Deal for `Brooklyn Nets' reached

January 22, 2004|By THE NEW YORK TIMES

Bruce C. Ratner, the Cleveland-born developer who wants to move the New Jersey Nets to an arena in downtown Brooklyn, reached tentative agreement yesterday to acquire the team for $300 million, defeating a similar offer by Charles Kushner and Sen. Jon S. Corzine.

"We're in the final stages of negotiating an agreement with Bruce Ratner," said Edwin Stier, president of Community Youth Organization, the Nets' ownership group. "The contract terms have been finalized, and we're putting the paperwork together."

The CYO board agreed to the terms, and the contract now requires the approval of YankeeNets, the holding company for the Nets and New York Yankees that is being dissolved.

Ratner's victory means the potential return of a major league team to Brooklyn for the first time since 1957, when the Brooklyn Dodgers left for Los Angeles.

The next challenge for Ratner is to clear the hurdles to building a $2.5 billion project with a new arena for the Nets as its centerpiece.

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