What Took So Long?
This is too funny. One of the two Barclays Nets signs were hung on PS 58's fence about two weeks ago, has been tagged. Someone obviously felt strongly about Barclays' naming rights of PS 58's playground and added "Crazy, Crazy, (Rich) White People" and "When will it end" on stickers now glued to the sign.
The signs created quite a bit of buzz around Carroll Gardens. Barclays Nets Community Alliance paid for part of the Carroll School's schoolyard renovation through an organization called Out2Play. In exchange for the donation, the school allowed the signs to be hung on the fence. (Why Out2Play or former Councilman DeBlasio who secured funding for the renovation did not get the same consideration was never fully explained.) Some in the community, including me, found that commercializing our public playground is a bad idea and creates a slippery slope.
Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report, who has been a vocal and tireless critic of Barclays involvement in the Atlantic Yards project, agreed. He writes:
I'd point out that, when Out2Play seeks individual donations, they don't advertise the possibility of getting your name on a school playground. That must be reserved for bigger donors.Out2Play explains:Every dollar we raise from the private sector often translates into nine dollars in public funding. Each of our playspaces costs an average of $250,000.How much did Barclays give to P.S. 58? I haven't checked, but would note that the initial $150,000 grant was supposed to help refurbish eight playgrounds.That's less than $20,000 a playground--pretty good if you get a sign out of it too... (more here)
Not bad, indeed. Where else can you get a prominent advertising space for approximately $20,000?