Mayor Cory Booker: Once Nets Leave, Newark Wants New NBA Franchise

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Newark’s Prudential center is a gorgeous new building — one that will soon be without an NBA franchise.

The search is on for Mayor Cory Booker.

“We’re definitely engaging in conversations with folks who have put out feelers about the potential for our arena to host an NBA team,” Booker said on Monday, according to the Bergen Record.

With the New Jersey Nets moving to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season, Booker is looking for teams “struggling in their current arenas.”

“That gives me signs of hope,” he said. “I think it’s an uphill battle, but I think it’s a winnable battle.”

Booker said he’s talked with NBA commissioner David Stern about the possibility if a team becomes available. “He’s never said no,” Booker said.

“He’s never thrown cold water at me,” he added. “In fact, we’ve had some conversations about if it were to happen, what would that pathway look like?”

Holding this year’s NBA Draft could help Newark’s search for a franchise. Normally held at MSG, the draft will give Newark and the Prudential Center a chance to shine in the league’s limelight.

“Having an event like the NBA Draft is another yardstick for us,” Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek told the paper. “This isn’t going to make us get an NBA team here. These are all just bricks in the wall.”

Should the NBA move a franchise to New Jersey? Sound off in the comments below…

  • Rich from Lake Como

    New Jersey… and Newark deserve another NBA franchise. Look for Micheal Jordan to investigate bringing his Charlotte Bobcats to The Rock in a few years. He’ll also bring native Newarker Shaquille O’Neal in on the franchise in a front office post when he decides he’s coming to NJ. Team name? How about The Jersey Jays?

    • wallyhorse

      I doubt Jordan would do that with the Bobcats. The only reason Charlotte lost the Hornets was because the Hornets then-Owner, George Shinn as I remember committed something that turned off many who are more conservative in that part of the country, plus, the building the Hornets played in (Charlotte Coliseium) was way too big (capacity of 24,000), had too few luxury boxes and became obsolete to where it was torn down less than 20 years after it opened in 1988 (the building was originally built to land the ACC Championship in Men’s College Basketball on a permanent basis). The Bobcats have a much better situation, so I don’t see that happening with them.

  • George A

    There’s a reason why the Nets are leaving Brooklyn…

    • Joe

      Because the franchise has been a complete failure for the past 20 years, outside of Jason Kidd’s stint. They think moving the franchise would bring more fans, but they are just setting themselves up for even more failure seeing as the Knicks have become relevant again. At least in NJ they had NJ fans coming to their games. You think New Yorkers will opt to see the Nets or Knicks after the move?

      Here’s how you make money in the NBA: win games and win often. Even big market NBA teams are losing money (i.e. Boston). It has nothing to do with where you’re located, look at what a winning team has done for OKC.

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