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Ratner: new arena might not be ready to 2011

The news here this may be the first time Bruce Ratner has said what most people were already guessing: the new arena in Brooklyn may not be ready until 2011.
Forest City developer Bruce Ratner still is holding out hope he can start work this year on the delayed Brooklyn arena that would be part of a major project that would (eventually) bring the NBA Nets up from New Jersey.

Indications are, however, this is becoming extremely unlikely.

Regular readers of this site know there has been a series of delays, mishaps and adventures that has kept Ratner and the lawyers busy.

As a result, Ratner is now admitting the arena may not be open until 2011. This latest revelation came about in an odd fashion. At a June stockholders meeting, Ratner said it will take 2-2 1/2 years to build the arena once it is started. The original plan had that occurring this summer. But it is already August and there is no movement afoot.

Nets Sports & Entertainment President CEO Brett Yormark recently said, "We plan on breaking ground in November and being there for the ’10-’11 season."

But Ratner told the stockholders that construction will probably not start until January, 2009. That would make it virtually impossible to be ready for the opening in Ocotber 2010 – the start of the NBA season. Just in case, the Nets recently extended their lease at the Izod Center through the 2012-13 season.