SBD/Issue 124/Facilities & Venues

Nets Team With IMG To Bring College Hoops To Barclays Center

IMG Will Focus On Booking Top College
Basketball Games At Barclays Center

IMG has signed a deal with the Nets to "lure major collegiate sports into the planned Barclays Center as the team looks to boost the number of events" in the $800M arena, according to John Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The deal "calls for IMG College to focus on booking top college basketball games into the facility, which is scheduled to open in Brooklyn by late 2012." Nets President & CEO Brett Yormark: "We are looking at 25-plus major college matches while developing a collegiate franchise." Yormark is "promising more than 200 events in the new arena and hopes that IMG College will be able to convince top basketball schools to play neutral site games in Brooklyn." IMG College "would also likely broker title sponsorships for any college events it brings to the facility" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/8 issue).

GARDEN VARIETY: In N.Y., Holly Sanders Ware notes men's college basketball is an area that Madison Square Garden "has long dominated." MSG "will host 46 college games this season," including this week's Big East men's basketball tournament. But IMG College Senior VP & Managing Dir Tom Stultz "maintains that the appetite for college basketball is big enough to support more games in Brooklyn." Barclays Center is "also looking at boxing -- another Garden fixture -- as well as tennis matches, concerts and family shows." MSG "isn't worried about losing its place to Brooklyn," as the arena is currently "working on a $500[M]-plus overhaul." Sanders Ware: "No one expects the Garden to lose top-tier acts -- indeed many artists dream of playing Manhattan -- but event promoters can play venues against each other to get a better deal or spread their dates over more locations" (N.Y. POST, 3/11).

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