The New Jersey Nets are losing even more money — adding yet another wrinkle in the team’s plans to relocate to Brooklyn.
Despite a promise to bring the Nets here, Forest City Enterprises, which partly owns the team, admitted this month that the squad has lost $10.2 million more this year than at this point last year.
The company reported an $18.5-million loss in its just-released first-quarter report, and its loss from its 22-percent investment in the Nets represents more than half of that downturn.
Those posted losses don’t mean Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner might abandon his plan to bring the Nets to Brooklyn because what’s a $10 million loss in a $4-billion project, one analyst said.
“[A Nets financial loss] won’t change the way Forest City feels about doing [Atlantic] Yards,” explained Richard Moore, a Forest City analyst from RBC Capital. “They own the team … because it’s part of that whole development, so it’s not really an impact if the team does a little better or not this year.”
Indeed, the company has said the money-losing, game-losing basketball team from the Jersey swamps will actually make money if it moves to Brooklyn, thanks to nearly $100 million in luxury suite sales, game ticket sales, sponsorships and, of course, the $400-million naming rights deal with Barclays.
Then again, Forest City Enterprises CEO Charles Ratner did say back in April that the company still “needs more” public subsidies to get the stalled Atlantic Yards built.
And developer Bruce Ratner has said that he is having trouble lining up key financing to get the project underway.