Rap mogul Jay-Z attended a New York ceremony for the launch of a new arena to be used by his NBA basketball team New Jersey Nets beginning in 2012.
The ceremony was attended by multiple New York officials.
Governor David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz today joined Forest City Ratner Companies Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner, Barclays PLC President Robert E. Diamond, Jr., and NETS investor and cultural icon Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter at the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards. The 18,000-seat world-class sports and entertainment arena is being developed by Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), which will operate the arena in partnership with Mikhail Prokhorov‘s Onexim Sports & Entertainment. The Barclays Center will host more than 200 events annually, including professional and collegiate sports, concerts, family shows, and NETS Basketball. (Market Watch)
Jay also spoke to his hometown fans during the celebration.
Jay-Z said how he dreamed of being an NBA star growing up in Brooklyn’s Marcy Houses, and now he felt proud to own part of a NBA team that will relocate to his native borough. “We did it again, Brooklyn!” said the hip-hop mogul, seen right. In addition to the basketball arena, three residential buildings, a day care facility, senior center and health care facilities will be built. The mayor says affordable housing units will be included, as well. (New York 1)
Last year, Nets CEO Brett Yormark confirmed and announced the dates fans may expect the shift to take place.
“We’ll be there for the 2011-2012 season,” Yormark said in a statement. “We’ve pre-sold 20 percent of our suites…We’ve got eight of our 14 founding partnerships already completely signed. Next week, we’ll announce our ninth.” (Bloomberg News)
The rap mogul has held a share in the NBA team since 2004.
The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the New Jersey Nets to an ownership group that includes the rapper Jay-Z. The group of investors, led by developer Bruce Ratner, had its $300 million offer accepted by the Nets. Ratner reportedly recruited Jay-Z and a number of prominent Brooklynites with the idea of moving the franchise from the swamps of New Jersey to downtown Brooklyn. (Hoops Vibe)