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SBD/April 24, 2012/Franchises
Nets' Yormark Discusses Time In Newark, Future For NBA At Prudential Center
Published April 24, 2012
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Q: So what did you learn about the differences between the Meadowlands and Newark these past two years?
Yormark: Nineteen percent of our fans used rail in the last year and a half, so (Newark) was much more accessible than Izod [Center], which was all about ‘appointment viewing.’ That wasn’t the case with Prudential -- you could be spontaneous and go the day of the game and buy a ticket.
Q: So was [Prudential Center] a good landlord?
Yormark: Yeah, they were a pretty good landlord. Listen, you always have disagreements. It’s part of any relationship. But for the most part, they were accommodating -- and it’s not easy to be accommodating when you know someone is coming in on a short-term basis. Despite that, they treated us like partners.
Q: Attendance was flat despite higher expectations with Deron Williams; was that a case of being a lame duck?
Yormark: Well, we had a 10 percent increase last year in tickets sold. Had we stayed at Izod, nobody knows how many would have renewed, so any uptick -- given the team’s performance and the fact that this was a lame-duck franchise -- was a positive.
Q: Under what circumstances can you see Newark and [Prudential Center] as viable homes for an NBA team?
Yormark: To be viable in New Jersey, you have to have a great product, and you have to market it creatively. But I sincerely doubt you can be a tenant in the building. You have to be a partner. Only then do you have a shot.
Q: Is there even a market that could sustain three teams from the same sport?
Yormark: There are nine pro teams [in the N.Y. market] -- so much entertainment to share a consumer’s mind-set, it’s very hard to break through and be relevant and get fans to commit. I think we have chance where we’re going (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 4/24).