A major NBA turf war is brewing in The Big Apple with the soon to be Brooklyn Nets making the first legitimate threat to the Knicks’ territory in 65 years. The Nets insist there are enough basketball fans in the city to support two pro teams, but new owner Mikhail Prokhorov has ruffled feathers with his declaration that Knicks fans will be turned into Nets fans. And the Knicks have garnered their own share of bad PR by raising ticket prices almost 50 percent for next season, allowing the Nets to promote themselves as the cheaper alternative just five miles away. As the Nets build an arena for $800 million, the Knicks are putting $800 million into Madison Square Garden. And the most vicious battle may be coming up for the Orlando Magic’s likely free agent center Dwight Howard.
Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek look at sports deals, ownership, and more in their forthcoming Beyond the Scoreboard giving readers insider access to the boardrooms, negotiating tables, and executive suites of sport’s most influential powerbrokers. Keep an eye on HK News for Rick and Karla’s view of current events in sports business.