Russian Billionaire to Fund New Jersey NBA Stadium

Just in time for the upcoming NBA season, rumors have been sparked regarding the funding of the new Barclays Center for the New Jersey Nets. Mikhail Prokhorov, 43-year-old Russian bachelor and self-made billionaire, is reportedly considering a proposal he recently received to help fund the construction of the arena. As Russia’s richest man (even after a 51 percent drop in his net worth), Prokhorov is an avid basketball and kickboxing fan. While sources are reporting that “the possibility does exist” for Prokhorov to contribute to the project, no one is disclosing just how much he is set to contribute.

The Barclays Center is scheduled to be built in Brooklyn and while actual construction costs have never been officially disclosed, reports are that the price tag is expected to ring in near $800 million. According to a source, the growth potential is very high for both the arena and the New Jersey Nets, due in part to the fact that Forbes estimated the value of the Nets to be around $295 million.

While it remains unclear exactly what the terms are for Prokhorov in regards to what he will be receiving in return for his contribution to the construction of the arena, it is likely that he will receive a non-controlling stake in the Nets. Barclays declined comment on the story and questions emailed to a New Jersey Nets representative remained unanswered.

If the deal goes through as expected, Mikhail Prokhorov would become the first Russian businessman to own a piece of a major American sports franchise. Before selling his 25 percent stake in the mining giant, Norilsk Nickel, Prokhorov funded Euro league champions CSKA Moscow.

UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting that the $200 million deal has gone through.

Via The Moscow Times