Brooklyn bound: NBA officially approves relocation the Nets

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Kobe Bryant and Deron WilliamsThe NBA’s Board of Governors agreed unanimously on Apr. 13 to approve the relocation of the New Jersey Nets across the Hudson River to Brooklyn, New York. The team, which will soon be named the Brooklyn Nets, will be playing out of a new arena named the Barclays Center. The franchise’s new home is located at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues and will be able to hold 18,200 fans for basketball games. The team will play out of the new venue starting in the 2012/13 season.

Mikhail Prokhorov, the principal owner of the Nets and Bruce Ratner, who is the developer of the Barclays Center and majority owner, released a joint statement to the press after the move was officially approved. They both thanked NBA Commissioner David Stern and the rest of the franchise owners in the league for enabling the move to become reality.

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The statement said the Barclays Center offers the basketball team a modern and state-of-the-art venue to call home and the franchise is looking forward to entertaining its fans there. They added that they can’t wait until Sept. 28 when the arena will officially open for the next NBA season.

The Barclays Center will actually be the eighth venue that the franchise has played out of. In the past, the team has played at the Prudential Center, the Brendan Byrne Arena, Nassau County Coliseum, Island Garden, Long Island Arena, Rutgers Athletic Center, and the Teaneck Armory.

Stern said that the board of governors voted to formally approve the relocation of the team as well as the new franchise name. He claimed the Barclays Center to be a very impressive structure and said the building of it is right on schedule and it could even be completed earlier than expected. He said it might even be finished by August, but the official opening will still be held on Sept. 28. Stern added that luxury suite and ticket sales for games have reportedly been doing very well.

The Nets won’t make the playoffs in the current NBA season and their schedule will come to an end on April 26 when they travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors. However, the team won’t waste any time when it comes to transforming the look of the franchise. The name will be officially changed from the New Jersey Nets to the Brooklyn Nets on April 30 and the team’s new colors scheme and logo will be presented on April 28.

The franchise was founded back in 1967 and originally began play in the ABA (American Basketball Association) as the New Jersey Americans. They became the New York Nets in 1968 when moving to Long Island and in 1977 they moved back to New Jersey. They joined the NBA in 1976 when the league merged with the ABA. The club went to the NBA Finals in the 2001/02 season and again the following year. However, they’ve now endured five losing seasons in a row. Perhaps their luck will change at their brand new home.

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