The New Jersey Nets will play most or all of the 2009-10 NBA season in New Jersey instead of Brooklyn, a team spokesman said Thursday.
The Nets had planned to play at its new arena in New York starting in 2009. But spokesman Barry Baum said the move to Brooklyn wouldn’t happen until sometime in 2010.
The Nets could possibly begin the season at the Izod Center in East Rutherford and move to the new arena, to be called the Barclays (NYSE:BCS) Center, in the first half of 2010, Baum said.
In October, Nets principal owner Bruce Ratner told The Associated Press that the new arena probably would not be ready by the start of the 2009-2010 season.
Under terms of their contract with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the Izod Center, the Nets have to give 18 months’ notice before they leave to avoid paying a penalty, Baum said.
The Nets haven’t broken ground on the new arena, which is part of the Atlantic Yards development that is also set to include office space and as many as 6,400 new apartments. The $4 billion project has faced legal challenges from local residents and environmental groups.