Bruce Ratner to sell Barclays stake

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets minority owner Bruce Ratner is putting his majority share of Barclays Center on the market.

"Our goal is to identify a strategic partner as we continue to capitalize on the great performance of Barclays Center and the promise of Nassau Coliseum," Barclays Center spokesman Barry Baum said in a statement. "The current management team [Ratner and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark] will continue in its existing role."

Ratner owns 55 percent of Barclays Center. He has been unable to sell his 20 percent minority share of the Nets for awhile.

SportsBusiness Journal, which first reported Ratner was putting his share of Barclays Center on the market, noted that an investment bank will begin selling the share next week.

SportsBusiness Journal also noted that Barclays Center earns more than $30 million annually, and banking sources told the publication that the arena's value is approximately $750 million. A source had told ESPN.com that the Nets were asking $1.1 billion for Barclays Center, so $350 million more than that valuation.

Ratner sold Mikhail Prokhorov 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of Barclays Center four years ago.

But Prokhorov's future with the franchise remains unclear.

Despite several public declarations from the Nets that the Russian billionaire is not selling, sources told ESPN.com in early October that Brooklyn ownership has been quietly gauging interest from investors for months, and at least one interested party said Prokhorov would be willing to give up majority ownership for the right price.

A source said the asking price for the Nets franchise would be $1.2 billion for the team and $1.1 billion for the arena, but it's unlikely a single buyer would be willing to purchase the franchise in its entirety.

The Nets had discussions with Guggenheim about "a combination of assets," but nothing is happening with that right now, a source said.

According to SportsBusiness Journal via Pollstar, Barclays Center ranked as the most popular arena in the country, based on ticket sales for concerts in the first six months of the year.

But Prokhorov has been unhappy with the team's financial losses, sources said.

The Nets lost $144 million in basketball-related business in 2013-14 -- $131 million more than the next highest team -- as reported by Grantland.com.

The team decided to cut costs -- its payroll and luxury tax totals dropping from $197 million to approximately a projected $130 million going into the 2014-15 campaign.

The NHL's New York Islanders are set to move into the Barclays Center in 2015-16.

Ratner's group is in charge of renovating the Islanders' old arena, the Nassau Coliseum.