Why are the Brooklyn Nets here, in Brooklyn?
For the past 35 years, the Nets have toiled in New Jersey, playing games in multiple arenas across the state before settling in East Rutherford and eventually Newark. The team struggled to find success in those 35 years, both on the court and off it — the team enjoyed only twelve winning seasons and never once cracked the top 10 in league attendance after 1984.
In 2003, basketball-apathetic city developer Bruce Ratner proposed the Atlantic Yards Project, an ambitious plan to build on a highly-trafficked but under-utilized area of Brooklyn near. Ratner, who bought the Nets in 2004, used the marketability and viability of a sports franchise to fast-track the development process, and sold the public on the project by promising jobs and affordable housing in the area.
Nearly ten years, a changing of ownership hands, and roughly $1 billion later, after numerous legal battles and eminent domain lawsuits, Barclays Center opened on September 21st, 2012 on the corner of Atlantic & Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. The arena sits adjacent to Atlantic Terminal, the largest transit hub in Brooklyn, at the intersection of Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, and Boerum Hill. As of this writing, no housing projects have broken ground.