Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chris Christie enjoys sound bites more than money

Many people across the country, more than who actually live in this state, seem to think that the current governor of my state is some kind of hero or something. This is, of course, because he enjoys baiting the media (well, no one can be all bad), and will speak plainly about things. And heaven knows that there's really no love lost between most of the state's residents and it's cursed little ex-basketball team, who just played its last in the state, and are on their way to Brooklyn for, one presumes, some sort of boost to their fortunes, if only because there really is no where for them to go but up. In case you missed it, here's what the big sack said. Now, a few points. 1) There will never be, not ever, an NBA team coming to New Jersey ever again. Newark is not that exciting, no NBA stars want to live in North Jersey, and the state will never foster an attractive enough business environment to get a new tenant for that building, well, ever again. 2) The fact that the building will be empty for 41 more nights a year, and that Christie seems to be cavalier about that... tells you all that you really need to know about his stewardship of the state, now, doesn't it?

And the hit isn't just from the lack of crowds, given that Net crowds weren't ever all that intense; it's also from the property taxes, income taxes and ancillary spending done by the gaggle of millionaires that the Nets bring in for six to nine months a year. Basketball players are mini corporation in and of themselves, and they spend. Oh, dear me, how they spend.

There was probably nothing that Christie could have done, or should have done, to keep the Nets in New Jersey. Brooklyn has more money, more people, better transit (though the Pru Arena is awfully easy to get to via regional rail), and the cachet born from a decade plus of hipster gentrification; a million things, really, that New Jersey does not have and never will.

 But there are ways to say goodbye (you know, perhaps with a small moment of class or grace?), and then there's playing for the cameras like a shoot wrestler.

Guess which one is more, well, done by grown ups?


CMJDad said...

I happen to agree with Christi. Sports franchises are seldom ever worth the cost for the municipality/state. The fact is, no public money should ever go to bringing/keeping a team. If that means fewer teams overall, or teams leaving smaller markets, so be it. The owners of the teams can pay their own freight.

DMtShooter said...

Of course you are right... but the building is done. It's not going to go away. Kicking the Nets on their way out is just theater for rubes.

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