Newark, NJ (February 2, 2005) Officials from both the city of Newark and the New Jersey Devils, as well as representatives from the architectural firm of Morris Adjmi, today unveiled the design for the long-awaited Newark/New Jersey Devils Arena. The facility is being planned as the centerpiece of the city's Downtown Core Redevelopment Project.
The presentation which was hosted by Mayor Sharpe James and Devils' Chairman/ Managing Partner Jeff Vanderbeek, was held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
"Today is a great day for the City of Newark," said James. "We are seeing for the first time the goal of our dreams the creation of a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment arena that will be the central power that spreads prosperity into every neighborhood and home in our city. We are putting Newark on the world stage and it will be the world's star performer."
"Today's events are another step in the process of building a first-class 21st century facility for our fans, added Vanderbeek. Everyone affiliated with this project is looking forward to the day when we open the arena doors and bring championship hockey to the city of Newark."
Newark City Business Administrator Richard Monteilh served as master of ceremonies and presented the project overview of the Newark Downtown Core District. The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the arena model, including a video presentation of the arena design concept. The event was sponsored by the Prudential Foundation.
Morris Adjmi was one of three architectural firms that created models of the exterior and public spaces for the proposed 17,000-plus seat, 700,000 square-foot arena. The original three proposals were presented on October 21, 2004. The final design featuring large brick columns and an aluminum curtain wall, was selected by the Executive Committee.
Morris Adjmi Architects of New York City, has a history of design achievements that include the Walt Disney Company's Office Complex in Celebration, Florida, and the New York City headquarters of Scholastic, Inc.
Adjmi will work with HOK Sport+Venue+Event, a Kansas City-based design firm, to create the final plan for the arena. HOK, a specialist in sports venue design, has already been chosen to design the interior spaces of the arena.
The Newark Housing Authority, under Executive Director Harold Lucas, will oversee the project. Lucas, who served as city Business Administrator and Federal Undersecretary of Public and Indian Housing for the Clinton Administration, earned national acclaim for his overhaul of the city's public housing stock, turning it from "worst to first" in the United States.
COURT SUPPORTS NEWARK FINANCING PLAN
March 30, 2006
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
A New Jersey court has approved a financing plan being used to fund construction of a new
arena in Newark for the Devils. A group of local residents had taken the matter to court and say they will appeal the ruling.
The plan used money from a new lease of the city's airport to fund the arena. The lease money was paid to the Newark Housing Authority and opponents objected to that maneuver because it blocked any possible referendum. Under New Jersey law, citizens can force a referendum on budget expenditures.
The judge said a state law also allows the city to do what is "necessary or convenient" to allow such projects to proceed.
Mark Spivey on the NHL
Glove save and a beaut!
Can You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking?
Sorry, New Jersey Devils fans. You no longer have an excuse to fail to fill up your arena for home games. At least not as of Saturday evening, when the beautiful Prudential Center opens its doors to the hockey-loving public for the first time.
I’ll be the first to admit the Meadowlands aren’t exactly the fabled Elysian Fields (the Greek paradise kind, not the baseball field in Hoboken). Let’s be honest: it’s a series of ugly venues (Continental Airlines Arena, Giants Stadium) in an ugly area (acres of stinking, fetid swamps) nestled in an ugly part of the country (the vast industrial fields surrounding the NJ Turnpike Corridor from about Exits 12 through 18).
Worse still, the Turnpike is the only major transportation artery of any kind to come within a reasonable distance of the complex, meaning those who enjoy using public transit to get to games are more or less out of luck. If you’re not driving in or getting bused in, you’re not getting there.
So to sum things up, the Prudential Center (below) is everything that Continental Airlines Arena (above) wasn’t.
That’s right: Devils fans are experiencing an overnight transition from having one of the ugliest, least accessable arenas in the league to having one of the nicest, most accessable venues. To get to the Rock, you can take your pick of NJ Transit rail, PATH rail, Amtrak rail, I-280, I-78, National Routes 1 and 9, State Routes 21 and 22, or the Garden State Parkway.
Credentials? Yeah, it’s got credentials. The arena was designed by the prestigious HOK Sport firm, which is responsible for some of the finest examples of sports architecture in the world, including virtually all of the best modern baseball stadiums in North America (Baltimore’s Camden Yards, Philly’s Citizen Bank Park, Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, San Francisco’s AT&T Park, and Houston’s Minute Maid Park, just to name a few), a smattering of impressive hockey/basketball arenas of the same mold (Denver’s Pepsi Center, Toronto’s Air Canada Center, Minnesota’s Xcel Energy Center), and countless others.
Amenities include an externally-mounted 4,800-square foot LED screen (one of the largest in the world), a new 2,600-foot team store, 750 flat-screen televisions spread throughout the arena, seperate concourses for the lower and upper levels, four LED ribbons extending the length of the rink, an eight-sided scoreboard with high-def video screens, a 350-seat restaurant, three bars, plus the biggest luxury boxes of any arena in North America (76 of them).
And did I mention it’s one of only two NHL arenas with a practice facility attached?
Let’s face it, Devils fans. You’d better fill this thing up to the brim for every game. Even if your team does lay a goose egg like it did last night.
Sure, New Jersey was handed a 2-0 shutout loss by the Rangers last night, but I have a feeling both teams were fairly pleased with what could be interpreted as the lesser of two evils. The Devils lost, but Marty Brodeur finally halted his recent string of miserable performances by stopping 29 shots. The Rangers didn’t get the offensive explosion they’ve been looking for (Nigel Dawes, he of 12 career NHL games, scored both goals), but they stopped the bleeding and earned a win.
Both teams are now 3-5-1, which is the kind of early record which could just as easily end in something like a 46-32-4 as something like a 33-43-8. So we’ll see.
We’ll also see if the Devils can sell out their building tomorrow. I want to see 17,625 butts in those seats on a nightly basis, especially when there are other, much more passionate fan bases out there who would give minor body parts for as nice a place to watch a game.
DEAL COULD RESOLVE RIVALRY BETWEEN NEW JERSEY ARENAS
December 10, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Newark, N.J. - A new deal could position the Prudential Center in Newark as a sports venue
and the Izod Center in the Meadowlands as an entertainment venue under a new plan being worked out between the owners of the two arenas.
The deal reportedly would see the Nets move from the Izod Center to the Prudential Center while the Prudential Center would agree not to bid for entertainment shows sought by the Izod Center. Both facilities, which are only a few miles apart, have been bidding against each for the shows, making it difficult for either to make money.
The Prudential Center is owned by the NHL New Jersey Devils while the Izod Center is owned by the New Jersey Sport and Exposition Authority. To make the deal work, the owners would create a new venture, Jersey Presents, which would schedule events and divide revenues.
The venues would also levy a ticket surcharge of $1 for sports events and $3 for other events. The money would be divided between the venues under a formula still being devised.
The Nets, which have been losing tens of millions of dollars a year, would avoid paying a $7.5 million penalty to the Izod Center for breaking their lease to move to Newark. They would also pay a significantly lower per-game rental fee, and earn a share of suite revenue they generate at the Prudential Center. The Devils and the Nets would also sell ticket packages together.
New Jersey officials hope the move to Newark's newer arena could help keep the Nets from moving to Brooklyn in 2012. A performance clause in the proposed deal would require that the team spend minimum amounts on player salaries and marketing as long as they remain at the Prudential Center.
The Nets say they are focused now on arranging financing for their Brooklyn arena. That must be in place by the end of the month or they will lose state money needed for construction. Team officials say they will consider a move to Newark after that deal is done.
The agreement is also expected to please businesses around the Izod Center which have been working hard to make sure the venue doesn't close. As a rule, those who attend entertainment shows at the Izod Center tend to utilize area restaurants and other businesses more than sports fans.
One other constituency may be needed to pull the plan off: the New Jersey legislature.
If the new fee is added by the venues, the money becomes taxable. However, if it is ordered by the legislature, it becomes tax-free. Governor-elect Christopher Christie is opposed to the surcharge, so to avoid his veto, the legislature must act before he takes office Jan. 19.
Legislators have already started arguing about the fee with some calling it a bailout for the Prudential Center and others saying it's a state subsidy for Newark.
NEWARK MOVE COULD RESULT IN FINE FOR NETS
January 28, 2010
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East Rutherford, N.J. - New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie will push to fine the NBA Nets
$7.5 million if the team decides to leave the Izod Center for the Prudential Center in Newark.
The suggestion was included in a 20-page document issued by the New Jersey Gaming, Sports
and Entertainment Committee of the governor's transition team. The report, compiled before the governor took office last week, focuses largely on the state's casinos and horse racing, both of which, the committee said, were "broken."
The report identified agreements made during previous administrations that the Christie Administration hopes to revise or undo. One is a plan created last year to allow the Nets to break their lease at the Izod Center two years early and move to the Prudential Center until their new arena in Brooklyn opens.
However, the committee said that the Nets "cannot leave the Meadowlands without paying the waiver amount. The impact upon suites and sponsorship dollars has to be part of the negotiations."
The report did not specify how much the Nets pay to the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority in suite and sponsorship revenue. But according to their Izod Center lease, they do not need to pay a penalty if they terminate their lease early because they would stay in Newark less than five years. The team would need a waiver to break its lease, however.
NETS STRIKE DEAL TO MOVE TO NEWARK
February 25, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Newark, N.J. - The Nets have completed a deal to move out of the Izod Center and into
Newark's Prudential Center for two years while their new home is being built in Brooklyn. The deal has the blessing of Gov. Chris Christie. It will cost the Nets $4 million to break the lease.
The plan will have the Nets and Devils playing together in the state's largest city. The move is temporary, with the Nets still planning to move to a new arena in Brooklyn by the start of the 2012 basketball season. The team reportedly sees the Prudential Center, which is operated by the Devils, as a possible new beginning for a club that has been steadily losing fan base. Two pre-season games at the Prudential Center sold well.
Talks had been ongoing since last year to allow the team to move, but a major sticking point was a $7.5 million penalty the Nets faced if they broke their lease with the Sports Authority early.
Although former Gov. Jon Corzine was willing to waive the fee, a proposed deal fell apart after Christie was elected and the sports and gaming committee of Christie's transition team suggested the penalty should be upheld.
In recent weeks, Jon Hanson, a former chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority who headed that panel has been talking with the Nets, the Devils and the Sports Authority to see if an accord could be reached.
Those early termination fees could be partially offset by the Nets with credits of up to $250,000 for proceeds to benefit Newark Symphony Hall, under the agreement approved by the News Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority. It would be further offset with $100,000 in credits for the lease of suites at the Prudential Center for Nets games and general events. Advertising revenues could generate an additional $100,000 in credits against the termination fees.
The agreement also contains a non-disparagement clause aimed at ending the arena wars between Izod and Prudential - which are just miles apart and compete for many of the same concerts and entertainment. It prohibits all sides - the Nets, the Sports Authority and the Prudential Center - from talking negatively about either the Izod Center or Prudential Center, or encouraging the closure of any facility.
Additionally, the Nets agreed that it would not stand in the way of another NBA coming to New Jersey in the future - which leaves the door open to another team coming to the Prudential Center should the Nets move to Brooklyn.
The Nets and the Devils still must come to terms over actual lease payments, and when the Nets might begin play in Newark, officials said.
July 22, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
The Prudential Center of Newark surpassed the Izod Center of the Meadowlands in ticket
sales for the first half of 2010, according to the Bergen Record. The report said that out of the top 100 worldwide arenas, the Prudential Center ranked 33rd - up from 65th last year - selling 148,959 tickets from Jan 1. to June 30. Meanwhile the Izod Center ranked 42nd - down from 25th last year - selling only 129,690 tickets. John Samerjan from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority told the Record that if sales for Cavalia - an outdoor show held in the Izod parking lot - was counted, the Izod would beat out the Newark arena.
BOOKER SKEPTICAL ABOUT SALE OF PRUDENTIAL ARENA
August 19, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Newark, N.J. - Newark Mayor Cory Booker is skeptical about a plan by two city council
members to sell the city's share of the Prudential Center in order to raise money for the city, according to Bloomberg News.
The $375 million venue, home of the New Jersey Devils National Hockey League team, is owned by the city's housing authority. It sits adjacent to City Hall, two blocks from Newark Penn Station, a major New Jersey Transit rail hub.
Booker said Newark is in litigation over $3.5 million in annual lease payments from the Devils. Until that case is settled, the city can't consider a sale "in any real way," though officials may revisit the idea when the legal issues are resolved, Booker said in an interview with Bloomberg.
"There has been absolutely no plan from the council or mayor's office to sell the arena," Booker said. "There's nothing formal right now, other than bouncing ideas around."
Bloomberg reported that Councilor Ronald Rice said in a June letter to members of the Municipal Budget Committee that the idea is a "radical" one that could save money while bringing in an up-front payment of as much as $80 million.
Luis Quintana, a former vice president of the council who has served on the nine-member body since 1994, told Bloomberg that a sale of the 18,000-seat facility might bring $200 million. The arena doesn't pay taxes or water fees, and transferring it to private ownership would allow Newark to collect both, he said.
Booker has said as many as 350 police and firefighters, as well as 600 other city employees, may be fired to make up for $70 million that his $600 million budget for the calendar year counted on from the water deal. The spending plan, which Booker unveiled in June, narrowed a deficit originally estimated at $150 million.
He said in July that he also plans to put city government on a four-day workweek and cut back on nonessential spending, including "everything from toilet paper to printer paper."
November 11, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Amtrak said it signed a three-year deal to have the name of its high-speed train, the Acela, on an up-scale restaurant in the Prudential Center in Newark, a regular stop on the railroad's Northeast Corridor, according to the New York Times. The agreement, which is believed to be worth mid-six figures over three years, follows similar deals at Citi Field with the Mets and the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., where the Capitals and Wizards play. The restaurant, which has 350 seats, is located on the first of two suite levels at the arena.