grossly jumping the gun since this publicly funded
arena cannot be built without my home. And currently a federal court has
begun reviewing the constitutionality of the taking of my home and the
homes of my neighbors. Of course this lawsuit throws into question the
value of these highly speculative naming rights," said Develop Don't
Destroy Brooklyn spokesperson Daniel Goldstein. "'Barclays Center':
That almost sounds like Brooklyn Center but not. It goes to show that,
once again, 'Atlantic Yards' has nothing to do with Brooklyn and everything
to do with lucrative deals for Bruce Ratner."
The public would entirely fund the construction of Bruce Ratner's Barclays
Arena. The arena construction is to be paid for by triple-tax-free bonds
(government and the public don't yet know how much that bond debt service
is but the last arena construction cost estimate was $637 million). The
debt service is to be paid in the form of Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT).
So while Ratner does not pay property tax, which would normally go into
the city treasury, instead he pays an equivalent payment towards the arena
bond. It's as if government allowed you to forego your taxes and use that
money to renovate your bathroom AND help pay off your mortgage. But we
don't publicly fund bathroom renovations or mortgages.
"This lucrative, yet speculative, naming deal is yet another sweetheart
deal for Ratner. The public funds the arena and Ratner makes the profit
on the logo slapped on its dome," concluded Goldstein.
DON’T DESTROY BROOKLYN leads a broad-based community coalition
fighting for development that will unite our communities instead of
dividing and destroying them