Outside of a few SLAM-aided years, my lifetime has always seen the New Jersey Nets as the dorky little brother to the New York Knicks. Their jerseys have always been a little worse, their team always a bit suckier. Now that the Nets are getting ready to head to Brooklyn, they’re working on remaking their image so they’re not second class citizens in their own borough.
Lucky for them, they have Jay-Z as a part owner. He’s a cool guy who makes big-time rap records, babies with a beautiful woman and a ton of money, so he’s probably a valuable contact to have when re-branding a sad sack franchise that hasn’t had a winning season in five years. And that’s why they’re using him to design ultra-high end suites that you and I probably aren’t even allowed to look at. Here are the details, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:
[The] Nets are set to begin marketing 11 luxury suites that will be known as “The Vault at Barclays Center,” a small, high-end space on the event level of the arena. Yes, Jay-Z chose the forks—in addition to offering his input on the Champagne ($300 bottles of Armand de Brignac), the layout (asymmetrical) and much of the décor (lots of black and shimmering metallics). [...]
The suites themselves, which are still under construction, will be unabashedly bold—and that includes the price tag: $550,000 per year, with a minimum three-year term. That works out to $45,833 per month, instantly making them some of the most expensive rental properties in the city. That’s just slightly less than the $50,000-per-month asking rent on the townhouse in TriBeCa where Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the beleaguered former director of the International Monetary Fund, recently resided.
The tenants of each suite will receive eight tickets in the first 10 rows to all Barclays Center events, including Nets games, other sporting events, concerts and family shows. Yormark said he hopes to book 220 events per year. So here’s some rough math: If each event averages five hours, that means tenants will be paying $500 per hour—or about $8.33 per minute—for access to The Vault. “It enables us to appeal to a different demographic,” Yormark said.
If you want to spend $8.33 a minute to sit in an asymmetrical room and watch the Nets play basketball, then that is your decision. I would personally prefer to spend my hard-earned millions on something other than marveling at Deron Williams’ hair and Johan Petro’s extremely tall head, but we all have our favorite pastimes. Though truthfully, if you’re spending half a million bucks on a premium suite, you’re probably not worried about the money, the quality of basketball or anything outside of making sure people know you’re flush.
But it’s not just super luxury suites that Jay-Z is in charge of. He’s also the Nets’ fork guy and he is taking that job VERY seriously.
Jay-Z was sitting on the edge of his impossibly large oak desk when he stressed the importance of flatware.
Forks need to be heavy, he told his small audience, which included Chris Sharples, the architect in charge of designing a block of luxury suites at Barclays Center that would bear the rap impresario’s imprint. Forks, Jay-Z said, need to have substance. A plastic fork? Please. Even stainless steel was out of the question.
That’s why he gets the big bucks, folks. Maybe those suckers at Madison Square Garden think stainless steel is OK, but not for Jay-Z. The Nets and their rich fans have been eating off of inferior forks for far too long. It’s time for a change. These forks, like Mark Cuban’s luxurious locker room, are the first step to turning the Nets around. Once they get their flatware situation sorted out, then it’s on to bigger and better things, like acquiring good basketball players.
First things first though. Gotta figure out the forks.