Two preseason games at the Prudential Center in Newark have been so highly attended that the Nets are considering moving there from the Meadowlands while they wait for a new home in Brooklyn. An October 13th preseason game against the Celtics drew 12,790 fans to the Prudential Center, three times the the size of a typical preseason crowd at the Meadowlands' Izod Center. Then, a game against the Knicks drew 15,721. Those are nice numbers, but getting out of their lease could cost Nets owner and Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner millions.

The Nets' lease with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority runs through 2013. If the team is moving to Brooklyn, it can opt out of the lease without penalties. But decamping to Newark would incur an $8 million penalty, which Ratner is hoping the state will waive. On the other hand, insiders tell the Star-Ledger that Ratner "is reluctant to leave the Izod Center because a move to Newark could undermine the Brooklyn plans." At this point he's probably pretty fed up with all the undermining!

Ratner needs to break ground on the Brooklyn arena by the end of the year to qualify for tax-exempt bonds to finance construction, but he's waiting on the State Court of Appeals decision about the use of eminent domain to acquire land at the site. And earlier this week opponents of the highly controversial development filed yet another lawsuit, faulting the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) for not conducting a second environmental impact statement after Ratner radically changed the project.

Meanwhile, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov had his first meeting with NBA owners last night at the St. Regis Hotel. Prokhorov has agreed to purchase 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the proposed arena in exchange for $200 million. But he needs approval of at least 23 of the NBA’s 30 owners, who were rumored to be enchanted by Prokhorov last night. One anonymous source tells the Post, "Everyone seemed excited over the love he has of basketball and the unlimited amount of money he can inject into the game."