LeBron glad he doesn’t have to stay in a Newark hotel anymore

LeBron James jokes about not having to stay in a Newark hotel now that Nets are moving to Brooklyn

Letterman continued. “Now that the Nets have moved to Brooklyn, what does that do to you and your teammates?”

“Uh, it does absolutely nothing to me and my teammates,” James said with a chuckle.

“Does it mean you don’t have to fly into Newark?”

“And we don’t have to stay in a hotel in Newark either. We get to be in Brooklyn and have some good times,” James said.

Classy, LeBron.

NJ.com: Newark hopes city attractions lure more visitors

NJ.com: Newark hopes city attractions lure more visitors

So where are the tourists on the streets below? To hear “insiders” at a forum titled “Greater Newark as a Destination” tell it, New Jersey’s largest city is on the cusp of becoming something of a mecca.

Cites growing interest in the Newark Museum, Prudential Center, and Harrison’s Red Bull Soccer Arena. It would be nice to see stories about the growing tax income as a result of these success stories. I don’t see any other way the city is going to sustainably plug the budget gap apart from more businesses moving to the city and paying their due.

New York Times: Devils’ Move Paying Off for Team, and Newark – NYTimes.com

New York TimesDevils’ Move Paying Off for Team, and Newark

The Devils ultimately fell to the Philadelphia Flyers a few days later, the third straight year they were bounced from the playoffs in the first round.

But off the ice, the team, which moved to Prudential Center in 2007 from the charmless Meadowlands, is starting to find its feet in Newark.

After a shaky start, attendance is up, more fans are traveling to games on mass transit and are spending more money in the growing number of restaurants and shops near the arena.

NJ benefits from IZOD Center and Sports Authority investment – The Star-Ledger – NJ.com (blog)

The Star-Ledger: NJ benefits from IZOD Center and Sports Authority investment

Headlines from the state Senate hearing proclaimed the fact that the NJSEA has $800 million of debt. It was written about and talked about as if a charge card with an unimaginable credit line had been maxed out. The reality is quite different — as different as the mortgage on your home is from your consumer debt.

In return for 30 years of investment around the state, the taxpayers have gotten a developed Meadowlands Sports Complex and the facilities there, the Atlantic City Convention Center, the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall, the Wildwood Convention Center and major athletic venues at Rutgers. These projects, besides being built and opened on-time and on-budget by the NJSEA management, not only are physical assets that offset the mortgages on them, but generate many millions of dollars a year for the state treasury.

So says Raymond H. Bateman, who, as president of the state Senate, sponsored the legislation creating the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority in 1971.

Star Ledger: Atlantic Yards breaks ground: Nets are the heartbreak kids

Star Ledger: Atlantic Yards breaks ground: Nets are the heartbreak kids

You’d think it would be easy to say goodbye to a team with fewer victories than Congressional Republicans. But chances are the Nets are going to get good and sexy before they leave — like the spouse who loses the weight, gets the makeover, then runs off with, well, a Russian millionaire.

They’ll draw better at The Rock than they did at Tumbleweed Center in East Rutherford, but fans will have to decide whether to fall in love again or opt for a casual, open relationship. After all, another NBA team could move in after the Nets leave.

We feel a heartbreak coming on.

New York TImes: Nets Laud Future Newark Home as a Bridge to Brooklyn

New York TImes: Nets Laud Future Newark Home as a Bridge to Brooklyn

The modern Prudential Center, in most ways the antithesis of Izod, is a better bridge to Brooklyn, Yormark said. He said that railroad access to Newark would let Brooklynites sample the Nets for a while (although the tasting might be better if LeBron James or Dwyane Wade were playing there), and that a modern facility would help Rod Thorn, the Nets’ president, recruit players.

“We’re excited about the move,” said Kris Humphries, a reserve forward whom the Nets acquired from Dallas in January. “How can we not be?”

Booker tied his city’s comeback fortunes to those of the Nets, and spoke at times as if the benefits of the Nets’ pit stop would never end. Reminded of the team’s short-term lease, he said: “You can’t discount the revenue they will bring to the city. It’ll move our city forward.”

It’s official. This isn’t so much a sports story as it is an urban renewal story: the move is temporary, and the Nets are one of the worst-performing franchises in the NBA right now. Bringing the Nets to Newark won’t solve all of their problems, but they will see an established fan base come out to see them play. The more exciting thing for this city might be that Newark will be a destination for watching some of basketball’s greats to come play (and beat the Nets).

Sullivan: Seton Hall-Rutgers match isn’t pretty

I can’t wait for the day that metropolitan-area basketball is something that is very special. I think it’s going to take off when our programs collectively are really fighting for something. We’re building. When we’re fighting for something I think it will be meaningful for this area.

— Rutgers basketball coach, Fred Hill, following Tuesday’s Rutgers-Seton Hall game at the Rock

Star Ledger: First new hotel in Newark’…

Star Ledger: First new hotel in Newark’s downtown in 38 years will be built next to Prudential Center

A 150-room Courtyard by Marriott will begin rising later this year next to The Prudential Center marking the first new hotel in Newark’s downtown in nearly 40 years and signaling the strength of the 18,000-seat arena’s economic pull, officials said yesterday.

I work in NYC during the day with a view of Jersey City across the river. One thing these two cities have that I rarely see in Newark: cranes in the air. Where the NJPAC complex and Shaq buildings have been — what we in the technology refer to as — “vaporware”, it’s exciting to see another project in the works downtown.