PDA

View Full Version : Newark Arena - Prudential Center



Kris
November 15th, 2003, 08:36 AM
November 15, 2003

Newark Sets Out Plan for 'Urban Village'

By RONALD SMOTHERS

NEWARK, Nov. 14 — City officials on Friday presented a $550 million redevelopment plan to include an "urban village" in a sagging section of the city's downtown, although the proposed arena for the Nets and the Devils that would be its northern anchor and premier attraction remains in limbo.

It was a clear effort by Mayor Sharpe James and other local officials to recover the lost momentum of revitalization that had been heavily tied to the planned $355 million arena. Plans for the arena have recently become mired in disputes within the group that owns the two teams, the YankeeNets. Some argue for building the arena, while others want the teams to remain at their current home at the Continental Airlines Arena, and still others talk of moving the teams to other localities.

Mr. James said the arena proposal was "still very much alive." But he insisted that the planned 13-acre "village," , which would include midrise and high-rise housing, parks and retail spaces stretching along Mulberry Street, could succeed on its own and solely on the basis of recent demand for moderately priced housing steps away from traditional urban amenities. The project would be just blocks from commuter lines and PATH trains and near a planned light-rail line.

"This is not predicated on the arena," the mayor said. "This is predicated on the demand for housing in downtown areas."

Echoing this view was Dean Geibel, the president of Metro Homes, one of the developers involved in the plan, called the Mulberry Street Promenade.

"It's getting quite expensive to live in Hoboken, and the land there is increasing in value," said Mr. Geibel, suggesting that the overflow from Hoboken and areas like Manhattan and Brooklyn would fuel demand for living in Newark. "People who buy here early will in a year or two see real appreciation."

The Newark business administrator, Richard Monteilh, said the proposed 2,000 housing units in the village would feature balconies, roof gardens and large windows, representing a departure from recent development projects in the city.

"Previous development was low density," he said. "But we want to offer some different choices that will allow the city to grow its population."

Newark's population had been in steep decline from the 1960's, when it had more than 400,000 residents, but its current population of 275,000 has been relatively stable in the last five years.

Mr. Geibel — surrounded by brightly colored and stylized architects' renderings of the three- to six-story blocks of buildings with street-level retail space — said a two bedroom unit would sell for about $225,000.

But the buildings would include starter units and small studios, all with underground parking garages and within walking distance of Newark Penn Station, he said.

The amenities proposed for the area are based on a nationwide survey conducted by a Rutgers University planning professor, Anton E. Nelessen, who was asked by the National Association of Realtors to determine the right mix of businesses, services, park areas and building heights that might attract people to urban areas.

Mr. Monteilh said the two- and three-family dwellings currently in the area bounded by McCarter Highway, Broad Street, Scott Street and Lafayette Street, as well as the smattering of small businesses there, returned only $139,000 in property taxes to the city last year.

The proposed development could result in properties that would bring the city $6 million a year in taxes, he said.

The plan still faces opposition from some residents who are unhappy with relocation plans and the initial discussion over what they might be offered for their property in the expected city condemnation process. And, the Newark City Council, citing similar concerns about displacement, was unanimous last spring in blocking Mayor James's initial steps to advance the proposal.

But on Friday, city officials were confident they could begin to seek the council's approval again starting next month and begin construction by next spring on five acres in the parcel already owned by the developers.

Completion of all stages is projected to take five years.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
January 23rd, 2004, 11:02 PM
January 24, 2004

In Newark, Arena Pursuit Drives on Without Nets

By RONALD SMOTHERS

NEWARK, Jan. 23 - Few could accuse Newark politicians of faintheartedness this week after the sale of the New Jersey Nets to a developer who plans to move them to Brooklyn.

City officials are trudging on with their bid for a Newark arena minus the Nets. The basketball team, with its playground heroes, would have been the marquee anchor for a two-team arena that Newark officials still envision as the crown jewel of the city's revitalization. Newark officials insisted on Friday that they could still make a scaled-down version of their proposed arena economically viable with just one team, the decidedly un-urban New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League, whose players are more likely to be heroes to those skating around suburban ice rinks.

But in order for any such arena to be remotely workable, said Richard Monteilh, Newark's business administrator, it would have to attract a host of other events through the year such as Bruce Springsteen concerts, the Ice Capades, the circus and all manner of trade shows.

And in order to do that, he said, the Continental Arena at the Meadowlands, 12 miles away, where the Nets and Devils currently play and which would compete for such events, would have to close. This would require the approval of Gov. James E. McGreevey and George Zoffinger, the president of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

"The governor has said from the beginning that he will support wherever in New Jersey the state's sports teams want to go,'' said Mr. Monteilh, noting that Devils management and one of the team's principal stockholders, Raymond Chambers, wanted to move to Newark. This week, Lou Lamoriello, the team's president and general manager, spoke in favor of a new arena in Newark.

Mr. Monteilh added, "Well, we have a team in the Devils, and Continental Arena doesn't have a sports team.''

As of this week, Mr. Zoffinger had no plans for closing Continental Arena and was talking about repositioning it in the marketplace to compete for other, non-sports events.

"Whether the Meadowlands arena closes or not is a decision that the governor and George Zoffinger have to make,'' said Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo. He added, "I see a Newark arena as a New Jersey arena and it should be here in Newark because it is just more convenient with the public transportation and the roads widening.''

Years ago, when momentum seemed to be with the idea of a Newark arena for the Nets and the Devils, it was envisioned that the Meadowlands arena, which both teams considered lacking in many of the money-making amenities of newer arenas, would be torn down. It was this prospect that drove Governor McGreevey to promise, and eventually deliver, a new economic engine for the Bergen County sports complex in the form of Meadowlands Xanadu, a $1.4 billion family entertainment, sports, retail and office complex unveiled last month along with a long-promised rail spur to the Meadowlands.

The momentum has now shifted in favor of the Xanadu project, with Mr. Zoffinger insisting that such a development would also help make a refurbished Continental Arena an attractive site next door.

Rick Thigpen, a former executive director of the state's Democratic Party who is a lobbyist and political consultant, said that from the beginning, white and black New Jersey residents were of very different minds about a Newark arena, according to polls.

"White New Jerseyans did not want to come to Newark for sports events, and they didn't want to spend public money to help keep teams in the state,'' said Mr. Thigpen. "Because of the public opinion polls and the racially distinct viewpoints, it has had a significant political impact on the governor's behavior. And it has tied the state's hands on putting public money into the effort.''

The same dynamic could affect any decision about closing Continental Arena, said Mr. Thigpen, noting that it sat there "like a mountain.''

Newark Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins added that from the beginning, "the pink elephant standing in the middle of the room that no one wants to acknowledge in all of it is race." But she added that the governor should be able to argue that there is no need to treat Newark "like some welfare case or some child that needs taking care of" because the city has its own resources to bring to the table.

Those resources are working in Newark Mayor Sharpe James's favor. They amount to nearly $200 million in cash, which the city has on hand to aid any arena project. The money is an upfront payment growing out of a recent renegotiation of the city lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for Newark Liberty International Airport. Consequently no state money is likely to be needed to aid in the construction of the arena.

But at the same time, an arena with only a hockey team might not look as compelling to Newark residents who argue that the money could be better spent on city neighborhoods, schools and property tax relief. Many members of the City Council, which can reject any arena plan, may see the mayor's case for an arena as weakened by recent events.

"I don't think people would see this as his failure politically,'' said Mr. Thigpen. "But it is a loss of an opportunity for the mayor to have a big success."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
February 7th, 2004, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by STT757.


Newark arena deal is said to be imminent

An announcement could come by Monday, officials say

Saturday, February 07, 2004

BY GEORGE E. JORDAN AND MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
Star-Ledger Staff

Newark and Devils officials continued negotiating last night toward an agreement that would revive a long-stymied arena deal for the state's largest city. Three officials closely monitoring developments said a deal may be announced as soon as Monday.

"They are as close as you can get," said Richard Codey, the state's Senate president and a longtime supporter of the Newark arena.

An agreement would be the first significant step toward building a scaled-down $300 million arena near Broad and Market streets in the heart of the city. The project would largely be funded by Newark, which has $210 million set aside from its airport lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Newark Mayor Sharpe James this week has lobbied for support among the nine-member city council and told them a vote to approve using the Port Authority money could come later this month.

City Business Administrator Richard Monteilh -- who also yesterday said negotiations were "close" -- said private developers and the hockey team would cover the remainder of the price tag.

"It's good that there's no (direct) taxpayer dollars involved," Codey said. "It's an enormous benefit for the city of Newark, and it's time to move forward."

But it may not be that simple.

If James' plan is approved, Gov. James E. McGreevey still faces a sensitive political choice because the viability of a Newark deal requires closing the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, where the Nets and Devils play.

While that would satisfy James, who has seen three governors fail to push arena funding plans through Trenton, it would anger officials in Bergen County, another key voting block.

"In Newark, they have nothing more than a piece of paper, and frankly we don't think the numbers add up," said State Sen. Paul Sarlo, a Democrat whose district includes the Meadowlands.

Sarlo was joined yesterday by other politicians and business leaders who railed against any plan that would close the Continental Airlines Arena.

Dennis Marco, the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce president, said the mission was simple: "To make sure the Continental Airlines Arena does not go dark," he said.

Micah Rasmussen, a spokesman for McGreevey, deflected all arena questions.

"George Zoffinger is the administration's point person on professional sports and the future of the Meadowlands," Rasmussen said. "He speaks for us on these issues and we have full confidence in him."

Zoffinger, the chief executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, yesterday backed off an earlier refusal to close the Continental Arena. He said the state would study the feasibility of two major entertainment venues operating only 12 miles apart.

"If the team owners show some patience, we think they can be a part of what will be a very dynamic growth situation," Zoffinger said. "We think it can be repositioned to produce a positive contribution to the taxpayers. Why would the state want to walk away from that?"

For his part, James remained focused yesterday on a deal with the Devils, who will be the lone team with "New Jersey" on their uniforms if the Nets' new owners successfully move the team to another new arena in Brooklyn.

"I'm not trying to put Newark against Bergen," James said yesterday. "I'm not concerned about the state of Continental Airlines Arena. I can't talk about that arena. The owners (of the Devils) wish to build an arena in Newark."

Key members of the Newark City Council said they were prepared to support the mayor's plan.

"Newark needs the arena," said Central Ward Councilman Charles Bell. "It's the missing piece of the big picture of all the great things happening in Newark."

The lone naysayer was Donald Tucker, who questioned whether the Devils would share profits from concessions, ticket sales and parking around the arena. "As usual, no financial figures, no feasibility study, no nothing," he said. "I'm not against it. I just don't like making decisions without the proper financial background."

Even as the debate intensifies, a team of bond lawyers hired by Raymond Chambers, a principal owner of the Devils and champion of a Newark arena, continues to work on the deal with Newark officials. Both Chambers and his son-in-law, Michael Gilfillan, his point man on the Newark project, declined comment.

The $300 million facility, James said, would be surrounded by office buildings, parking garages, a hotel- conference center and Newark Board of Education headquarters.

The latest attempts to revive the project come while the Devils ownership is in transition. Jeffrey Vanderbeek, a minority investor in the team who built his fortune as a member of the executive committee at Lehman Brothers, is negotiating to become a major owner of the franchise.

Vanderbeek declined to comment until his deal is finalized, which could happen within days. According to people close to Vanderbeek, who lives in Warren, he wants to keep the team in New Jersey. The Devils' lease at the Continental Airlines Arena expires in 2007.

STT757
February 7th, 2004, 02:38 PM
Newark Arena:

http://www.ci.newark.nj.us/Site_Images/arena.jpg

http://www.ci.newark.nj.us/Site_Images/arena.jpg

http://www.soccernova.com/images/stadiums/proposed_specific/nj_metrostars/newark2.gif

Gulcrapek
February 7th, 2004, 03:18 PM
The exterior rendering is a little vague... at least we can tell it's glass.

Kris
February 9th, 2004, 11:38 PM
February 10, 2004

Newark Tries Again With Proposed Arena for Hockey

By RICHARD LEZIN JONES

NEWARK, Feb. 9 - In the latest show of civic one-upmanship over New Jersey professional sports teams, officials in Newark on Monday unveiled a revised plan for an arena to house the New Jersey Devils and a letter of intent in which the team says it plans to play there beginning with the 2007 hockey season.

The agreement, which comes after the apparent collapse of plans to lure the New Jersey Nets basketball team to Newark, is a product of ferocious politics inside the state and beyond. Within New Jersey, the agreement is an attempt by Sharpe James, the Newark mayor, to force Gov. James E. McGreevey to support an arena in Newark despite strong opposition elsewhere in the state. Beyond that, it also represents the latest gambit in a three-way battle between supporters of an arena in Newark, the Continental Arena in the Meadowlands and a new arena for the Nets expected in Brooklyn.

The proposal unveiled Monday raised as many questions as it answered and is hardly the last word on the long-debated arena project in the state's largest city. City officials said they would provide more specifics on the project at a news conference on Thursday.

But the proposal also reflects Newark's determination to stay in the game in pursuit of a signature arena that once seemed within its grasp but, with the sale of the Nets, seemed in danger of slipping away.

With the plan disclosed Monday, the Newark officials sketched out their new vision for the arena project that they say is, at the least, revived. "We can look forward to thousands of construction and permanent jobs opportunities and new hope," Mayor James said in a statement.

City officials released a copy of the letter of intent - signed by Lou Lamoriello, the Devils' chief executive, president and general manager - which calls for the Devils to move to Newark by the summer of 2007 and the team to play in a new 18,000-seat arena.

The deal, which also calls for the construction of an office and entertainment complex, including a hotel, a municipal building and parking garages, is at the heart of a plan to revitalize Newark's downtown. The plan calls for up to four million square feet of office space, half a million square feet of retail, a 300-room hotel, a new building for the board of education and city municipal business and garages for 3,500 cars within a block of the arena.

City officials also estimated that the plan would bring in $28 million a year for Newark and create more than 13,000 permanent new jobs, and they said the entire development project would cost more than a billion dollars.

The proposed arena, on Lafayette Street between Mulberry and Broad, is slightly west of a site designated for the arena in previous proposals. One Newark official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the plan was contingent on several factors, chief among them an engineering study into whether the soil in the arena can withstand the weight of such a structure.

The city previously resolved part of one other tricky question: money. Newark already has about $200 million garnered from lease revenue at Newark Liberty International Airport ready to contribute to the cost of the project. Earlier estimates placed the cost of a new arena at $355 million.

One lingering issue is the fate of the Continental Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., 12 miles south of Newark. That Meadowlands arena's future would be uncertain if the new structure were built in Newark. In recent days, George Zoffinger, president of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the Continental Arena, continued to press a plan to keep that arena open.

Mr. Zoffinger had questioned the viability of a one-team arena in Newark, but he insisted that a Continental Arena without both the Nets and Devils would still be able to schedule events throughout the year and could remain profitable.

Besides finances, questions also remain about the appeal of a hockey team in Newark. In a statement, Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, said that some teams with the highest attendance play in downtown arenas.

"We have seen great success with one-team arenas, as 19 of our teams are the only major league team and primary tenant in their home venues," Mr. Bettman said.

One further hurdle may be the public perception of Newark. Even as the sale of the Nets was announced, many fans said that although they were disappointed that the team was poised to move to Brooklyn, a Newark arena had little or no appeal.

"I wouldn't go to Newark," said Frank Ranu, 32, a Web site producer from Clifton, N.J., who noted the city's reputation for high crime rates. "Newark is rebuilding but Newark is still Newark."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

BrooklynRider
February 10th, 2004, 02:14 PM
As I've stated in other posts, I think a move toward urban arenas without parking is the way to go.

Kris
February 11th, 2004, 06:52 AM
February 11, 2004

McGreevey Adds to Woes of Newark Arena Project

By RONALD SMOTHERS

NEWARK, Feb. 10 - Just a day after Newark officials sought to regain momentum in their drive for an arena for the New Jersey Devils, Gov. James E. McGreevey appeared to slam on the brakes Tuesday, saying that he supported keeping the Meadowlands Continental Arena open.

Most economic studies indicate that two such arenas in such close proximity to each other and competing for the same nonsporting events, would be doomed.

Speaking through a spokesman, Governor McGreevey took note of the efforts over the last year by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to transform the 25-year-old Meadowlands arena, where the Devils hockey team now plays, from a drain on the state treasury to a moneymaker. Those efforts included attracting a proposal for a $1.4 billion family entertainment, office and retail complex to an adjacent parcel.

"We have worked hard to turn a profit and provide a benefit for taxpayers, so of course it is going to remain open,'' said Micah Rasmussen, the governor's spokesman.

As for the proposed Newark arena, Mr. Rasmussen said all projects must be evaluated on their own merits. But, he added, as a matter of policy the McGreevey administration would not support any sports venture that used taxpayer dollars. He would not comment on whether the governor viewed Newark's planned source of financing for its arena, lease payments for Newark Liberty International Airport, as taxpayer dollars.

The governor's comments came barely a day after the city hurriedly unveiled a letter of intent with the New Jersey Devils to help build the arena and occupy it by 2007. The announcement by Mayor Sharpe James was seen by many business and civic leaders as his attempt to reassure local leaders that he was still pursuing the goal of revitalizing the city's downtown. They said it also served as a pointed signal to Governor McGreevey to honor longstanding commitments to support revitalization. And for a short time Tuesday, the announcement seemed to be boosting confidence in the city's chances.

The mayor's office did not return calls Tuesday seeking a response to the governor's late-afternoon statement.

Newark had originally envisioned its arena as home to both the Devils and the New Jersey Nets, who also play at Continental Arena. After last month's sale of the Nets to a developer who plans to move the basketball team to Brooklyn, Newark was confronted by an aggressive effort by the head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, George R. Zoffinger, to keep open the Continental Arena, just 12 miles away in East Rutherford. At the same time, Mr. Zoffinger, a key economic adviser to the governor, loudly disparaged any thought of Newark's building an arena to house one sports team.

Until the governor weighed in Tuesday, the city's effort to rally its supporters seemed to be working.

Arthur Stern, the president of the Cogswell Real Estate Group, who supports revitalization efforts, said the letter of intent was "a wonderful thing that will psychologically encourage other investors and capital markets" interested in the city. It signaled the city's commitment, he said, noting the investment of $200 million of its own money into the project.

"It is my hope that the governor gets behind this," Mr. Stern said before the governor's statement supporting the Meadowlands. "One of the things that got lost in the whole dialogue over a Newark arena was that it was to be an economic stimulus for the city. Some have tried to make it a debate over whether public money should benefit wealthy sports team owners."

And even as the governor's spokesman was suggesting that that indeed was the issue, State Senator Leonard Lance, the Republican Senate leader, echoed that view when asked for his reaction to the Newark arena proposal.

"We at the level of state government in Trenton contribute greatly to the city of Newark and we do not favor subsidizing rich owners of sports teams," Mr. Lance said. "We have to know a good deal more about these contractual arrangements."

By contrast, the Democratic Senate president, Richard Codey, has said he supports the arena, saying the state should not try to block the city from spending its money the way it wants to.

The proposed $300 million, 18,000-seat arena is envisioned as the center of nearly $1 billion of commercial and residential development in aging downtown Newark, including the construction of a new headquarters for the city's 56,000-student school system.

The current proposal calls for the city to put up $200 million, while the Devils owners would contribute $100 million and get the right to operate and manage the arena. The proposed site, two long blocks from Pennsylvania Station, where PATH, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains stop, would also have parking decks to accommodate 3,500 cars.

The deal depends on many factors, including confirmation through engineering studies that an arena area deep below the surface could be accommodated without added construction costs. One city official close to the negotiations said the Devils wanted to make sure they could get a builder willing to sign a deal with "a guaranteed maximum price," and to do that there had to be confirmation in advance of the engineering complexities.

Among the other issues to be worked out are how revenue from concessions and other booked events would be split between the city and the team, what annual lease payments the team would pay and whether or not the city's investment would be recouped.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
February 13th, 2004, 10:54 AM
February 13, 2004

Newark Holds Rally to Back New Arena for Devils

By RONALD SMOTHERS

NEWARK, Feb. 12 - Newark's cheerleader-in-chief, Mayor Sharpe James, donned skates and took to the ice at a recreation center here Thursday to rally support for the city's plan to build an arena for the New Jersey Devils.

In what was billed as a "pep rally," Mayor James put on hockey gear with the East Side High School hockey team and joined the owners of the Devils, some of the team's stars and local corporate and political leaders in welcoming the team to the city.

No mention was made of comments by Gov. James E. McGreevey this week supporting the continued operation of the Meadowland's Continental Arena, which some economic studies have indicated would pose crippling competition for the proposed $300 million, 18,000-seat arena in Newark. Nor did Mayor James or the Devils' officials release financial details of the proposal, insisting that those had yet to be worked out.

Instead an ebullient Mayor James and a more diffident Lou Lamoriello, the Devils' president and general manager, mugged like new in-laws at a wedding. It was a ceremony in the Ironbound Recreation Center's ice rink, with the singing of the national anthem, balloons and a Zamboni. "While we will cheer you affectionately as the Devils," said Mayor James, wearing skates and a jersey with "Newark '07" on the back, "we will always see you as angels of hope.'' More than 250 people gathered to cheer the mayor and the speakers who portrayed a revived downtown Newark as the home of hockey's Stanley Cup champions.

"Our moving here will give the state the opportunity to get out of a business they should never have been in the first place," said Mr. Lamoriello, referring to the operation of the Continental Arena by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

Mayor James said that for the Devils to play here in 2007, the team and the city would have to wrap up their deal in time for construction to start before the end of the year.

About $200 million of city revenue from the leasing of Newark Liberty Airport and about $100 million from the Devils would pay for the arena.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

STT757
February 13th, 2004, 06:01 PM
Mayor rolls out red (and black) carpet for Devils

Friday, February 13, 2004

BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN AND JEFF MAYS
Star-Ledger Staff

With all the pomp of a high school pep rally, Newark Mayor Sharpe James welcomed the Devils to Newark yesterday but said nothing about how the team and the city would pay for the project.

As a crowd of several hundred Newark residents and municipal workers arrived at the Ironbound Recreation Center, James skated across the ice wearing a Devils sweater and pushing a puck.

"This is not a day for specifics, it is a day for a celebration," said James, who was joined by state Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, state Commerce Commissioner the Rev. William Watley, the East Side High School marching band and hockey team.

Several Devils players including defenseman Scott Niedermayer and former player Ken Daneyko participated.

The mayor unveiled a plan for an 18,000-seat, $300 million arena, surrounded by nine office buildings, a hotel, 500,000 square feet of retail space and parking for 3,500 cars. He said the development just blocks from the state's largest mass transit hub would produce $28.4 million annually for the city.

However, James acknowledged the numbers were only projections. The city has not gained any commitments from businesses to move into the city if the $300 million arena is built.

Two-thirds of that amount would come from the city's airport lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Devils would be responsible for the rest in some form.

James and Devils president Lou Lamoriello declined to answer any questions regarding the arena's financing yesterday.

The mayor did say the Devils will operate and manage the arena, something team officials have said they need to do to remain competitive as player salaries rise.

"Once we lease the arena to them we're going to let them run it," he said.

But the issue of rent has not been clarified.

Devils owners Michael Gilfillan and Jeffrey Vanderbeek declined to answer any questions.

While James was jubilant about an arena he said would open in 2007, others involved -- city council members, Newark School Superintendent Marion Bolden, and various citizens groups --were skeptical. Until James delivers on the figures, they said, no one will be able to throw their full support behind the ambitious project.

"We want a full package. We want the concrete numbers," said North Ward Councilman Hector Corchado. "I don't know what we are dealing with and I don't think anyone does."

James needs the city council to approve what is being called the Newark Downtown Core Redevelopment District. Only two council members, both strong James supporters, showed up yesterday.

George Zoffinger, Gov. James E. McGreevey's point man on professional sports, said the city needs to disclose the full details of the arena deal.

"We are very anxious to see what the Devils' cash contribution to the project is," said Zoffinger, chief executive officer of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, owner of the Continental Airlines Arena.

James' investment in the Newark arena is risky on several levels. The Devils acknowledge they have $70 million in debt. The NHL itself is facing a potential labor war with its players that may wipe out next season and the following one.

In a national news conference yesterday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Arthur Levitt, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission hired by the NHL to assess the league's economics, presented a stark picture of a sport struggling to survive.

Levitt said his year-long study of the NHL revealed the league was "on a treadmill to obscurity."

He reported the NHL lost $273 million last year on revenues of roughly $2 billion, with 19 teams losing an average of $18 million and 11 teams posting an average profit of $6.4 million. Devils officials have projected the team will lose in excess of $10 million this year.

"I asked myself if I as an investor would find this attractive," Levitt said. "I would neither underwrite as a banker any of these businesses nor would I invest a dollar of my personal money in a business that appears to be heading south."

He also contradicted claims the Devils owners have made that controlling their own arena where they could keep all the money from concessions, luxury suites, and tickets from concerts and family shows would make a substantial difference in their bottom line.

Kris
June 9th, 2004, 03:43 PM
More Newark news...

(Star Ledger)...

Judge sides with Newark on bonds for an arena
Rejects referendum bid and notion of city debt

June 09, 2004
BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN

Newark Mayor Sharpe James and supporters of a planned arena in downtown Newark won a sweeping victory yesterday when a state court judge ruled against holding a public vote on the use of bonds to pay for the project.

State Superior Court Judge Donald S. Goldman ruled the public did not have the right to push for a referendum because Newark's city government would not incur debt.

Opponents of the arena vowed to appeal the ruling today, but the decision clears the way for the independent Newark Housing Authority to sell $200 million in bonds. Critics had collected 4,600 signatures in an effort to force a referendum on the bond sale.

James wants to use the bulk of the money from the bond sale to build a $310 million arena that would be the centerpiece of the city's downtown redevelopment plan. The Devils would be the major tenant and pay the rest of the tab.

"The market is going to have a much greater comfort level with this bond sale now that the referendum issue is off the table," said Angelo Genova, who led a team of eight lawyers representing the Housing Authority and the city. "This opens the way for the initial steps of the bond transaction."

James and the majority of the Newark City Council want to assign $12.5 million in annual rent payments from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for its seaport for the next 33 years to raise the $200 million. The transaction is crafted to keep the money from entering the city's coffers and gives the Port Authority sole responsibility for paying off the debt.

The mayor has promised to distribute $10 million from the bond sale to community projects in Newark's outlying neighborhoods.

Glen Scotland, a bond lawyer handling the deal, said the Housing Authority and its financial advisers, Citigroup and Powell Capital, would now restart the process of selling the bonds, which could be complete by the end of the month.

Richard Monteilh, city business administrator and lead negotiator, could not be reached for comment.

Ira Karasick, who represented council members Luis Quintana and Augusto Amador, leaders of the opposition, said Goldman failed to understand that committing the lease payments to the bondholders causes the city to incur a debt. He said he would seek an injunction barring the Housing Authority from selling the bonds until the litigation ends.

"If the bonds are issued, and it turns out the whole deal is illegal, millions of dollars in taxpayer money will have been wasted because of the impatience of the people pushing this bond issue," Karasick said.

No members of the Devils organization attended the hearing. Team executives have tried to distance themselves from the political infighting the past week and make the issue about the city's right to float the bonds rather than a debate over the merits of the arena project.

Devils principal owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek and Monteilh did not return phone calls seeking comment. Vanderbeek will testify today in front of the blue ribbon commission James has appointed to evaluate the arena project.

The two sides battled during more than two hours of oral arguments yesterday morning, with Goldman peppering the lawyers with questions on how to define municipal debt.

The city's lawyers accused opponents of the arena project of misleading the public during the referendum drive by calling the effort a "Petition Protesting Ordinance Incurring Indebtedness To be Paid by the City of Newark."

Quintana objected to that characterization and vowed not to quit.

"The city wants to spend money on lawyers and bankers and arenas and we want to spend money on recreation for our children," he said.

NYguy
June 10th, 2004, 08:26 AM
(Star Ledger)

Devils give the details on Newark arena
Owner pledges $25M skate center and lots of jobs if facility is built

June 10, 2004
BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN AND NIKITA STEWART

Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek yesterday promised to deliver to the state's largest city "much more than an arena" during four hours of testimony in front of a blue-ribbon commission studying the downtown project.

Vanderbeek pledged to build a community center and to designate jobs for Newark residents if the $310 million arena is built. But he stopped short of saying the city would get a stake in revenue generated by the arena.

The testimony, delivered at Seton Hall Law School before a commission led by the school's dean, Patrick Hobbs, provided the clearest description yet of how the hockey organization plans to integrate itself into the fabric of Newark. The commission was appointed by Newark Mayor Sharpe James.

In a phone interview after his testimony, Vanderbeek said he "made a strong case that this project is good for the city and good for the Devils organization."

Newark is committing $210 million for the construction of the arena, which would be the centerpiece of a downtown redevelopment plan that includes 500,000 square feet of retail space, a headquarters for the board of education, a hotel and seven office buildings.

To pay its part, the city plans to sell roughly $200 million in bonds today through the Newark Housing Authority, city business administrator Richard Monteilh said. If that happens, the money could be available by the end of the month.

The housing authority will use annual rent payments of $12.5 million from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for its lease of Newark's seaport to pay off the bonds.

The Devils have committed $100 million to the proposed, city- owned arena planned for Broad, Lafayette and Market streets, but have not revealed how much the hockey team will pay Newark each year for the right to operate and control the building.

Negotiations between the team and the city are continuing, though two sources with knowledge of the talks said the team has offered to spend $2 million each year on the maintenance of the arena. However, it remains unclear whether that would serve as the team's total payment to rent the building.

"Their $100 million up-front contribution is really equal to about $7 million each year" over a 30-year lease, Monteilh said. "The notion is for the city to have no obligations running with this building."

In other words, the Devils would have full control and responsibility for the proposed arena, but would likely not have to share the money from sales of tickets, concessions or luxury suites.

In addition, Vanderbeek made several other commitments if the project moves forward, which he announced in a statement he released after delivering his testimony.

Thirty-five percent of construction jobs would go to Newark residents.

After the arena is completed, 20 percent of the jobs at the building, including management, concessions and security, would go to Newark residents.

At least 15 percent of contracts for concessions and retail within the arena would be designated for Newark businesses.

The team will build a $25 million community ice center, which will be used by the team for practices and by Newark residents.

Sources with knowledge of Vanderbeek's testimony said he also committed to spending $250,000 for a public school educational program and another $250,000 for a training program to teach youth about sports management.

Shortly after yesterday's meeting concluded, opponents of the project took their quest to hold a special vote on the bond sale to state Appeals Court Judge Howard Kestin.

The opposition, led by Newark council members and James rivals Luis Quintana and Augusto Amador, tried to force a referendum by collecting 4,600 signatures from city residents, but a state court judge ruled Tuesday the public did not have a right to vote on the bond sale because the city will not incur any debt. Ira Karasick, a lawyer for the opposition, appealed that decision yesterday.

"We ought to win," Karasick said. "In reality this is a debt transaction for the city and there is no getting around that."

The court battle delayed the initial sale of the bonds for six days, but Cliff Goldman, the former state treasurer and a consultant to the city on the bond sale, said a diverse group of institutional investors and mutual funds have committed to buying the bonds as early as today. They are insured if the court ultimately rules in favor of the opponents.

NYguy
June 11th, 2004, 03:41 PM
Newsday...

Bond sale raises $200M for Newark Arena

June 11, 2004

NEWARK, N.J. -- The proposed downtown hockey arena for the New Jersey Devils moved a step closer to reality as the city's housing authority raised $200 million in a bond sale to help pay for it.

The sale was handled Thursday by Citigroup and several smaller financial institutions less than two days after a judge ruled that residents did not have the right to vote on the funding arrangement through a public referendum.

The sale is expected to be completed June 24. But two city councilmen, Luis Quintana and Augusto Amador, got an appellate judge to agree to hear a request for a temporary restraining order that would stop the sale process until the litigation surrounding it is complete.

The housing authority will pay off the bonds during the next 33 years using annual lease payments from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey of $12.5 million for Newark's marine terminal.

Mayor Sharpe James sees the arena as the centerpiece of Newark's downtown redevelopment, which envisions 500,000 square feet of retail space, a hotel and seven office buildings.

Newark plans to spend $210 million on the arena, which it would own. The Devils would spend $100 million and control nearly all of the revenue from sales of tickets, concessions and luxury suites.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reported that James plans to spend $20 million immediately to cover the predevelopment costs for the arena, such as surveying and testing the ground at the site.

NYguy
June 11th, 2004, 03:52 PM
(Star Ledger)

Bond sale garners $200M for Newark arena
Foes decry housing authority's actions

June 11, 2004
BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN

The Newark Housing Authority raised $200 million yesterday in a controversial bond sale that is the first major financial step toward building a downtown arena.

The sale, handled by Citigroup and three smaller financial institutions, took place yesterday morning, less than 48 hours after a state court judge ruled the public did not have the right to vote on the matter.

Newark Mayor Sharpe James, the driving force behind the effort to build a $310 million arena for the Devils hockey team, was in Trenton yesterday and did not return phone calls seeking comment. Pam Goldstein, the mayor's spokeswoman, confirmed the sale.

The city will not have access to the money until June 24 when the sale is completed. But even as buyers were committing funds to the bonds, opponents of the arena project, led by Newark Councilmen Luis Quintana and Augusto Amador, continued efforts to stop the sale from going forward and hold a vote on the project.

Yesterday, state Appellate Division Judge Howard Kestin agreed to hear a request for a temporary restraining order, also known as a stay, that would stop the sale process until the litigation surrounding it is complete. Lawyers for both sides must submit papers this afternoon regarding the request.

The housing authority will pay off the bonds during the next 33 years using annual lease payments from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey of $12.5 million for Newark's marine terminal. The lease was signed in 2002.

James has proposed the arena as the centerpiece of the city's planned redevelopment of its downtown core, which includes 500,000 square feet of retail space, a hotel and seven office buildings. The city plans to spend $210 million on the city-owned arena, with the Devils committed to spend $100 million and controlling nearly all of the revenue from sales of tickets, concessions and luxury suites.

Last week, the city said it would delay the bond sale until the judge made a decision on the referendum. State Superior Court Judge Donald S. Goldman ruled the public did not have the right to seek a referendum because Newark's city government would not incur debt.

City officials said the bond sale went ahead now because interest rates are on the rise and waiting could be costly.

After all the fees have been paid, the proceeds and the first two years of lease payments from the Port Authority leave Newark with $221 million to spend on economic development projects, including the arena, said Cliff Goldman, a former state treasurer and a financial consultant on the bond issue.

"The money will now go into a construction fund," he said.

James plans to spend $20 million immediately to cover the pre-development costs for the arena, such as surveying and testing the ground at the site of the project at Broad, Lafayette and Market streets.

If Kestin, meanwhile, does not grant the restraining order, lawyers say he may still consider the entire case before the sale closes.

"The important thing here is events that have already happened don't become subject to the stay," said Angelo Genova, a lawyer for the housing authority. "The stay only affects events in the future."

Amador and Quintana held a news conference yesterday on the steps of Newark City Hall voicing their opposition to the lower court's decision Tuesday not to hold a public vote.

They also criticized Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek's offer to give Newark residents 35 percent of construction jobs and 20 percent of the jobs at the completed building. In addition, 15 percent of the concession contracts would go to local businesses.

Vanderbeek said Wednesday his proposals made it clear Newark would get far more than a sports arena if it decided to pursue the project.

"The proposal is an insult to the city of Newark," Amador said. "Since the city is paying 65 percent of the $310 million cost, Newark residents should be getting more jobs," Amador said.

Kris
June 12th, 2004, 01:42 AM
June 12, 2004

Newark Bond Sale Advances an Arena

NEWARK, June 11 (AP) - The city moved a step closer to building a downtown hockey arena for the New Jersey Devils as the Newark Housing Authority raised $200 million in a bond sale to help pay for it.

The sale was handled on Thursday by Citigroup and several smaller institutions less than two days after a judge ruled that residents did not have the right to vote on the financing arrangement in a referendum.

The sale is expected to be completed on June 24. But two city councilmen, Luis Quintana and Augusto Amador, got an appellate judge to agree to hear a request for a temporary restraining order that would stop the sale process until any litigation involving it is complete.

The Housing Authority is to pay off the bonds over the next 33 years using annual lease payments of $12.5 million from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for Newark's marine terminal.

Mayor Sharpe James sees the arena as the centerpiece of Newark's downtown redevelopment.

Newark plans to spend $210 million on the arena, which it would own. The Devils would spend $100 million.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
August 6th, 2004, 02:29 AM
August 6, 2004

Education Building to Get Different Site in Newark Plan

By RONALD SMOTHERS

NEWARK, Aug. 5 - As the finishing touches were being put on the lease between Newark and the New Jersey Devils for a planned $310 million arena that is at the core of a downtown redevelopment plan, officials said that a proposal to build a new Board of Education headquarters on one of the more commercially viable plots in the redevelopment area had been scrapped.

News of the change in plans came as Newark city officials said they were preparing to submit details of the nearly five-year-old arena proposal to both the City Council, which must approve it, and a blue ribbon commission that Mayor Sharpe James created to provide some independent evaluation of the envisioned benefits. Those details are scheduled to go first to the Council and then to the commission.

But already, changes in the plans for the 24-acre area in the heart of downtown reflect concerns of many on the commission and the City Council about the ability of the district, which will include a community center, office buildings, a 300-room hotel and the new education complex, to support economic growth. Early in their deliberations, commission members questioned the wisdom of placing the planned Board of Education headquarters prominently in the heart of the business district, at the corner of Lafayette and Broad Streets, the plan that has now been scrapped.

"It's no longer in that location, but it is still in the downtown core area," said a city official involved in shaping the plan. He would not disclose the final location on which officials had agreed.

The change was revealed as the Devils deal firmed up. Details of that agreement, being ironed out in the lease negotiations, said the official, include language on how revenue from the arena would be shared, on the guarantee of a no-risk construction contract in which the Devils' ownership would ensure that any overruns would not be paid for with public money and on an affirmative-action program for hiring by contractors and subcontractors for both construction and arena operations.

Patrick Hobbs, dean of the Seton Hall University Law School and chairman of the blue ribbon commission of academics, business leaders and civic leaders, said of the changes: "We think some of the revisions are a response to our ongoing work. That work has a vision of trying to make connections between the arena and other parts of downtown to enhance economic development."

Already, there is agreement that the city would provide $210 million of the cost of the arena and the Devils would provide $100 million. The city portion of the financing is essentially already in hand, as a result of the sale of bonds whose repayment is backed by 30 years of Port Authority lease payments to the city for Newark Liberty International Airport.

Still to be revealed are details of the location and construction of the hotel, some 500,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space, a $25 million community center promised by the Devils owners and a 3,200-space parking garage to be operated by the city.

Since it was first proposed as the new home for both the New Jersey Nets and the Devils in 1999, the idea of a Newark arena has been caught in a labyrinth of state political rivalries and competing development priorities, local fiscal pressures and the vagaries of the shifts in the ownership of sports franchises. During that time, the plan has often looked to be down for the count, only to rise slowly with some new strategy. But it has remained the centerpiece of the city's redevelopment efforts.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

tmg
October 22nd, 2004, 11:14 AM
The New York Times
Three Designs Unveiled for Arena in Newark
By RONALD SMOTHERS

Published: October 22, 2004

NEWARK, OCT. 21 - Newark officials unveiled three architectural designs on Thursday night for a proposed sports arena that the city hopes will lead to a sweeping redevelopment of its downtown.

The designs for the $355 million, 18,000-seat arena, which would be the home of the New Jersey Devils hockey team, ranged from a Roman Colosseum-like oval to the layered curves of a design that simulated a sheath of melting ice.

The design competition is the latest phase of a five-year effort to build the sports arena in Newark, the state's largest city.

The plan, which has been dogged by political and financial setbacks under three governors, now appears near finalization.

While there are some local hurdles and pockets of opposition, the sole remaining questions seem to be the viability of the National Hockey League, which has shut down due to a labor dispute, and the continued willingness of the Devils' owners to put up their $100 million share of the arena cost.

The arena, which would be bounded by Market, Mulberry, Lafayette and Broad Streets, is expected to spur office and retail development that would fit in with other city plans to building upscale housing in a new downtown community.

"This arena is part of a holistic redevelopment plan," Mayor Sharpe James said at the presentation at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

The idea of a design competition, said the city administrator, Richard Monteilh, harks back a century ago when Newark's leaders held a competition that resulted in the design of its ornate, gold-domed Beaux-Arts City Hall, which opened in 1908.

That was a golden age for the city, he said, adding, "We are again resurging as a powerhouse city in America, and we want this building to exemplify that.''

One of the designs, by Morris Adjmi Architects of New York, chose the Colosseum as its model, a large tiered oval in dark red brick that evoked Newark's past as a center of brick making. The facade tiers are punctuated by iron columns, and the structure is capped by a sleek pediment.

Mr. Adjmi said that the black of the iron and the red of the brick on the arena also evoked the team colors of the Devils.

Another design, by the Hillier Group of Princeton, employed a distinctive roof for the glass- and steel-walled arena that looked like two silvery leaves angled over the top and cantilevered over the sides of the building. The design would be both grand and functional, said Robert Hillier, the head of the firm.

Another proposal from Kohn Pederson Fox Associates of New York, showed a translucent, curving and tiered design that seemed to encase the inside of the arena in ice while surrounding it with other buildings of more solid materials.

The shell would include low-resolution L.E.D. screens which could animate the walls with messages about events and even advertising.

"A building has to not only communicate with its place but communicate with the world," said William Pederson, the firm's founder.

Newark residents will be invited to comment on the three designs, Mr. Monteilh said, but the final decision will be made by a group made up of the Devils management and city officials.

STT757
October 22nd, 2004, 06:35 PM
Three faces of Newark's arena
Design firms offer competing visions at NJPAC
Friday, October 22, 2004

One looks like a coliseum, the other a spaceship and the third a transparent bowl within a bowl.

Those are the concepts offered by three architectural firms competing for the right to design the exterior of the 18,000-seat Newark sports arena.

Drawings, renderings and models by the trio -- Morris Adjmi Architects, The Hillier Group and Kohn Pedersen Fox -- were unveiled last night at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

"This is a huge moment -- we're talking about design in Newark," Lawrence P. Goldman, NJPAC's president and CEO, said during the presentation. "Ten years ago, this wouldn't have happened."

Design figures prominently in the $310 million arena that will anchor a 26-acre redevelopment zone that boosters say will make the area a monument to the resurgence of the nation's third-oldest city.

The stakes are huge: design fees that top $20 million and bragging rights.

"We will evaluate these designs and incorporate the one that meets our city's needs and achieves its dreams in a cost-effective manner," said Newark Mayor Sharpe James.

A committee made up of Newark officials, representatives of the New Jersey Devils and civic leaders will pick a design next month, said Pamela Goldstein, the city's spokeswoman.

The interior of the arena is being designed by HOK Sport + Venue + Event, which has little competition in the design of sports venues. The Kansas City, Mo.-based firm has designed or renovated 24 of the 30 major league baseball stadiums and 30 of the 32 stadiums for the National Football League.

Newark said it would spend no more than $210 million in public money on the arena, with the hockey franchise contributing $100 million. The project also includes a hotel, parking deck, entertainment center and offices for the Newark Board of Education.

The three designs shown at NJPAC represented a counter-point to Newark's dominant architecture -- the fortress-style office towers near Newark Penn Station and pre-World War II buildings that date to the era when Newark was a regional center of banking, insurance and retail.

Morris Adjmi, a Manhattan-based firm, envisions an arena with large brick columns and an aluminum curtain wall that give the structure the height and shape of the coliseum in Rome.

Hillier Group, a Princeton-based company that has worked since the late 1990s on the long-stymied project, proposes a low-scale building featuring a sweeping, dish-shaped metal roof with three arching sections. It has tall banks of windows overlooking a plaza, similar to NJPAC.

Kohn Pedersen Fox, another Manhattan-based company, proposes a building of glass ribbons that slope in and out around a bowl that forms the arena seating. The entire glass exterior would emanate light of various colors.

Like NJPAC, all three designs encourage sports fans to mingle on a large outdoor plaza, highlighting a simple principle: More people downtown will go a long way toward repairing Newark's image.

Martin Moeller, a vice president at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., said sports venues have become gateways and signature structures, fulfilling a function in cities similar to skyscrapers, bridges and churches.

"These public and quasi-public structures can bring back some sense of identity and re-establish a sense of place," Moeller said. "These kind of facilities can have a rejuvenating effect and benefit for the community."

Matilda McQuaid, author and exhibitions curator at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in Manhattan, said the arena design need not be cutting edge to become a destination. She said it must encourage sports fans to explore the rest of downtown.

"It can't become an indoor garage," she said. "It can't be people park in there and don't venture outside. The perimeter of the building, the surrounding arena, has to be brought into the fabric of the building.

"It must have an architectural presence and be something that fits."

NYguy
October 23rd, 2004, 08:38 AM
A few scans from the paper (Star Ledger)


Hillier Architecture

http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/35396635/large.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/35396639/original.jpg


Kohn Pederson Fox

http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/35396643/original.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/35396645/large.jpg


Morris Adjmi Architects

http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/35396646/large.jpg

Johnnyboy
October 23rd, 2004, 08:52 AM
i don't really like any of these desighns But, from the choices they had resieved, i pick the first desighn by hiller.or maybe the second desighn. Its kind of odd but in a way good looking.

ZippyTheChimp
October 25th, 2004, 08:04 PM
The Morris design is awful.

TLOZ Link5
October 25th, 2004, 10:33 PM
The Morris design is awful.

Madison Square Garden reprised.

NYatKNIGHT
October 26th, 2004, 10:18 AM
More info in the New York Times:


October 22, 2004

Three Designs Unveiled for Arena in Newark

By RONALD SMOTHERS


NEWARK, OCT. 21 - Newark officials unveiled three architectural designs on Thursday night for a proposed sports arena that the city hopes will lead to a sweeping redevelopment of its downtown.

The designs for the $355 million, 18,000-seat arena, which would be the home of the New Jersey Devils hockey team, ranged from a Roman Colosseum-like oval to the layered curves of a design that simulated a sheath of melting ice.

The design competition is the latest phase of a five-year effort to build the sports arena in Newark, the state's largest city.

The plan, which has been dogged by political and financial setbacks under three governors, now appears near finalization.

While there are some local hurdles and pockets of opposition, the sole remaining questions seem to be the viability of the National Hockey League, which has shut down due to a labor dispute, and the continued willingness of the Devils' owners to put up their $100 million share of the arena cost.

The arena, which would be bounded by Market, Mulberry, Lafayette and Broad Streets, is expected to spur office and retail development that would fit in with other city plans to building upscale housing in a new downtown community.

"This arena is part of a holistic redevelopment plan," Mayor Sharpe James said at the presentation at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

The idea of a design competition, said the city administrator, Richard Monteilh, harks back a century ago when Newark's leaders held a competition that resulted in the design of its ornate, gold-domed Beaux-Arts City Hall, which opened in 1908.

That was a golden age for the city, he said, adding, "We are again resurging as a powerhouse city in America, and we want this building to exemplify that.''

One of the designs, by Morris Adjmi Architects of New York, chose the Colosseum as its model, a large tiered oval in dark red brick that evoked Newark's past as a center of brick making. The facade tiers are punctuated by iron columns, and the structure is capped by a sleek pediment.

Mr. Adjmi said that the black of the iron and the red of the brick on the arena also evoked the team colors of the Devils.

Another design, by the Hillier Group of Princeton, employed a distinctive roof for the glass- and steel-walled arena that looked like two silvery leaves angled over the top and cantilevered over the sides of the building. The design would be both grand and functional, said Robert Hillier, the head of the firm.

Another proposal from Kohn Pederson Fox Associates of New York, showed a translucent, curving and tiered design that seemed to encase the inside of the arena in ice while surrounding it with other buildings of more solid materials.

The shell would include low-resolution L.E.D. screens which could animate the walls with messages about events and even advertising.

"A building has to not only communicate with its place but communicate with the world," said William Pederson, the firm's founder.

Newark residents will be invited to comment on the three designs, Mr. Monteilh said, but the final decision will be made by a group made up of the Devils management and city officials.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
February 3rd, 2005, 01:37 AM
February 3, 2005

Newark and Devils Sign Lease and Agree to Build an Arena

By RONALD SMOTHERS

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/n.gifEWARK, Feb. 2 - Newark officials and the owners of the New Jersey Devils signed a lease agreement on Wednesday, clearing the way for the long-delayed construction of a $310 million, 18,000-seat arena for the National Hockey League team.

Officials in the state's largest city hope that the planned arena downtown, a few blocks from Pennsylvania Station in Newark, will generate hundreds of millions in office and retail development.

Under the terms of the 30-year lease, the city will contribute $210 million to the construction of the arena, while the Devils' owner, Jeff Van der Beek, will contribute $100 million.

The city's portion of the cost is already in hand and comes from money borrowed last year by the Newark Housing Authority. The funds were secured by windfall rent payments won in a legal dispute between the city and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the operation of Newark Liberty International Airport.

If all goes well, Mayor Sharpe James said, the team, now using Continental Arena at the Meadowlands, could be playing in the new arena by October 2007.

Neither city officials nor Mr. Van der Beek seemed troubled that the current lockout of the league's players over pay issues, now nearly five months long, is threatening to lead to the cancellation of the season.

"It is clear to us that with the lockout and the negotiations, hockey is where professional baseball and professional basketball will eventually be in dealing with the salary cap issue," Mr. James said. "The players and owners will realize that they need each other, and what will emerge is a viable National Hockey League."

Whatever N.H.L. labor difficulties may remain, they pale alongside the litany of challenges that a sports arena in Newark has faced since it was first proposed in 1998.

Initially, the arena would have served the New Jersey Nets basketball team alone, and would have required state financing and strong support from Trenton. Then it was to be the home of both the Devils and the Nets, once the franchises were brought under a single ownership.

It would still have required state financing and support from Trenton, both of which repeatedly failed to materialize.

In 2002, the need for financing from the state was overcome when the city, with the help of the governor, James E. McGreevey, settled a dispute with the Port Authority over back rent for the agency's operation of the city's airport. The windfall freed the city from the politically arduous quest for state money.

But then came disputes within the ownership ranks of the two teams, eventually resulting in the sale of the Nets to a group that plans to move them to Brooklyn and the sale of the Devils to Mr. Van der Beek, a newcomer to sports.

What followed was a long courtship period between the city and the new owner of the hockey franchise.

Mr. Van der Beek, who joined Mr. James at a City Hall ceremony to sign the agreement, said: "It was a long time coming, with a lot of fits and starts. But we're signing a definitive, binding agreement with the City of Newark today."

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

TLOZ Link5
February 3rd, 2005, 01:16 PM
2005 census estimate says that Newark gained population for the third year in a row.

alex ballard
February 3rd, 2005, 03:11 PM
2005 census estimate says that Newark gained population for the third year in a row.

And who do you think (in your opinion) is moving in?

My opinion, a combo of Immigration, affordable housing seekers and of course, Manhattanites.

STT757
February 4th, 2005, 03:47 PM
"And who do you think (in your opinion) is moving in?"

Brazilians, and lots of them. They are taking over the Iron Bound as the Portugese and Spanish move to the Suburbs.

JCMAN320
June 14th, 2005, 01:36 AM
Here is what the new arena will look like once completed.

http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/theteam/images/teamnews/newarkarena-day1024.jpg

http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/theteam/images/teamnews/newarkarena-night1024.jpg

Slideshow of model and site of arena, in it you will see site work started already
http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/fanzone/galleries/arenamodel/gallery.html

JCMAN320
October 3rd, 2005, 07:27 PM
Groundbreaking signals start of arena construction

Today Newark Mayor Sharpe James, along with other politicians and dozens of dignitaries stuck symbolic shovels into the ground near Newark City Hall to mark the start of construction on the Newark Arena, future home of the Devils hockey team.

A major sporting venue in downtown Newark was eight years in the making.

For months, bulldozers, wrecking balls and a massive compacting plate have been preparing the Broad Street site, between the City Hall complex and Edison Place. Now, the building process begins on a project expected to cost roughly $350 million, including $210 million from city coffers.

The Devils and the city never would have reached this point had it not been for the multimillion-dollar spending spree that snapped up more than 30 lots on roughly 10 acres, where the main arena complex will rise. The deals involved negotiations with a dozen property owners; none of the properties was acquired through condemnation.

NYatKNIGHT
October 4th, 2005, 12:42 PM
This Time, Newark Leaders Say, the Arena Will Be Built

By RONALD SMOTHERS (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=RONALD SMOTHERS&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=RONALD SMOTHERS&inline=nyt-per)
Published: October 4, 2005

NEWARK, Oct. 3 - In what officials insisted was the last of several ceremonies over the last seven years trumpeting the construction of a professional sports arena in New Jersey (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/national/usstatesterritoriesandpossessions/newjersey/index.html?inline=nyt-geo), Newark broke ground on Monday on a $310 million building that will be the home of the New Jersey Devils (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/hockey/nationalhockeyleague/newjerseydevils/index.html?inline=nyt-org) at the start of the 2007-8 hockey season.

Mayor Sharpe James, the five-term mayor who fought for the project from its inception, told a crowd of about 400 people gathered under a large tent at the downtown building site that the city had "climbed the rough side of the mountain" in finally breaking ground for the 18,000-seat arena.

"We have labored for seven years and pleaded with four governors," said Mayor James as he prepared to introduce the owner of the Devils, Jeffrey Vanderbeek, who has agreed to pay for a third of the cost and any overruns. "One man stood up through all the stones and bricks thrown our way, and it seems we finally met an owner who believes that the team and the town are family."

Mr. Vanderbeek told the audience that the arena would draw three million people a year to games and other evening events in a city whose downtown generally empties out after the workday. He said that it would become the focal point of Newark's downtown redevelopment plans, which include a Marriott hotel, new office space, a community center, a new Board of Education headquarters, restaurants, retail stores and new residences.

Morris Adjmi Architects of New York is designing the arena, which will take up nearly one square block. The arena will be a large glass oval, punctuated by black iron columns and partly encased in a frame of dark red brick and a sleek pediment. Mr. Adjmi said that the black of the iron and the red of the brick were intended to evoke the city's past as a brickmaking center and the crossroads of rail lines. Black and red are also the Devils' team colors.

The interior, designed by HOK Sport, will include a 4,800-square-foot L.E.D. screen, restaurants, 750 television monitors, 12 escalators and 78 luxury suites overlooking the ice. The arena is to be built by the Hunt/Bovis Strategic Alliance.

Richard Monteilh, Newark's business administrator, said some last-minute adjustments in the contract between the Devils and the construction consortium remained to be worked out. In the end, he said, the cost with the extras sought by the team was likely to surpass the original $310 million estimate, but the Devils would pay those extra costs.

Under the deal, the city will build a parking garage and keep the revenue from that, and will also receive 7 percent of the gross revenue from the arena's operation, concessions and the 300-room hotel that is to be built across the street. In all, Mr. Monteilh said, the arrangement is likely to generate about $17 million annually for the city over the 30-year lease.

The arena plan has surmounted numerous obstacles. The State Legislature, dominated by suburban lawmakers, declined to provide money for the project. The New Jersey Nets (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/newjerseynets/index.html?inline=nyt-org), which were to share the arena, departed for Brooklyn, and the group that owned both teams broke up. Last year's hockey season was lost to a strike. And proponents have battled lawsuits and opposition from some community groups, which have insisted that the city's money should be spent on schools, police and housing outside of downtown.

One of those opponents, Douglas R. Forrester, the Republican candidate for governor, held a news conference nearby and called on Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey to halt the project and said the city should devote its share of the cost to purely local needs.

But Mr. Codey has no authority to stop the project because the only public money involved is the revenue Newark gets from leasing its airport to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Mr. Codey, in a brief statement that did not mention the arena, Mayor James or the financing, applauded the Devils' decision to stay in New Jersey and linked it to his administration's success in keeping the Giants and the Jets (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/profootball/nationalfootballleague/newyorkjets/index.html?inline=nyt-org) at the Meadowlands.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/10/04/nyregion/04newark.large1.jpg
A model of Newark's $310 million arena, which is set to be completed by 2007 and will be the home of the New Jersey Devils hockey team. The arena is part of an ambitious plan to redevelop the city's downtown.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/04/nyregion/04arena.html

Derek2k3
October 4th, 2005, 01:28 PM
hideous

TLOZ Link5
October 4th, 2005, 01:57 PM
I don't think it's that bad, actually.

lofter1
October 4th, 2005, 02:17 PM
I'm sure it ha to do with cost, but this boxy thing is UGLY and deadening from the outside, especially compared with the 3 finalists that were shown previously.

STT757
October 4th, 2005, 04:26 PM
Alot better than MSG, that's for sure.

TLOZ Link5
October 4th, 2005, 05:23 PM
Alot better than MSG, that's for sure.

Well, no contest if that's what we're judging against.

macreator
October 4th, 2005, 06:28 PM
The diamond design windows are awful. Haven't we learned anything with arena design? This thing screams crappy architecture.

JCMAN320
October 4th, 2005, 08:00 PM
I don't think it's bad at all. I think once it gets built that it will blend in nicely with the surrounding architecture. It will do wonders for the city and the area. This is can only do good for Newark which has been turning around slowly for about 5 years now and this will help speed up the process. Newark already has the NJPAC which is far better than the Lincoln Center and this arena will be far better than the Garden, hell Newark's Penn Station is better than New Yorks, that is until Moynihan Station is or if ever constructed. Cmon NYC gotta keep up your falling off. :p

TLOZ Link5
October 4th, 2005, 08:16 PM
::sneezeBrooklynNetssneeze::

Just kidding :D

JCMAN320
October 4th, 2005, 08:18 PM
:::snezzeMeadowlandsStadiumsnezze:::

lol

lofter1
October 4th, 2005, 08:18 PM
No doubt it will be a help to Newark business-wise.

It doesn't make it good architecture.

Check the slideshow for shot showing the kitschy red and black wall with the humungous Stanley Cups as background to the church.

YIKES!

STT757
October 4th, 2005, 08:29 PM
::sneezeBrooklynNetssneeze::

Just kidding :D

According to Governor Codey on the Mike and the Mad Dog show the move to Brooklyn is not a definite.

212
October 4th, 2005, 11:59 PM
the wastebasket-shaped atriums are a nice touch.

could somebody pay $210 million to keep this monstrosity *out* of newark?

stache
October 5th, 2005, 08:30 AM
What's really funny is the almost complete absence of people of color in the illustration.

STT757
October 5th, 2005, 06:51 PM
What's really funny is the almost complete absence of people of color in the illustration.

It's a Hockey Arena.

stache
October 6th, 2005, 12:14 AM
Right, in Newark. This is a bad joke.

lofter1
October 6th, 2005, 01:41 AM
^ So its gonna be another drive-in / drive-out set up -- where no one hangs around in the city center and no money is actually spent at the local businesses.

Time to buy a parking lot in downtown Newark (but they've no doubt got that angle figured out already).

lofter1
October 6th, 2005, 01:43 AM
It's a Hockey Arena.
I don't know squat about hockey; how many games a year in this place?

STT757
October 6th, 2005, 02:30 PM
^ So its gonna be another drive-in / drive-out set up -- where no one hangs around in the city center and no money is actually spent at the local businesses.

Time to buy a parking lot in downtown Newark (but they've no doubt got that angle figured out already).

Heck no, the Iron Bound which is a couple blocks from the Arena has some of the best Spanish and Portugese restaraunts anywhere, they will make a fortune. Plus there are tens of thousands of Downtown Newark Employees who will stick around to watch a hockey game. The Devils are a great franchise, they are also close to Newark Penn Station so plenty of folks will take the train.

Im sure Bruce Springstein will also spend a week or two playing sold out concerts.

STT757
October 6th, 2005, 02:33 PM
I don't know squat about hockey; how many games a year in this place?

41 Regular Season home games, not Including the Playoffs and Stanley Cup race which the Devils are a perinial contender. Perhaps during a good year they play 51 home games including the playoffs.

stache
October 17th, 2005, 06:36 PM
I walked by the lot today. They are really pushing the dirt around, little colored flags in the ground etc. It's 1 1/2 blocks from the Northern entrance to the Skyway. They need to extend the Skyway across Mulberry St. I wonder why they didn't do that originally?

Jake
January 11th, 2006, 08:00 PM
I don't know if there's been another thread, there probably has so please merge. In short there's a new hockey arena being built in Newark to replace the Continental Airlines Arean in E.Rutherford as the home of the NJ Devils.

This webcam is quite nice, you can even control it yourself, each user gets something like 90 seconds to move it around and zoom it and stuff. I haven't checked if NYC is visible yet since it's nightime and raining so conditions are bad, anyway below the cam you can see the construciton site for the arena.

Here it is. NEWARK ARENA WEBCAM (IE needed)
http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/fanzone/video/newarkarena/camindex.php

Jake
March 2nd, 2006, 08:35 PM
First Columns of Steel Put in Place for Devils Arena

New Jersey Devils owners Jeff Vanderbeek and Michael Gillfillan looked on as members of Ironworkers Local Union No. 11 erected the first columns of steel for the Devils Arena located in the heart of downtown Newark, NJ.
The 18,000 seat arena and entertainment complex is schedule to open for the start of the 2007 NHL hockey season.





http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/theteam/images/teamnews/Steel-034.jpghttp://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/theteam/images/teamnews/Steel-007.jpghttp://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/theteam/images/teamnews/Steel-042.jpghttp://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/theteam/images/teamnews/Steel-045.jpg



What a lovely neighborehood! I think I'll park my BMW right in front of that red building!

TLOZ Link5
March 2nd, 2006, 09:06 PM
Who knows; maybe once the arena's finished, it will give the surrounding area a boost. That's what happened in Detroit.

Still, all that sky scares me. Haha.

JCMAN320
March 2nd, 2006, 10:01 PM
You know what Jake it isn't a bad neighborhood at all, just buildings need sprucing up, which will happen as and once arena is built. By the way you won't have to drive, you can take the PATH to Penn Station and walk two blocks to it once it's done. Also the "car theft capital of the world stereotype" is so 1990s. :)

Jake
March 2nd, 2006, 10:10 PM
As always I'm just exagerrating, you kinda have to take that into account when reading my posts. I used to have season tickets to the Devils a few years back and I'm still a fan but E.Rutherford was just too complicated to get too. That's why I usually just go to MSG.

I personally hoped the arena would be in JC, I don't exactly find Newark to be a safe city. PATH accesability is probably the only hope this arena has as a giant chunk of Devils fans are NYers. The PATH could take a little improvement though, past Grove St, it isn't an inviting system either (although the Exchange Pl and WTC stations should be applauded).

JCMAN320
March 2nd, 2006, 10:23 PM
I know I'm just kidding around. Also if you had checked my post in JC thread, 2 new towers going up a JSQ which will improve it vastly on that strecth of the line. Yes a large number are NY'ers but also of course hell of ALOT here in NJ, but I understand that is what will make the PATH work for the arena. Also god willing (lol) NJ has agreed to have the Nets move in there if the arena in Brooklyn falls through. So well wait and see.

NYatKNIGHT
March 3rd, 2006, 03:59 PM
I occasionally get out to Newark for work and there happens to be a pretty cool bar I've been to for lunch (called Murphy's I think) in or next to that red building. They are incredibly excited that a new arena is being built across the street. The highrise in the background is attached to the train station, so it's not a far walk, and the area is nowhere near as bad an area as a lot of people seem to think. In fact, it seems perfectly suited to be transformed by a whatever new businesses arenas attract. We'll see.

As for the trains themselves, with New Jersey Transit among others at Newark Penn Station, now New Jersey residents will also be able to take transit to the game, as will people coming from New York Penn Station, so PATH access is just a part of it. I agree PATH could use an upgrade but I also don't think any part of it is cagey enough to discourage ridership.

Dagrecco82
March 11th, 2006, 05:50 PM
Newark Arena as of today. Couldn't get much of a shot. Security was everywhere.

http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/5858/img03642qz.jpg

JerzResident
March 12th, 2006, 12:21 PM
I was over there the other day too, It's good to see the construction actually taking place

Jake
March 12th, 2006, 12:33 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b6/JakeW16/oneshotimage2.jpg

Just took this a minute ago from the live cam, which you can use with the link I posted higher on this page.

Marv95
March 12th, 2006, 12:59 PM
Word from Vanderbeek before last night's game is that steel should start to arrive tomorrow. Yep, with this place surrounded by over 20 different bus routes from across the state, Newark Penn Station, and several bars/eateries, this arena will rule for the commuters. And for those complaining about safety, the last time I checked the South Bronx, Flushing, parts of midtown Manhattan, Detroit, South Philly and D.C. aren't safety havens either. Even Jersey City at times is MUCH dangerous than Newark. It's being built in the downtown business district, the safest part of the city, not the ghetto of the SouthCentral ward(which has a Home Depot and about to have an Applebees built).

I live in a town that borders Newark and because of the rivalries, I don't like to defend the Brick City too much, but common sense is common sense.

Dagrecco82
March 12th, 2006, 01:05 PM
I live in a city that borders Newark as well and I've never experienced any type of crime. Maybe I'm lucky but I've never felt unsafe in downtown Newark.

JerzResident
March 12th, 2006, 01:12 PM
Both of you guys are right, and Newark is not even on the top 20 most dangerous cities anymore, people who say Newark is dangerous (which it still is on some levels) obviously havent stepped foot in the city within the past 4-5 years

JCMAN320
March 12th, 2006, 03:51 PM
Marv 95 there are a few areas in JC which are dangerous but not as many as that exist in Newark. I agree Newark's crime has gone down but still has alot of rough areas.

JerzResident
March 12th, 2006, 08:40 PM
Marv 95 there are a few areas in JC which are dangerous but not as many as that exist in Newark. I agree Newark's crime has gone down but still has alot of rough areas.

Newark still has that severe gang issue

macmini
March 12th, 2006, 11:24 PM
Even Jersey City at times is MUCH dangerous than Newark. It's being built in the downtown business district, the safest part of the city, not the ghetto of the SouthCentral ward(which has a Home Depot and about to have an Applebees built).

I live in a town that borders Newark and because of the rivalries, I don't like to defend the Brick City too much, but common sense is common sense.

This is the most ignorant comment I've ever seen most of the violence in Jersey City is coming from gangs from Newark.The Greenville section of JC is not a ghetto it may have it's problems but it is not a ghetto. Only place in NJ that has more crime then Newark is Camden and thats not saying much about Newark.

JCMAN320
March 13th, 2006, 12:22 AM
Yea you know what Marv Applebees and Home Depot is on the city's Westside, which aint the ghetto. Westside Ave is a great shopping drag and is extremely diverse with mainly a large filipinno community. NJCU is building a new campus 5 blocks from my house and luxury homes amd apartments are rising within blocks of NJCU and the Lightrail station. Also by Lincoln Park which is beautiful, there are turn of the 20th century mansions going for $900,000. Also my neighborhood aint ghetto I live 5 blocks down off of Westside Ave by where Danforth meets 440. Greenville aint ghetto either, there are alot of nice homes in there and although it has its rough spots, macmini is right, most the gangs are comin from Newark to start BS over here cus they aint nothin left in Newark to steal or shoot up. I know this for a fact since im friends with a few officers in the South Precient. So learn to speak of what you know and not to speak of what you dont.

Now enough of this bull back to this great topic of the brand new Newark Arena. If anyone wanna start a Jersey City/Newark rivalry thread where we can discuss this bull be my guest.

JerzResident
March 13th, 2006, 01:19 AM
Does anybody know the schematics of the arena? I heard its supposed to have a hotel too and and office space

stache
April 30th, 2006, 05:41 PM
They have put up a model of the stadium in the Gateway Plaza.

TimmyG
June 15th, 2006, 09:55 AM
Builder let go in Devils arena flap

Team's owner cites a breakdown in contract talks on final price for Newark project
Thursday, June 15, 2006BY GEORGE E. JORDAN AND MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
Star-Ledger Staff
The Devils have dismissed the management company supervising construction of its arena in downtown Newark, the team's owner and city officials said last night.
The Devils parted ways 11 days ago with BovisHunt, a leading builder of professional sports venues, after they failed to negotiate a final price tag for the 18,000-seat arena.
"We did not agree with the monetary issues," said Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek, who insists work on the arena's steel frame continues ahead of schedule to open in time for the 2007 hockey season next October.
New Jersey's oldest construction company, Wm. Blanchard Co., is temporarily running the site, and a new a construction supervisor should be hired next month, Vanderbeek said.
"What's important is we're working to keep this project on schedule," he said.
The departure of BovisHunt highlights long-running concerns about the final cost of the arena, projected to run $310 million. It also represents the first major construction flap to spill into public since Newark handed the Devils control of the project in December 2004.
"There is something really not right about this," said Rod Taylor, managing director of Breitstone & Co., a major Long Island construction adviser with work in New Jersey. He said contract negotiations with BovisHunt should have been completed before the arena's steel frame began rising in late winter.
"It can happen, but most of the time it would have happened before they were on the job site," Taylor said of the breakdown in the final contract negotiations. "You would have to think it would have been worked out."
BovisHunt, which built Busch Stadium in St. Louis and the Arizona Cardinals' new football stadium, was selected two years ago from a field of five companies that submitted bids to Newark to oversee construction.
A spokesman for BovisHunt could not be reached last night. The company is an alliance formed two years ago between construction giants Hunt Construction Group and Bovis Lend Lease.
Under an agreement between the city and hockey team, taxpayers will provide $210 million of the construction costs and the franchise will pay the rest. In exchange, the Devils get to keep most of the ticket and concession revenue.
Mayor-elect Cory Booker has said he fears the final cost of the arena could run much higher, and suggested he may try to pull the plug on the project.
"What does it mean? It means this is a poorly conceived project, an unnecessarily rushed project," Booker said last night. "A project that is not the best use of land and city resources."
Vanderbeek, a former Wall Street executive, declined comment on Booker's threat.
Richard Monteihl, Newark's business administrator and executive director of the nonprofit group overseeing redevelopment around the arena, said the city has spent at least $80 million on the arena so far, and the balance of the $210 million in public funding is committed.
"The arena is under contract, and based on those contracts people have invested huge amounts of money. It would be inadvisable to damage the project," he said. "It would leave the city with substantial legal exposure because everyone entered into these contracts in good faith."
BovisHunt was hired under a short-term contract as "temporary" construction manager to get the project underway, while final price negotiations continued, Vanderbeek said.
"It's not like we're switching construction managers mid-stream," Vanderbeek said.
The Devils are looking for a "guaranteed-maximum price" contract, an all-inclusive construction deal popular with the sponsors of public and private developments to hold the line on cost overruns. The final price is based on underground soil analysis, design features and engineering schematics.
Manhattan lawyer Barry LePatner, a corporate construction adviser, said many construction managers would likely bid to complete the arena, a trophy project, and replacing BovisHunt would not cause construction delays.
"It is certain ownership will find a replacement to get up to speed and proceed with its schedule for completion of the project," he said.

George E. Jordan and Matthew Futterman may be reached at (973) 392-4141. Jeffery C. Mays and Ian Shearn contributed to this report.

TeddyJ
June 15th, 2006, 12:04 PM
Doesnt sound like too much to worry about

OmegaNYC
June 15th, 2006, 03:38 PM
Yeah I hope. It would be cool to see a brand new arena in NJ largest city. :)

OmegaNYC
July 28th, 2006, 10:11 PM
Here are some pics of Newark Arena.

http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/theteam/teamnews/newarkarenainterior.php#


http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/fanzone/galleries/arenainterior/medium/0001.jpg


http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/fanzone/galleries/arenainterior/medium/0009.jpg





http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/fanzone/galleries/arenainterior/medium/0011.jpg

The Outside.http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/theteam/images/teamnews/newarkarena-night.jpg

http://www.newjerseydevils.com/2005/html/fanzone/galleries/nwkarena52206/medium/0009.jpg

Nice, huh? I just hope the Devils don't suck. :)

TeddyJ
July 29th, 2006, 10:40 AM
The arena looks wonderful, perfect for an NBA as well:)

ramvid01
July 29th, 2006, 02:25 PM
I must say that is quite a fine looking arena going up, and hopefully the devils will continue to play well.

OmegaNYC
July 29th, 2006, 06:44 PM
The arena looks wonderful, perfect for an NBA as well:)

Yeah, that is a mighty fine arena that is being built. Too bad the Nets won't be here to enjoy it.

colux10
December 4th, 2006, 02:48 PM
The Army Corps of Engineers are working on some waterfront promenade by FBI building. I can't seem to find any info on this other than some some master plan info and out of date photos and drawings from the Corp's web site. It was supposed to be completed in 2006. does anyone have any info on this?

JCMAN320
December 4th, 2006, 06:17 PM
Joesph G. Minish Park should be done soon. There will be a pedestrian bridge built acorss the Passic River connecting it to the new development and Red Bull Park in Harrison and to a current park in Harrison on the Passic River.

NYatKNIGHT
December 5th, 2006, 06:58 PM
All I know is the FBI building apparently screwed up the plans for the waterfront park in that area. There was supposed to be direct access to the river from the Performing Arts Center. Last I heard they are going to make the best out of it, still a park but not the quite as grandiose as once planned. But good to hear that something is happening there.

JCMAN320
December 21st, 2006, 01:35 AM
Newark arena to become a piece of the rock

Prudential Financial has reached an agreement in principle to pay about $5 million a year for the rights to put its name on a new hockey arena being built in downtown Newark, the owner of the New Jersey Devils said today.

The multi-year agreement between Prudential and the Devils calls for the $365 million arena to be named the Prudential Center, Jeff Vanderbeek, principal owner of the hockey team, told The Star-Ledger.

“We have been in discussions and we’re very close,” Vanderbeek said today. “It’s down to the short strokes.”

The deal could be for as long as 20 years, another person familiar with the talks said.

Corporations around the country pay tens of millions of dollars for naming rights to stadiums and sports arenas. Last month, Citigroup unveiled a deal with the New York Mets valued at about $20 million a year to put its name on the baseball team’s new stadium being built in Queens.

Prudential, the insurance and financial services giant whose logo and ad campaigns feature a rock, was assumed to be a strong candidate to buy the 18,000-seat arena’s naming rights from the beginning, sports marketing consultants said. The company’s headquarters on Broad Street are just a few blocks from the arena now under construction at Lafayette and Broad streets.

In addition, Prudential has long been committed to Newark, both financially and physically. The company was founded in the city in 1875 as the Prudential Friendly Society and last year the Prudential Foundation gave more than $6 million to organizations in Newark.

Prudential spokesman Harold Banks confirmed the company was in discussions with the Devils about buying naming rights for the arena, set to open in October, but declined to comment further.

Frank Vuono, principal at sports marketing firm 16W Marketing in Rutherford, said he considered the agreement a great deal for the Devils.

“It’s smart for Prudential,” Vuono said. “The new arena will get a lot of publicity, so they’ll get their share of exposure.”

Contributed by Greg Saitz, Matthew Futterman and Katie Wang

Transic
January 9th, 2007, 04:43 AM
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/01/08/ap3310420.html

Associated Press
Prudential Pays $105M for NJ Arena Name
By JANET FRANKSTON LORIN 01.08.07, 3:35 PM ET

For a chunk of change, a piece of the rock will be the next home of the New Jersey Devils.

Prudential Financial Inc. (nyse: PRU (http://finapps.forbes.com/finapps/jsp/finance/compinfo/CIAtAGlance.jsp?tkr=PRU) - news (http://www.forbes.com/markets/company_news.jhtml?ticker=PRU)- people (http://www.forbes.com/peopletracker/results.jhtml?startRow=0&name=&ticker=PRU)) and the NHL team on Monday announced the company will pay $105.3 million over 20 years to call the Devils' new arena the Prudential Center.

The $375 million downtown venue, under construction nearly across the street from the Newark world headquarters of the life insurance and investment company, is expected to open for the 2007-2008 NHL season.
"As far as I'm concerned, you can't get a better name," said team owner Jeff Vanderbeek.

Prudential CEO Arthur F. Ryan said the company wanted to be associated with a world-class arena and a team that has won three Stanley Cups since 1995. He said deepening Prudential's ties to its home city was more important than increasing recognition of an already well-known company.

"Very frankly, Prudential doesn't need that," Ryan said. "So we had to look a little bit deeper. Part of it, of course, started with Newark. We've been here 130 years."

Ryan also said he doesn't mind if the arena is referred to as "The Rock," after the company's symbol of the Rock of Gibraltar.

"We're going to put 'Prudential Center' up there. I suspect someone before long will be calling it 'The Rock,' and that's fine with us," he said after a news conference Monday. "That's been our icon for over 100 years and we're not uncomfortable with that."

The city of Newark is contributing $210 million to the arena, which was initially expected to cost $310 million. The Devils are paying for cost overruns, Vanderbeek said.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who once called the arena "a bad political deal," is now a supporter after the team last year agreed to contribute more than $500,000 annually to aid minority business development and recreation and public parks programs in the city.

The arena is to seat 17,625 people for hockey games, 18,500 for basketball games and 19,500 for concerts. Amenities are to include a 350-seat restaurant, 2,200 club seats and 78 luxury suites.

The Devils now play at the Continental Airlines (nyse: CAL (http://finapps.forbes.com/finapps/jsp/finance/compinfo/CIAtAGlance.jsp?tkr=CAL) - news (http://www.forbes.com/markets/company_news.jhtml?ticker=CAL)- people (http://www.forbes.com/peopletracker/results.jhtml?startRow=0&name=&ticker=CAL)) Arena in East Rutherford. The NHL team shares the building with the New Jersey Nets, whose new owner is moving forward with plans to build an arena for the NBA team in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Prudential, which had profits of $2.25 billion for the first nine months of the year and $586 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, has long been a benefactor in Newark. The major space at the nearby New Jersey Performing Arts Center is called Prudential Hall for the company's contributions.

JCMAN320
February 19th, 2007, 03:47 AM
Prudential Center plans a hat trick of its own
Promoter promises to add top artists and shows to hockey lineup

Sunday, February 18, 2007
BY PEGGY McGLONE
Star-Ledger Staff

When the New Jersey Devils signed an exclusive management deal with the nation's second-largest concert promoter last week, the hockey team that owns the Prudential Center signaled it wants to make entertainment as high-profile as sports.

That's good news for the region's music fans, who may get to see many of Anschutz Entertainment Group's big-name tours in the new 17,500-seat venue, set to open in October. What it means for Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford remains unclear.

"A great (hockey) team is going to play in there; there's great acoustics, state-of the art technology; and now we're linking up with great content provider," said Jeff Vanderbeek, president of the New Jersey Devils. "We expect headline acts from the beginning. I'm looking forward to many, many great concerts and events."

As a promoter, AEG is a distant second to industry giant Live Nation in terms of tickets sold each year. But this year it promoted a slew of top-notch artists and tours, including Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Rod Stewart, "Dancing with the Stars" and "High School Musical." Expect to see them play the $375 million Prudential Center whenever possible.

The company is committed to shows promoted by others, too, said Nick Sakiewicz, president of AEG NewYork/New Jersey. Sakiewicz is the former general manager of MetroStars soccer team, now known as the Red Bulls.

We are "going to be taking a very aggressive and active role in booking the building in terms of music and family shows," said Sakiewicz, who won't name any acts that are definite, even though the opening is just eight months away. "New Jersey audiences and fans really don't have any idea how exciting this building is going to be."

With the addition of Prudential, AEG now owns or manages 23 venues in cities around the world, including Los Angeles, Chicago, London and Berlin. The company also co-owns Red Bull Park, a 25,000-seat soccer stadium under construction in Harrison where Sakiewicz's former team will play. AEG expects to present outdoor summer concerts at Red Bull, which is scheduled to open in July 2008.

Both Vanderbeek and Sakiewicz said the Prudential Center will have an open-door policy allowing any promoter to do business in Newark. Vanderbeek said the management contract has incentives to keep the venue as busy as possible and thus prevent AEG from boxing out competing promoters.

But AEG is talking tough. With its deal in place in Newark, Sakiewicz said AEG will no longer promote acts at Continental Airlines Arena. That adds to the growing Meadowlands exodus.

Continental officials say they aren't worried. Ron Vanderveen, who books the arena, said AEG promoted only three shows at the arena last year, compared with 12 acts by Live Nation and five by Metropolitan Hybrid. Vanderveen added that almost half of his bookings are secured before a promoter is hired, making AEG's claim to boycott Continental seem premature.

But it's part of a growing chorus calling for the state to close Continental. Newark Mayor Cory Booker publicly suggested the state should shut it down. Sakiewicz said the "old, worn building" should be reevaluated. The recent and forced resignation of George Zoffinger, chief executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, also has sparked worries about the arena's future.

Continental officials insist it can survive.

"We're working on a number of things that reinforce my opinion that Continental has a very bright future in the concert and family entertainment business," Zoffinger said.

Vanderveen questioned the rush to decide.

"We have the Nets for two or three more years and we have contracts with Feld Entertainment (promoter of "Disney on Ice" and Ringling Brothers' circus)," said Vanderveen. "Why is anyone considering making a decision when we know we have to stay open for three years? Why not wait (until) we have hard numbers to make an educated decision?"

Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the concert trade publication Pollstar, said the New York metropolitan market is big enough for both. Compared to other markets, he said, New York is not "facility rich" and could sustain several venues.


Peggy McGlone may be reached at (973) 392-5982 and pmcglone@starledger.com.

STT757
February 19th, 2007, 04:51 PM
Took the wife to Iberia on Saturday night for dinner, was pleasantly suprised how far along the construction on the arena has progressed since my last visit, it's really going to be an attractive venue.

JCMAN320
May 2nd, 2007, 10:01 PM
Bon Jovi to open new Prudential Center arena

Posted by The Star-Ledger May 02, 2007 7:19PM
Categories: Events

New Jersey rock band Bon Jovi will open Newark's new 18,000-seat Prudential Center on Oct. 26, officials said this evening.

The band will play at least three shows at the arena, and maybe more, said Nick Sakiewicz, president of AEG New York/New Jersey, part of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which is booking concerts and special events for the Prudential Center.

The $365 million arena, which will be known as "The Rock," will be home to the New Jersey Devils hockey team,

"It's going to be rockin', baby," Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek said. "It's unbelievable. (Jon Bon Jovi) is a Jersey guy. He's at the height of his career on a brand new tour. From day one, we said we wanted to bring the top acts and certainly Bon Jovi is synonymous with the best in New Jersey."

Sakiewicz said landing Bon Jovi proves the Prudential Center will be a premier arena able to attract top acts.

"With a number of Bon Jovi shows, we're off to a great start at this exciting new venue which will play a major role in the revitalization of the city," Sakiewicz said in a statement. "Newark will never be the same."

Bon Jovi, the veteran rock band led by Sayreville native Jon Bon Jovi, is a top concert attraction throughout the world, and has an exceptionally strong bond with its home-state fans.

The group has performed at the state's largest concert venue, Giants Stadium, many times - most recently, last summer. Initially known as a pop-metal band in the 1980s, the group became more of a mainstream-rock act in the 1990s, and has recently had some success on the country charts, too. Group members have always taken obvious pride in their Jersey roots, and even titled their 1988 album "New Jersey."

Last year, their hit single, "Who Says You Can't Go Home," was used in a state tourism campaign. The band has a new album, "Lost Highway," coming out on June 19, but currently, no other local shows are scheduled.

Tickets for the concerts are scheduled to go on sale next month.

Contributed by Jeffrey C. Mays

fronti
May 2nd, 2007, 10:42 PM
Bon Jovi to open new Prudential Center arena

Posted by The Star-Ledger May 02, 2007 7:19PM
Categories: Events

New Jersey rock band Bon Jovi will open Newark's new 18,000-seat Prudential Center on Oct. 26, officials said this evening.

The band will play at least three shows at the arena, and maybe more, said Nick Sakiewicz, president of AEG New York/New Jersey, part of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which is booking concerts and special events for the Prudential Center.

The $365 million arena, which will be known as "The Rock," will be home to the New Jersey Devils hockey team,

"It's going to be rockin', baby," Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek said. "It's unbelievable. (Jon Bon Jovi) is a Jersey guy. He's at the height of his career on a brand new tour. From day one, we said we wanted to bring the top acts and certainly Bon Jovi is synonymous with the best in New Jersey."

Sakiewicz said landing Bon Jovi proves the Prudential Center will be a premier arena able to attract top acts.

"With a number of Bon Jovi shows, we're off to a great start at this exciting new venue which will play a major role in the revitalization of the city," Sakiewicz said in a statement. "Newark will never be the same."

Bon Jovi, the veteran rock band led by Sayreville native Jon Bon Jovi, is a top concert attraction throughout the world, and has an exceptionally strong bond with its home-state fans.

The group has performed at the state's largest concert venue, Giants Stadium, many times - most recently, last summer. Initially known as a pop-metal band in the 1980s, the group became more of a mainstream-rock act in the 1990s, and has recently had some success on the country charts, too. Group members have always taken obvious pride in their Jersey roots, and even titled their 1988 album "New Jersey."

Last year, their hit single, "Who Says You Can't Go Home," was used in a state tourism campaign. The band has a new album, "Lost Highway," coming out on June 19, but currently, no other local shows are scheduled.

Tickets for the concerts are scheduled to go on sale next month.

Contributed by Jeffrey C. Mays

Bon Jovi was on idol tonight and he said its going to be 10 nights.

kevin
May 3rd, 2007, 12:06 PM
Bon Jovi was on idol tonight and he said its going to be 10 nights.

Well, he's halfway there...

oooh

OmegaNYC
May 3rd, 2007, 12:47 PM
I can't wait untill October. Man I just wanna see this thing so bad.

OmegaNYC
May 3rd, 2007, 12:57 PM
I just got this picture of the New Jersey Devils website. This is how The Prudential Center looked like back in March:

http://www.newjerseydevils.com/njd/prucenter/images/pru550.jpg


Nice! :D

JCMAN320
May 11th, 2007, 02:25 AM
Seton Hall reaches deal to play at Newark arena

Thursday, May 10, 2007
BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
Star-Ledger Staff

The Prudential Center has won the battle for the Pirates.

After 26 seasons at Continental Airlines Arena, Seton Hall's men's basketball team will move to Newark's Prudential Center next season, according to state officials involved with the negotiations.

"They've informed us they are in fact going to Newark," said George Zoffinger, chief executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the state agency that operates the Meadowlands.

The deal must still be finalized, but Seton Hall's apparent decision to move is a major victory for the Prudential Center and the Devils hockey team, which controls the building. The decision comes after several weeks of acrimonious negotiations that led Seton Hall to seek a competing offer from the Meadowlands.

Not only were 18 prime basketball games for one of the state's premier college teams at stake, but so was a major dose of credibility for a new building that wants to establish itself as the state's top destination for sports and entertainment. The rock band Bon Jovi will open the arena Oct. 26.

"It's another in what will be a long line of positive announcements," said Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek, who characterized talks with Seton Hall as "in the advanced stages."

But Seton Hall's move is a blow to the aging Continental Airlines Arena, which is trying to maintain its relevance. Gov. Jon Corzine's administration is keeping a close watch on Continental Arena's ability to keep its tenants as it considers whether to shutter the building.

Seton Hall's president, Monsignor Robert Sheeran, is traveling in China this week and could not be reached for comment. Matt Sweeney, a spokesman for Seton Hall athletics, said no immediate announcement on the team's new home had been planned.

Sweeney, however, said talks with the $365 million Newark arena had been "plentiful and productive."

Last season Seton Hall drew just 6,600 fans per game and struggled to break .500 under first-year coach Bobby Gonzalez. But in recent days the battle to be the Pirates' home court turned into the first major showdown between the 18,000-seat Prudential Center and Continental Airlines Arena, which will lose the Devils this year and the Nets in 2009.

Zoffinger, who tried to sweeten the deal by giving Seton Hall an estimated $1 million more than they got this year, said he expected to lose Seton Hall because of its proximity to the Prudential Center.

The deal has not been not a slam-dunk, though. Initially the Devils refused to guarantee weekend dates, when attendance is higher, or share money from premium-seat sales, luxury suites, food or merchandise.

With talks at a standstill late last month, Seton Hall returned to the sports authority, which offered to make the team a primary tenant. The agency guaranteed Seton Hall eight weekend games and offered four free luxury suites, a cut of food and beverage sales and all money from merchandise.

A study of the two deals conducted by Stafford Sports, a Medford-based consulting firm, projected the basketball team collecting more than $2.7 million next season if it remained in Continental Airlines Arena compared with a little more than $2 million if it played in Newark on the Devils' original terms.

Stafford recommended Seton Hall pursue a three-year deal with Continental Airlines Arena.

"To the Devils' credit, they made a good deal financially and relented on the dates, which really was important," said Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), who has allies on all three sides of the negotiations.

With an offer in hand from the sports authority, Seton Hall returned to the Devils, who compromised at the urging of Pat Hobbs, dean of the Seton Hall Law School. Hobbs has intervened several times during the past year when the Newark arena faced obstacles.

"We've said all along: This is where Seton Hall should be playing," Vanderbeek said. "We are down to the very short strokes now."

Newark also had certain built-in advantages.

The Prudential Center is four miles from Seton Hall's main campus and three blocks from its law school. It is easily accessible by public transportation. Students had to take university-chartered buses to games in East Rutherford.

Kurt Borowski, chairman of the university's Board of Regents, is also a close friend of Raymond Chambers, a part-owner of the Devils and the driving force behind the 10-year-old plan to build an arena in the state's largest city.

The move to Newark will end a 25-year run at Continental Airlines Arena that started when Dan Callandrillo hit a memorable shot at the buzzer to win the Pirates' first game in the Meadowlands over Houston, 87-85, on Dec. 4, 1981. Along the way, Seton Hall stars Jerry Walker, Terry Dehere and former coach P.J. Carlesimo made their first national splashes from the Continental Arena floor.


Matthew Futterman can be reached at mfutterman@starledger.com\

-------------

JCMAN Thought of The Night: Now what happens if the state decides to moth ball the CAA, does that means the Nets will be forced to play in the Rock until the possible move to Brooklyn? Lawsuits continue to mount against the Atlantic Yards proejct and keep further delaying it and raising the costs and the judges still can't make heads or tails of the questionable finance of the proposed Barclay's Center.

I have made my peace with the Nets possible move. I look at it this way if they move great; if they stay even better, but I'll still be a fan. My choice though would be to take the PATH to Newark Penn to go see the Nets in the Rock; even if it only is for two more seasons.;)

danny007
June 1st, 2007, 04:00 PM
When would the state have to decide when to Moth ball CAA, if at all? I would suspect soon because just yesterday, the Nets completed their Season ticket push for 2007-08 at CAA. With Atlantic Yards, tied up in ligitation and delays, and with Seton Hall gone, what happens with CAA? Could Corzine step in and close CAA, which would force the Nets to Newark? How quickly could the Nets have a season ticket package ready for the Rock?

Don't think that David Stern at the NBA offices in NY isn't watching what happens with this situation, because I suspect he is. If Newark Mayor Cory Booker had his way, the Nets would be at the Rock already. Publicly back in January of this year per NY Post article (http://www.nypost.com/seven/01152007/news/regionalnews/newark_shot_at_net_gain_regionalnews_rich_calder.h tm), the Nets were not interested in breaking their lease at CAA, but I wonder if behind the scenes, both Booker's people and the Nets people (FCR reps specifically) are trying to get something done? Stay tuned on this one, it could get interesting.

David Stern isn't stupid here, he knows and I suspect FCR does as well that there are many more benefits at the Rock, than there is at CAA and as I said earlier, him and his people are keeping an eye on the situation between the State and the NJSEA.

JCMAN said it right, far more Mass Transit options at Newark Penn Station than there is to CAA. Many more people from around the state would sell the Rock out for Net games than they would at CAA. Imagine those two seasons at the Rock, it would be amazing if it happened.

danny007
June 1st, 2007, 04:00 PM
When would the state have to decide when to Moth ball CAA, if at all? I would suspect soon because just yesterday, the Nets completed their Season ticket push for 2007-08 at CAA. With Atlantic Yards, tied up in ligitation and delays, and with Seton Hall gone, what happens with CAA? Could Corzine step in and close CAA, which would force the Nets to Newark? How quickly could the Nets have a season ticket package ready for the Rock?

Don't think that David Stern at the NBA offices in NY isn't watching what happens with this situation, because I suspect he is. If Newark Mayor Cory Booker had his way, the Nets would be at the Rock already. Publicly back in January of this year per NY Post article (http://www.nypost.com/seven/01152007/news/regionalnews/newark_shot_at_net_gain_regionalnews_rich_calder.h tm), the Nets were not interested in breaking their lease at CAA, but I wonder if behind the scenes, both Booker's people and the Nets people (FCR reps specifically) are trying to get something done? Stay tuned on this one, it could get interesting.

David Stern isn't stupid here, he knows and I suspect FCR does as well that there are many more benefits at the Rock, than there is at CAA and as I said earlier, him and his people are keeping an eye on the situation between the State and the NJSEA.

JCMAN said it right, far more Mass Transit options at Newark Penn Station than there is to CAA. Many more people from around the state would sell the Rock out for Net games than they would at CAA. Imagine those two seasons at the Rock, it would be amazing if it happened.

Transic
June 2nd, 2007, 01:19 PM
It's a very interesting dilemma Ratner has gotten himself into. On the one hand, a spanking new arena for a temporary residence, with luxury boxes and club seats to choose from, wouldn't be a bad situation. On the other hand, having already committed himself into shoehorning his team into Brooklyn, he may risk being sucked into a relative disadvantage (should they temporarily relocate to Newark) in terms of lease issues. If the Atlantic Yards thing drags out for even longer, the Nets would either have to make permanent deal in Newark (with terms that would be less generous than the Devils and maybe even the Hall, in relative terms); hope that the CAA stays open for a few more years while getting AY sorted out; or be forced to look for a new location in NY (the worst of the options), which would entail another huge expense.

Remember that Ratner's banking on that huge pot of money Barclays Bank is about to give to his proposed arena, which is the primary reason for wanting his own arena in Brooklyn in the first place. That and being headquarted in the largest city in the country trumps anything New Jersey can offer right now.

STT757
June 4th, 2007, 11:36 AM
If Corzine closes the CAA then the Nets will play at the new Prudential Arena, if they take a llikening to the new digs and the Brooklyn project gets delayed futher hopefully there's a chance the Nets would sign a long term lease in Newark.

JCMAN320
June 8th, 2007, 01:19 AM
Name of the game? NBA and Newark

Thursday, June 07, 2007

For local fans who see the start of the NBA Finals tonight in San Antonio and hear the clock ticking on professional basketball in New Jersey, we offer some food for thought:

The Newark SuperSonics.

No, wait. Even better -- the Newark Grizzlies. That could go down among the all-time most misplaced nicknames in sports history, maybe even supplanting the Utah Jazz at the top of the list.

The Nets appear to be leaving New Jersey for Brooklyn in a few years, but the state should not give up on pursuing another professional basketball team. NBA franchises have moved or threatened to move more than any other sport in recent years. Newark has a swank new arena opening in downtown this fall.

Hey, stranger things have happened.

"Honestly, right now all of my efforts are focused on getting this place ready for Bon Jovi on Oct. 25," said Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek, who is overseeing construction of the new arena. It's hard to blame him. Nobody wants the first event at the Prudential Center to become "Install Your Own Seat Night!"

But Vanderbeek did acknowledge this: While he is building this arena for one professional franchise, it will have two pro locker rooms, including one designed for an NBA team.

"From a risk-reward and cost standpoint, it's just prudent," Vanderbeek said. "We have a building that could immediately host an NBA team. It keeps our options open down the road."

Vanderbeek is a former Lehman Brothers executive, which means he knows rich people. He could find investors to buy an NBA team quicker than a Jason Kidd-led fast break. He also knows he would make more money on luxury suites with a second team, and, of course, sell more beer.

Is it a long shot? Sure. Any prudent owner would have to look at this market and see that, well, we didn't exactly support the current NBA team all that great during its three decades here. The league might balk at having one-tenth of its teams in a 15-mile stretch.

David Stern, when asked recently about where New Jersey basketball fans should go when the Nets leave, cracked, "You know, it's not that far into the Garden." He also hinted that pro hoops had a place in the state -- a Developmental League team at the Teaneck Armory.

Yes, in the eyes of the commish we are strictly D-League, right up there with Bismarck, N.D., and Bakersfield, Calif. Not exactly a glowing endorsement for a man who grew up here, and he might rethink it if he considered that nearly a fifth of his franchises: A) have demanded a new arena; B) have threatened to leave town; or C) have done both.

The NBA is hardly a model of stability these days. The league put an expansion franchise in Vancouver in 1995, where the Grizzlies failed, and moved them to Memphis in 2001, where they are failing again. The Charlotte Hornets fled to New Orleans in 2002, where they were struggling to develop a fan base even before Hurricane Katrina.

The Seattle SuperSonics, an established team with the coveted No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft, have all but given up hope of staying in the Northwest. The Portland Trail Blazers need a new arena. So does the Orlando Magic. The Sacramento Kings have tried -- and failed -- for years to get one.

That adds up to six teams, and no doubt some will work out their issues and stay put. Oklahoma City is likely the next destination for a team (probably the SuperSonics), but it ranks 46th in U.S. television markets, or one notch below Albuquerque, N.M. Las Vegas wants a team, but lacks an arena and has the whole gambling issue to deal with.

Newark will have an arena, built and ready to go, in an established professional market, in the most densely populated state in the country. The area has an all-sports network, SNY, itching for winter programming to compete with YES and MSG -- likely at a price tag no small-market city could match.

"Could the New York metropolitan market support three teams? Maybe," said Sal Galatioto, whose initial reaction to the question was, admittedly, a hearty belly laugh. He is a sports investment banker who brokers deals like this for a living. "Is it probable? Not in the short term. But as long as you have a good building in a good location, you always have hope."

This is years away. The Nets, after all, are still embedded in the cozy construction site called the Meadowlands. Before this becomes an issue, the Devils will have played enough games in Newark to judge how many people will embrace coming into this city to watch professional sports.

Right now, there isn't much to do but keep an open mind and an eye on the headlines. For example, the NBA franchise in Minnesota is hemorrhaging money, maybe as much as $30 million since 2005.

Imagine -- the Newark Timberwolves. At the very least, some Madison Avenue marketing guy would earn his paycheck coming up with the logo.



Steve Politi appears regularly in The Star-Ledger. He may be reached at spoliti@starledger.com

JerzResident
June 8th, 2007, 10:43 AM
Awesome, theres always hope that we can get another team, especially in Newark.

ZippyTheChimp
June 19th, 2007, 05:32 AM
June 19, 2007

Owners Push New Arena, but Residents Fear Change

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/06/19/nyregion/19arena.600.jpg
Richard Perry/The New York Times
The Prudential Center as seen from the Devils’ offices on
Broad Street in downtown Newark.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/06/19/nyregion/19arena.450.jpg
Richard Perry/The New York Times
An inside view of the $375 million Prudential Center
in downtown Newark, the new home of the
New Jersey Devils hockey team.

By ANDREW JACOBS

NEWARK, June 18 — After all the years of hyperbolic talk, the failed promises and the false starts, the behemoth looming over downtown is a steel and glass affirmation that good things can happen to this star-crossed city.

“I never thought I’d see something like this in my lifetime,” Ada Wells, 82, said as she ambled by the hulking frame of the Prudential Center, a $375 million arena that will be home to the New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s basketball team and, the arena’s owners say, boxing matches, ice-skating shows and concerts, starting with 10 nights of Bon Jovi when the arena opens in late October.

But like many residents, Ms. Wells, a retired housekeeper who has lived here most of her life, seemed stumped when asked if she would be buying tickets for an event at the arena. “Well, I’m not sure this thing is really for people like me,” she said hesitantly before continuing down Broad Street with a battered shopping cart.

The subtext of her comment was whether Newark’s largely poor and minority population will benefit from one of the most ambitious and expensive ventures in New Jersey in a generation. As King Cooley, 58, a Customs Service employee put it, “Everyone knows hockey is a white man’s sport.”

City officials and the arena’s owners speak rapturously about the building’s potential: the hundreds of food concession and maintenance jobs on the inside, the employment possibilities offered by the upscale restaurants, sports bars and hotels that are expected to take root nearby.

“I’m optimistic that the arena will create enduring opportunities for Newark residents and it will be a revenue generator for the city for years to come,” said Mayor Cory A. Booker. He was once a vociferous critic of the project’s financing, which required a $210 million investment from City Hall under the previous administration, but is now a booster.

To gain Mr. Booker’s backing last fall, the Devils’ principal owner, Jeffrey Vanderbeek, agreed to provide close to 5,000 free tickets each season for local children and $250,000 each year for youth sports and recreation. He also promised that Newark residents would get first dibs on permanent arena jobs.

As 700 construction workers raced toward an Oct. 25 deadline, Mr. Vanderbeek led visitors on a tour on Friday of the sales center of one of the nation’s most tricked-out sports arenas. There will be 750 flat-screen televisions, five ribbons of advertising zippers and a half dozen meeting rooms for community groups.

It remains unclear how well the Prudential Center’s 14,500 general admission seats will sell on game nights. But Mr. Vanderbeek said that 96 percent of the 10,000 season ticket holders at the Devils’ former home in the Meadowlands had renewed, and that 3,000 new season tickets had been sold. All of the most expensive luxury suites — $285,000 for 18-seat boxes — have been bought, as have the arena’s 2,114 “club seats,” which run along both sides of the arena’s midsection with access to a pair of private lounges.

“We’ve got a waiting list of 420 names,” he said with feigned disappointment about the club seats. “I wish we had more to sell.”

Prospective buyers have clearly been swayed by the dog-and-pony show that takes place day and night on the 33rd floor of the nearby National Newark Building, where sales agents entertain corporate executives and show off full-scale models of the Fire Lounge and a luxury box with plush seating and granite countertops.

Mr. Vanderbeek began a tour on Friday at the elevator banks, where a window provides a bird’s-eye glimpse of Newark’s Pennsylvania Station three blocks from the arena, the tangle of highways just beyond and the smog-cloaked Manhattan skyline in the distance. The view gives Mr. Vanderbeek an opportunity to talk up “accessibility,” the idea that Newark is a 19-minute train ride from New York or Hoboken and a quick dash from Newark Liberty International Airport.

The final punch is delivered in a luxury box mock-up. After he reviews the touch-screen food menus and the suites’ proximity to the ice, a promotional film gives close-ups of body-checking hockey players, cocktail parties full of smartly dressed executives and a gushing testimonial by the mayor. “See you in Newark,” a player exclaims at the end. “You better save me a seat!”

Then the screen retracts to reveal a bank of windows that perfectly frame the new arena, a block-wide structure wedged into the center of Newark’s long-suffering downtown. Before their eyes have fully adjusted to the daylight, potential buyers are gently ushered into the “closing room,” where they can opt to buy one of the remaining 12-seat boxes for $225,000 a year for a minimum of three years.

A former Lehman Brothers investment banker, Mr. Vanderbeek has made a calculated gamble that hockey fans will find Newark more appealing than the Meadowlands, where the Devils have spent more than two decades playing to dismal crowds in the aging Continental Airlines Arena.

Mr. Vanderbeek’s investment was significantly burnished in February, when AEG, which owns and operates stadiums and arenas across the country, announced it would manage the Prudential Center and bring in 30 to 40 nonsporting events a year, including concerts and professional wrestling matches. Executives of the company, which is also building a 25,000-seat soccer stadium for the Red Bulls in nearby Harrison, say they hope to draw three million visitors a year to what they describe as an entertainment district.

By now both Mr. Vanderbeek and Nick Sakiewicz, president of AEG New York/New Jersey, have become well practiced at swatting away those who suggest that hockey’s largely suburban fan base will be skittish about traveling to a city that has a stubborn reputation for lawlessness. “This is a way for people to get a taste of Newark,” Mr. Sakiewicz said as he walked through the arena. “And to see that there aren’t burning cars in the streets, that there are thousands of professionals working here and that there is a reason to stay after dark.”

On the streets surrounding the arena, property owners who have sat on vacant buildings for years are beginning to stir.

Two hockey-themed taverns have opened in recent months, Hell’s Kitchen and the Arena Bar, and a third, the Devil’s Advocate, is under renovation in a nearby building used as a residence by Seton Hall students. Samer Hanini, a developer, is renovating a loft building whose residents will be near the arena’s brick and glass facade. A hotel is slated to be built on Mulberry Street across from the arena’s main entrance, but ground is not expected to be broken until well after the arena opens.

Stefan Pryor, the city’s deputy mayor for economic development, said he began receiving calls from potential investors soon after the arena’s skeleton began rising outside the window of his City Hall office. Earlier this month, the city created the Brick City Development Corporation, a quasi-public agency that will dole out $11 million in incentives to prospective businesses.

Mr. Pryor said he hoped developers would be further entranced by the $17 million streetscape project, financed with state, city and private money, that in the coming months will improve the area around Broad and Market Streets.

“Interest has been swirling around this arena,” he said. “No doubt about it.”

But those who study the economic impact of urban arenas say much of the profit, at least early on, typically ends up in the pockets of owners, not residents of surrounding neighborhoods.

Mark S. Rosentraub, dean of the College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University who has analyzed similar projects, said the most successful arenas are those planned as part of ambitious redevelopment proposals that use public money to leverage private investment in the surrounding area.

“The problem is if you don’t have a large commitment of private dollars, it can be risky,” he said. While city officials are working with developers to build thousands of market-rate apartments near the arena, those plans remain on the drawing board.

Then there are those who worry that too much success will doom the hair-braiding salons, hip-hop clothing stores and other downtown businesses that cater to residents.

Soon H. Yu, the owner of Three Stars Clothing, has done well selling Tupac Shakur T-shirts and dollar-sign pendants encrusted with cubic zirconia. Although she does not know much about the Devils, Ms. Yu has learned a thing or two from the shoppers who come to her store, which is across Broad Street from the arena.

“If it was basketball, that is a good thing, but hockey is no good,” she said flashing a sour expression. “I don’t want to lose black people because they make good business.”


Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

STT757
June 19th, 2007, 09:11 AM
I really hope Pearl Jam plays the Prudential in Newark.

STT757
June 19th, 2007, 09:16 AM
Bon Jovi is stepping up, 10 nights!


Bon Jovi adds November concert dates in Newark
by Paul CoxTuesday June 19, 2007, 5:24 AM

Bon Jovi, which releases the its "Lost Highway'' album today, announced on-sale dates for five more shows for the band's run at the new Prudential Center in Newark, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press.

The added dates are Nov. 3, 4, 7, 9 and 10, which are added to the original venue-opening Oct. 25, 26, 28, 30 and Nov. 1 dates.

Now all we need is Bruce and the East Street Band, and of course Pearl Jam!..

Neil Young would be nice too.

OmegaNYC
June 19th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Nice article Zippy, but I think the residents of Newark are looking at this the wrong way. Who cares if hockey is a "white man" sport. Be proud that your city is home to a state-of-the-art arena and that your downtown area is slowly coming back.. I sure as hell would love to see that area in Paterson.

JCMAN320
June 19th, 2007, 01:03 PM
Bon Jovi adds November concert dates in Newark

by Paul CoxTuesday June 19, 2007, 5:24 AM

Bon Jovi, which releases the its "Lost Highway'' album today, announced on-sale dates for five more shows for the band's run at the new Prudential Center in Newark, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press.


The added dates are Nov. 3, 4, 7, 9 and 10, which are added to the original venue-opening Oct. 25, 26, 28, 30 and Nov. 1 dates.

JCMAN320
July 11th, 2007, 11:04 PM
White confirms UFC 73 coming to Newark

Posted by Franklin McNeil July 11, 2007 7:59PM
Categories: MMA

UFC president Dana White spoke with ESPN on the issue of bringing his mixed martial arts organization to New Jersey in November.

UFC president Dana White.Here's what White had to say:

ESPN.com: What about the rumor that there will be a UFC event in November in New Jersey, at the new New Jersey Devils arena? True?
DW: It's true, it's true. It's going to happen. We haven't announced it yet, but it will be a pay-per-view.

JCMAN320
July 24th, 2007, 10:23 PM
NetsDaily.com
2007-07-23 21:43:07

Continental Airlines Arena No More

When the Nets take the floor in November, they won't be playing at the Continental Airlines Arena. The venerable, some would say antiquated, facility will have a new name. Continental has decided to end its naming rights deal with NJ Sports and Exposition Authority now that the Devils and Seton Hall have left. So the NJSEA has turned to the Nets' president, Brett Yormark, to find a new sponsor.

66nexus
July 25th, 2007, 12:47 AM
I'm glad Continental dropped them. With Barclays already on the books for their name to be used for the Brooklyn (...maybe) arena, who in their right mind would want to put their name on a facility that will lose its last major tenant in only a few years? I'll be surprised if someone does because I'd imagine that any company, or person, that would do it will probably be small-time

STT757
July 25th, 2007, 12:11 PM
As a Continental Airlines frequent flyer I'm hoping they win the naming rights to the new Giant's/Jets stadium.

STT757
July 25th, 2007, 12:19 PM
Hopefully Pearl Jam will play here:)


New arena's now rock solid
Workers pour the floor in Newark
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
BY BARRY CARTER
Star-Ledger Staff

With a little more than three months to go before the puck drops at center ice, construction workers yesterday poured the concrete floor that will support the hockey rink at Newark's new Prudential Center.

The work represented another milestone in the construction of the $365 million downtown arena, which is scheduled to open Oct. 25 with the first of 10 concerts by Bon Jovi. The New Jersey Devils, who will call the new arena home, will play their first game there two days later.

"From now on it's going to be a sprint to the finish line," Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek said. "From now until the beginning of October there's going to be milestones almost every other week. This is the first big one in that regard."

In the next month or so, Vanderbeek said, workers will install seats and the scoreboard, which represent two more major building blocks in the completion of the arena.

The roof is up, the exterior of the building is done and the drywall is installed. About 95 percent of the electrical work is complete. Cabinets can be seen in the suites. Yesterday, the giant letters spelling out Prudential were affixed to the outside of the building.

The finishing touches are just around the corner -- floor boards, the seats, painting, the big screen on the outside of the building. Several screens have been mounted around the arena to display advertising, scores and carry messages that pump up the fans at games.

After eight inches of concrete was poured yesterday, construction workers smoothed the surface with a finishing machine, otherwise known as a concrete Zamboni, said Jim Cima, head of construction for Devils Renaissance Development. The all-day job took about 12 to 14 hours, with workers finishing up around 7 or 8 p.m.

Cima said workers would then begin building a dam around the rink and flood it with a few inches of water, enough to cover the concrete to let it cure and prevent cracking. After seven to 10 days, the water will be drained and the area will be covered with plywood for about a month. Sometime in September, Cima said installation of the ice would begin at the seven-story structure.

Vanderbeek said it's exciting to see the 18,000-seat arena come together and on schedule as planned. He said a lot of work still has to be done and there's no time to get sidetracked.

"It's a neat thing, but you know we have three months to go, so I really can't get caught up into day dreaming. We have work to do today. We have work to do tomorrow."

Every day, he said, there are 950 workers in the arena with 250 of them working second shift. Earlier this year, a crane lifted a 2,500-pound steel beam to the top of the arena, signaling its placement as the highest piece of steel on the building at a "topping off" ceremony."

"Workers are doing a fabulous job," Vanderbeek said. "They have a lot of pride in what they're doing. It's going to be a beautiful building."

The Prudential Center, located at Broad, Market, Lafayette and Mulberry streets -- will have 76 luxury suites and 2,200 club seats. It also will feature the latest sound technology, making the facility an attraction for major acts.

JCexpert558
August 10th, 2007, 05:25 PM
I remember that the stadium was right near a few stores and like Doukin Donuts and a few other stores. Are they going to get rid of them because it really messes up the beauty of the stadium.

JCMAN320
September 10th, 2007, 03:57 AM
C'mon Ratner just move the Nets to Newark, look at the features on The Rock courtesy of Wikipedia:

"Features

The Prudential Center is the first new arena to be built in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area in more than 25 years. As such, the Prudential Center will be one of the most accessible arenas in North America. Its proximity to Newark Penn Station will allow fans to travel to the arena by NJ Transit, PATH, Newark Light Rail and Amtrak trains. Newark Penn Station will be connected to the arena's Triangle Park by the Ironbound Bridge, giving commuting fans direct access from the station to the arena. The Prudential Center is also very close to several major highways, including Rt. 78, Rt. 1&9, Rt. 280, Rt. 21, Rt. 22, Garden State Parkway, and New Jersey Turnpike. Newark city buses will also run with stops at Prudential Center. In comparison, the Devils' previous home, Continental Airlines Arena was accessible mostly by the New Jersey Turnpike and Rt. 3.

Fans approaching the arena through Triangle Park will be presented with a view of the arena's externally mounted 4,800 square foot LED screen, one of the largest in the world. Along the arena's eastside Mulberry Street entrance at the two adjoining corners are two large "entrance cylinders", the arena's most prominent exterior feature. The interior Grand Concourse provides views of downtown Newark on the Broad Street and Mulberry Street sides through large windows. Accessible from the Grand Concourse is the Devils' new 2,600 square foot Team Store. The Prudential Center will feature separate concourses for the lower and upper levels, unlike Continental Airlines Arena, which cramped fans from upper and lower seating locations into one lower level concourse.


Model of Prudential Center's interior.As the newest facility to be used in the NHL, the Prudential Center will have feature a large array of amenities.[4] The rink area will feature four LED ribbons and an eight-sided scoreboard equipped with high-definition video screens. The 78 luxury suites available. will be the largest in North America.[4] Personal dining, WiFi and high-definition televisions are some of the many conveniences available in luxury suites. In the lower bowl are 2,300 black Club seats in three center sections on either side of the ice. Club seat and season ticket holders will have access to a 350-seat restaurant with views of the rink. Additionally, the Goal Bar, located at Suite Level One will offer Club and Goal Bar seat holders terrace-style seating in a bar environment. Club seat holders will also have access to the Fire and Ice Lounges, modern themed private bars intended to attract pre-game and post-game crowds.

Attached to the Prudential Center will be the Devils' corporate offices and practice rink, complete with its own locker rooms. This will make the Prudential Center one of only two NHL arenas with a practice rink and the only one with dual locker rooms and practice facilities."

-----------------------------------

Given DT Newark's confluence of transit networks, it makes it the ideal location for any big sport venue.

JCexpert558
September 11th, 2007, 08:00 PM
Is it possible that there might be another arena that will host another team like the NFL or the MLB

JCMAN320
September 11th, 2007, 08:09 PM
No JC because you already have the New Meadowlands Stadium in E. Rutherford and possibly an MLB team would probably go to Newark but most likely the Meadowlands because there isn't enough room in DT Newark for another large facility I think.

JCexpert558
September 11th, 2007, 08:30 PM
Well at least newak has a nice stadium thats almost done with in Newark.

Marv95
September 12th, 2007, 09:29 AM
No JC because you already have the New Meadowlands Stadium in E. Rutherford and possibly an MLB team would probably go to Newark but most likely the Meadowlands because there isn't enough room in DT Newark for another large facility I think.

But you can expand Riverfront Stadium which is downtown, rather than just putting it near Penn Station(no room there). Just move the Bears to a renovated Riverbank Park in the Ironbound or sell the franchise.

Radiohead
September 12th, 2007, 11:36 PM
I don't think the NFL would consider putting a 3rd team in the NY area, especially since LA currently has ZERO teams. As for the MLB, both Florida teams need to be moved or contracted (the MLBPA won't allow that to happen). They may eventually get moved, but it would probably be to a place like Nashville, Memphis or Charlotte. I wouldn't completely rule out a 3rd NYC team, especially given the baseball fever in the metropolitan area, but I don't think it's likely in the short term, even if the Florida teams do get relocated.

Radiohead
September 13th, 2007, 06:26 PM
Below pic is from the 9/12/07 Marlins/Nationals game in Miami. Newark or JC could certainly draw better than this. Hell, they'd get a better crowd if they played the game in my living room.


http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1112/1375123286_4ee237ed6f_o.jpg

JCMAN320
September 13th, 2007, 09:23 PM
Radiohead I agree. Two World Series Wins in 10 years and this is the crowd. Geezz. Bring the Marlins to Jersey baby. :)

kliq6
September 14th, 2007, 10:31 AM
C'mon Ratner just move the Nets to Newark, look at the features on The Rock courtesy of Wikipedia:

"Features

The Prudential Center is the first new arena to be built in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area in more than 25 years. As such, the Prudential Center will be one of the most accessible arenas in North America. Its proximity to Newark Penn Station will allow fans to travel to the arena by NJ Transit, PATH, Newark Light Rail and Amtrak trains. Newark Penn Station will be connected to the arena's Triangle Park by the Ironbound Bridge, giving commuting fans direct access from the station to the arena. The Prudential Center is also very close to several major highways, including Rt. 78, Rt. 1&9, Rt. 280, Rt. 21, Rt. 22, Garden State Parkway, and New Jersey Turnpike. Newark city buses will also run with stops at Prudential Center. In comparison, the Devils' previous home, Continental Airlines Arena was accessible mostly by the New Jersey Turnpike and Rt. 3.

Fans approaching the arena through Triangle Park will be presented with a view of the arena's externally mounted 4,800 square foot LED screen, one of the largest in the world. Along the arena's eastside Mulberry Street entrance at the two adjoining corners are two large "entrance cylinders", the arena's most prominent exterior feature. The interior Grand Concourse provides views of downtown Newark on the Broad Street and Mulberry Street sides through large windows. Accessible from the Grand Concourse is the Devils' new 2,600 square foot Team Store. The Prudential Center will feature separate concourses for the lower and upper levels, unlike Continental Airlines Arena, which cramped fans from upper and lower seating locations into one lower level concourse.


Model of Prudential Center's interior.As the newest facility to be used in the NHL, the Prudential Center will have feature a large array of amenities.[4] The rink area will feature four LED ribbons and an eight-sided scoreboard equipped with high-definition video screens. The 78 luxury suites available. will be the largest in North America.[4] Personal dining, WiFi and high-definition televisions are some of the many conveniences available in luxury suites. In the lower bowl are 2,300 black Club seats in three center sections on either side of the ice. Club seat and season ticket holders will have access to a 350-seat restaurant with views of the rink. Additionally, the Goal Bar, located at Suite Level One will offer Club and Goal Bar seat holders terrace-style seating in a bar environment. Club seat holders will also have access to the Fire and Ice Lounges, modern themed private bars intended to attract pre-game and post-game crowds.

Attached to the Prudential Center will be the Devils' corporate offices and practice rink, complete with its own locker rooms. This will make the Prudential Center one of only two NHL arenas with a practice rink and the only one with dual locker rooms and practice facilities."

-----------------------------------

Given DT Newark's confluence of transit networks, it makes it the ideal location for any big sport venue.

Im with you on this one JCMAN, you can have the Nets and Ratner can keep his tupid Ms Brooklyn. To much government subsidy for luxury housing with no affordable being built till 2018 at earliest. By then affordable in NY will be half a million

kliq6
September 14th, 2007, 10:33 AM
Below pic is from the 9/12/07 Marlins/Nationals game in Miami. Newark or JC could certainly draw better than this. Hell, they'd get a better crowd if they played the game in my living room.


http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1112/1375123286_4ee237ed6f_o.jpg

It has always schocked me, having spent time in Miami and seeing the passion of the latin community there with the game, ive never gotten why they dont draw, even when there winning titles

JCexpert558
September 14th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Yo JCman where did you get your information about the nets moving back to Jersey.

JCexpert558
September 14th, 2007, 07:39 PM
Below pic is from the 9/12/07 Marlins/Nationals game in Miami. Newark or JC could certainly draw better than this. Hell, they'd get a better crowd if they played the game in my living room.


http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1112/1375123286_4ee237ed6f_o.jpg
Wow Id expect more people at a stadium than this. Is it because the Marlins aren't good

JCMAN320
September 15th, 2007, 05:07 AM
JCex I wish Ratner would keep them here. I mean hell the players even want to stay. If the Nets ultimately do move whenever that is, given the ground breaking and demo delays that will occur into 2008, the Nets most likely won't move till the 2010-2011 season, if that even

I didn't say the Nets weren't going to move to BK, as unlikey it seems as of now, I was just saying I wish Ratner would move them to Newark with the Devils where they were going to move originally before Ratner bought the team in 04 and came up with cocka-may-mi idea for Brooklyn.

TeddyJ
September 15th, 2007, 11:29 AM
JCex I wish Ratner would keep them here. I mean hell the players even want to stay. If the Nets ultimately do move whenever that is, given the ground breaking and demo delays that will occur into 2008, the Nets most likely won't move till the 2010-2011 season, if that even

I didn't say the Nets weren't going to move to BK, as unlikey it seems as of now, I was just saying I wish Ratner would move them to Newark with the Devils where they were going to move originally before Ratner bought the team in 04 and came up with cocka-may-mi idea for Brooklyn.

I agree, Newark would be ideal, and help the local economy tremedously, not that the devils are doing the same but sometimes I imagine all star weekend in Newark lol. I thought Ratner would eventually be forced to sell the team, he's going through so much opposition that the longer he has to wait the more money he will be hemeroraging

JCMAN320
September 15th, 2007, 09:30 PM
Just look at this page alone to see the money he and the Nets are losing:
http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4322&page=155

TeddyJ
September 15th, 2007, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the link JCMan, Ratner is being stubborn but he'll once the costs start mounting up even more he'll have no other choice then to sell.

66nexus
September 15th, 2007, 11:08 PM
Just look at this page alone to see the money he and the Nets are losing:
http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4322&page=155


Good link JCMan.
People rarely mention it, but the likelihood of Jason Kidd and other Nets stars actually playing for the Nets in 2010-2011(if playing at all) is slim to none.

JCMAN320
September 26th, 2007, 09:05 PM
Newark officials irked over no luxury box at new arena

by Katie Wang Wednesday September 26, 2007, 8:07 PM

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2007/09/large_suiteL.jpg
Joe Epstein/The Star-Ledger
A model of a luxury suite for the New Jersey Devils new arena in Newark was built at their executive offices near the arena site in this photo taken in May.


When the new Prudential Center arena opens in downtown Newark next month, the city - which spent $210 million in taxpayer dollars on the project - will not be getting one of the arena's 76 luxury suites.

Some city council members are irate, saying the city deserves one of the boxes that are being sold for $225,000 apiece. Newark could use it to host guests, children or other dignitaries, the council members say. The issue, they say, symbolizes the bum deal the city has cut with the New Jersey Devils over the arena.

Some council members say they'll boycott opening night - Oct. 26 when Bon Jovi performs.

"To me, the height of disrespect is the city of Newark has put into the project $210 million - which is the baseline - and the Devils have not given us a box," Council President Mildred Crump said. "They're dissing us at a level that's disrespectful."

Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek said the city never asked for a suite during negotiations. The arena deal was cut under former Mayor Sharpe James.

"That was not in the deal we signed three years ago," said Vanderbeek. "They never brought it up."

Read more in Thursday's Star-Ledger.

lofter1
September 26th, 2007, 11:41 PM
Some crooks are so used to getting a cut of the action that they forget to ask for the pay-off :rolleyes:

66nexus
September 27th, 2007, 10:38 PM
I don't see why there's a big fuss about this. I'm sure the city can get by without a suite.
I just hope the development around the arena moves forward. I've read that they've been tearing down the abandoned buildings around the arena. If the city can attract nice new developments about the arena then I'm sure the agitated council members will put their 'needs' to rest

66nexus
September 27th, 2007, 10:39 PM
Devs website link (pics):

http://devils.nhl.com/team/app?service=page&page=MediaGalleryBrowser&type=4

JCMAN320
September 28th, 2007, 01:20 AM
Pele to help Ironmen kick off home debut!

by Angela Daidone Thursday September 27, 2007, 7:55 PM

Pele, one of the most recognizable figures in sports history and the greatest soccer player of all time, will serve as honorary captain when the New Jersey Ironmen of the Major Indoor Soccer League make their home debut at the Prudential Center in Newark on Dec. 1.

Pele, no doubt, was hero to scads of aspiring young soccer players. He began his career in 1956 at age 15 for the Brazilian club Santos Futebol Clube and quickly rose to international fame. He was named to the Brazilian National Team at age 17 and is the all-time top scorer in team history. He played on three World Cup championship teams, the only player to achieve the feat.

In what is perhaps the most significant move in American soccer history, Pele signed with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League in 1975. His presence on the team, which played their home games at Giants Stadium, drastically increased awareness of the sport in the United States. Since playing his final professional game in 1977, he has served as an ambassador in many capacities, including being appointed the United Nations Ambassador for Ecology and the Environment in 1992, and receiving the Brazilian Gold Medal for Outstanding Services to the Sport in 1995.

In 1997, Pele was given an honorary British knighthood.

In 2000, he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee and Best Footballer of the 20th Century by FIFA, the International Federation of Association Football. He was inducted into the American National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1993.

The Ironmen, which last month signed Kearny native Tony Meola as goalkeeper, will play the Detroit Ignition in their home opener.

http://prucenter.com/arena_teams.php
http://www.njironmen.com/

JCMAN320
September 28th, 2007, 01:47 AM
Nets host a party for city kids
Team says it will stay involved after move to Brooklyn

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
BY BARRY CARTER
Star-Ledger Staff

There was music, food, games, Sly the mascot and the Nets Dancers.

Nets small forward Bostjan Nachbar was also there as kids at the West Side unit of the Boys and Girls clubs of Newark did popular dances like the "Cha-Cha" Slide and "Crank dat Dance."

It was part of a "Fun for Fall," back to school celebration Monday sponsored by the Nets Foundation.

About 100 kids ate hot dogs and popcorn, wore their Nets T-shirts and danced. They did fitness exer cises, following along with an instructor who had them doing jumping jacks and other calisthenics.

Cynthia Banks, director of operations for the Boys & Girls clubs, said events like yesterday's show the kids that people care for them.

"It's about the kids," Banks said. "It's allowing them to be kids again."

Though the Nets are planning to move to a new arena in Brooklyn in two years, the team said it in tends to maintain its ties to the Garden State.

"It is our responsibility to give back to the fans that have mattered most to us and the ones who have been with us for the longest period of time ," said Brett Yor mark, chief executive officer of Nets.

"New Jersey will always be dear to our hearts. When we move to Brooklyn, we'll be very heavily engaged with the community there, but I can see us always having a presence in New Jersey."

Felix Rouse, chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark, said he was disappointed at first that the Nets were leaving the state, but pleased they are trying to keep the fans close.

"They pleasantly surprised me that they are maintaining a level of community involvement," Rouse said. "They have always been good to the Boys & Girls clubs."

The Nets, which considers itself a regional team, has been involved in a number of community outreach programs over the past year to demonstrate its commitment to the residents in the state.

Jason Kidd treated 25 underprivileged kids to a holiday shopping spree. Players served Thanksgiving meals to the homeless at the Montclair Salvation Army and visited pediatric patients at the Hack ensack University Medical Center and St. Peter's Hospital. The team also held a coat drive with New Jersey Cares and worked with Habitat for Humanity to build a home.

"I think it's fair to say we'll always be involved in New Jersey one way, shape or form," Yormark said.


Barry Carter covers Newark. He can be reached at bcarter@starled ger.com or (973) 392-1827.

JCMAN320
September 30th, 2007, 10:31 PM
Top acts bypassing Prudential Center
Competition stiff from Meadowlands and Garden

Sunday, September 30, 2007
BY PEGGY McGLONE
Star-Ledger Staff

Concert promoters are not rushing to book shows at the Prudential Center, the state-of-the-art arena set to open in Newark later next month.

After Bon Jovi's 10-show opening stand ends Nov. 10, no entertainment events are scheduled in the facility until the end of the year, when Disney's "Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus performs her "Best of Both Worlds" show Dec. 29-30.

During that 50-day period, the Prudential Center will host 22 sporting events -- including New Jersey Devils hockey, Seton Hall Pirates basketball and indoor soccer -- leaving 28 dates open for promoters to book.

But so far there are no takers. Bruce Springsteen bypassed Newark when plotting out his "Magic" tour, which begins tomorrow in Hartford, Conn. The Police, Maroon 5, Ricky Martin and Fall Out Boy are all playing Madison Square Garden in October and November, but none has Newark on its itinerary.

Springsteen, tenor Andrea Bocelli, the reunited Van Halen and "Disney's High School Musical: The Ice Tour" are appearing at the Meadowlands and Madison Square Garden, leaving Prudential in the cold.

Industry officials say fierce competition within the music world and Newark's unproved track record are to blame for the dearth of entertainment events.

Promoter wars don't get much livelier. Prudential is managed by AEG, the country's second largest promoter and chief rival to Live Nation, the concert behemoth that operates the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. Both companies want to book their tours into their venues to maximize revenue. PNC hosted only one non-Live Nation tour -- AEG's Kenny Chesney -- out of 33 shows it presented this summer. Similarly, AEG has booked its own tours of Bon Jovi and "Hannah Montana" into Newark.

But Live Nation hasn't booked any of its current tours -- including The Police, Martin and Bocelli -- into the Newark arena. It's not a boycott, said Jim Steen, vice president of marketing for Live Nation-New York. It's business.

"Live Nation is not adverse to doing shows at the Newark venue," he said, adding that it "just hasn't found the right fit yet for a show to play there."

Dale Adams, general manager of Prudential Center, said the arena has an open door policy to all promoters.

Live Nation has the edge. According to Billboard magazine, the music industry trade publication, Live Nation produced more than 4,300 shows for a total gross of $540 million from last November through May. AEG was a distant second, with 893 shows grossing $324

Adams predicts the picture will change once Prudential opens. During the first 20 days, the arena will host 10 concerts and five Devils games and crowds could reach 250,000, he said. A successful opening will go a long way toward battling the preconceived and often negative perceptions people have of the city, Adams said.

"When they come here and see this is easy to get to, it is safe, you have a lit area, a great arena with everything you want to eat and drink, people are going to walk away saying, 'This is fantastic.'"

There are many issues that go into an artist's decision about where to perform. Springsteen, for example, has a history with the Meadowlands arena, which he opened in 1981 with six sold-out shows. That arena can pack in 20,000-plus fans for each concert, a few thousand more than Prudential, which translates into more ticket revenue. Itinerary is key, too. Adams said Springteen's tour is playing East Coast venues several weeks before Prudential opens.

The Garden's long history makes it the gold standard of this market, leaving Newark and the Meadowlands to duke it out for a potential second show on any given tour. Here, money is the critical factor.

"At the end of the day, it's going to come down to which venue offers promoters and artists the best deal for the show in terms of financials," said Live Nation's Steen, who would not confirm that Van Halen got a sweeter deal at the Meadowlands than what was offered in Newark. "Specifics about finances on particular shows are private between us and the artist."

George Zoffinger, chief executive of the agency that runs the Meadowlands arena, says his facility will remain attractive to both promoters and fans.

"We are the low-cost provider in this marketplace," he said. "The convenience of being able to park at the Meadowlands and walk into the building is going to give us an advantage."

The Meadowlands makes a significant profit from on-site parking, whereas New York and Newark don't. Zoffinger said a new partnership with Madison Square Garden -- including a joint marketing campaign -- will give his arena the edge in New Jersey.

John Scher, longtime New Jersey promoter and chief executive of Metropolitan Talent Presents, says it comes down to more than finances.

"The Meadowlands' financial terms have always been pretty fair," he said. "And when we toured Prudential, though we didn't have any final numbers, it sounds like they're going in the same direction. It will be about the same kind of financial deal you get at the Meadowlands."

Scher said Prudential's opening will expand the concert business in the area because it will add dates to an important market.

"There's no question in my mind that there are more than 365 concerts every year (that could play in this market) and New Jersey misses some," he said. "There's room for both."

Peggy McGlone may be reached at (973) 392-5982 or pmcglone@starledger.com.

66nexus
October 1st, 2007, 02:58 AM
Since the venue isn't even completed yet it is only natural for certain events to bypass the Rock. And I don't know how the Arena formerly known as the CAA has a convenient parking advantage. The parking may be better than Newark's, but it is by no means convenient. Xanadu construction and the New Meadowlands stadium are going to make sure parking is as 'wonderful' as can be.

Also that article is incorrect, not only is the UFC slated to go to the Pru Center on Nov. 17, but the MISL have a game scheduled on Dec. 1st. I'm not surprised though as I've noticed how many times the Star Ledger tries to make the worst of something when concerning the Brick City

JCexpert558
October 1st, 2007, 06:53 AM
If Gerhys plan does not happen in New York , it would be nice if it came to Newark:)

JCMAN320
October 1st, 2007, 09:01 AM
Businesses wait patiently for arena's hungry fans
Bar and restaurant owners gamble on big revival for quiet corner of downtown

Monday, October 01, 2007
BY KATIE WANG
Star-Ledger Staff

At the beginning of the year, when Murphy's Tavern, a dusky watering hole in downtown Newark went up for sale, Juan Martinez jumped at the opportunity.

Located on Edison Place, a tiny slip of a street off Broad Street, the bar faces the city's hottest new building: the Prudential Center arena.

Martinez, 42, bought the bar, gutted it and reopened it in March as Mesa Restaurante, an upscale saloon. So far, business has been slow, but in three weeks when the arena opens, Martinez hopes his costly investment will pay off.

"We expect a lot of people here," he said, sitting in his empty bar one afternoon around lunchtime.

Martinez is one of a handful of entrepreneurs who have opened shop near the arena and are counting on cashing in on The Rock. The relationship is a symbiotic one since Newark is banking on the arena to draw more business owners like Martinez downtown. So far, it's been a trickle, not a stampede.

"It's premature to see stores sprouting up in tremendous numbers, but once the arena arrives, we'll see additional openings occur," said Stefan Pryor, deputy mayor for economic development for Newark.

By 2009, he predicted the neighborhood would drastically change, including new residential buildings, a new hotel and possibly new offices.

Neil deMause, an expert on arenas and author of "Field of Schemes," said development around new arenas can either take off or remain stagnant, depending on the city.

"In city after city, it's been the case that only if the neighborhood was already on the upswing do you see much new development," he said.

San Francisco and Denver, he said, are examples of neighborhoods that flourished because of a new arena.

Just the opposite happened in Cleveland, the home of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex, where the Indians and Cavaliers play.

"Despite a new stadium and an arena, the area around the Gateway sports complex is still largely desolate," he said.

For now, the few businesses that have opened in Newark are restaurants and bars. The Arena Bar and Lounge, is located on Mulberry Street directly behind The Rock. Antonio Rodrigues, 35, of Newark took a risk and bought the Caverna Bar in March 2004 before the arena deal was even finalized.

"There was a lot of doubt as to whether the arena was coming," he said.

Rodrigues and his business partner, John Brito, renovated Caverna and reopened it as the Arena Bar on Dec. 8, 2004. They have held on even though construction of the Prudential Center has made it hard to get to the bar.

"We stuck through some of the hard times and dealing with the challenges of being in this location," Rodrigues said.

He said he is confident he will attract customers even though the bar is located behind the arena, which offers restaurants and bars inside.

"There's 20,000 people and we're going to try to grab some of those people when they're coming out for a concert," Rodrigues said.

A few doors down at the City Cafe and Restaurant, owners Acacio and Ana Carlos are rushing to make their business more appealing to sports fans. The New York couple was looking for space to open a restaurant when they selected Newark because of its large Portuguese community.

When they first saw the building more than a year ago, they did not even know about the arena, said Ana Carlos. But once they found out about it, they felt safe in paying $900,000 for the building.

Although the restaurant's menu specializes in Italian fare, the couple plans on changing the decor to look more like a sports bar. They are converting an old, unused ballroom above them into a bar and adding six flat-screen televisions.

Acacio Carlos, 50, said he hopes to attract customers walking to and from the parking lots on that street.

"I was thinking people will walk by and stop in before and after the games," he said.

Anthony Moraes hopes fans will go one step further and cross McCarter Highway by foot or car to get to his new Devil-themed restaurant and bar, Hell's Kitchen.

Moraes, a 40-year-old chef from Newark, bought a Spanish restaurant on Lafayette Street near the arena about a year ago for $325,000 with his wife, Kelly, who also has worked in the food industry for years. Today, the restaurant's interior is bathed in red to punctuate its Devils' theme. There are traces of New Jersey Devils' paraphernalia around the restaurant, and televisions perched above tables broadcast sports.

"We banked a lot on the idea," said Kelly Moraes, 30. "We want the sports arena people, but it's not going to be the bulk of the business."

Closer to the arena, Martinez is counting on the arena to keep Mesa Restaurante afloat. The restaurant is expanding its inventory and looking into buying a new tap system. His fortunes, he realizes, will rise or fall with the success of his neighbor.

"I think it's a good investment for the city of Newark," he said.


Katie Wang covers Newark. She may be reached at (973) 392-1504 or

66nexus
October 3rd, 2007, 11:15 AM
It's more than official now: UFC Sat, Nov. 17:D



http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/02003F41984A642D?artistid=806762&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=830

OmegaNYC
October 3rd, 2007, 06:10 PM
Ah, I just can't wait untill I step foot inside that new area. I really can't wait. I'm sure in time that place would be popular.

STT757
October 3rd, 2007, 09:41 PM
If the Nets do end up leaving New Jersey I think the right group could bring a third NBA franchise to the area (Prudential Center Arena), there are three NHL franchises in the market (Devils, Rangers and Islanders). The NBA is more popular than the NHL, and there are a few teams in the NBA that from a financial point of view and from the media exposure viewpoint would be better off being in a three team market as large as NY/NJ vs being the sole Professional Sports franchise in a small market.

JCMAN320
October 9th, 2007, 02:41 PM
New arena makes the Garden look square

Posted by Paul Mulshine October 09, 2007 10:04AM
Categories: Hot Topics, Policy Watch

I did not support the construction of the new arena in Newark. But I'm starting to see the advantages.

My objection to the arena stemmed from the fact that the city's share of its funding -- $210 million of the $365 million -- didn't really come from Newark residents, who pay a mere 5 percent of the cost of government there. The money came largely from us suburban taxpayers, who provide the lion's share of the city's funding due to political and legal decisions that I disagree with.

But the Prudential Center is there now. So the other day, I took the short, three-block walk from the Star-Ledger office to meet with Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek at the arena. The Devils put up $155 million for the arena.

Vanderbeek, a former investment banker who grew up in Somerville, met me on the sidewalk and handed me a hard hat. The arena's still under construction, but even through all the chaos, you can envi sion what it's going to look like when the Jersey Devils start playing there in a few weeks. And what it's going to look is a guy's paradise.

The typical old-fashioned arena like Madison Square Garden offers all the charms of an economy-class airplane flight, right down to the cramped seats and the difficulty in acquiring an adequate supply of food and beverages.

In this arena, you fly first class. Take the bar in the Ice Lounge, which overlooks center ice.

"The bar will be made of real ice," said Vanderbeek. "It will be refrigerated and you'll be able to put your drinks on it."

This is the sort of thing that has the typical guy slapping his forehead and exclaiming, "Why didn't I think of that?" I'm not a big hockey fan. I don't even know what "icing" the puck means. But I sure do know what icing a beer means.

And then there are those luxury boxes, one of which the city council tried to commandeer in that rather embarrassing episode two weeks ago. I could see why the Democrats got so demanding. Any Democrat who didn't make a pitch for a leather lounge chair backing up to a wet bar would probably be drummed out of the party in disgrace.

Vanderbeek then showed me a gourmet restaurant with an impressive wine rack. "People who come will get a sense that this is as good as Sparks or any other res taurant," he told me.

Not me. I don't know Sparks from White Castle. But it sure sounded impressive. For those of us with less expensive tastes, there is a restaurant with seats on a ledge overlooking the ice where even people from the cheap seats can dine. And then there were those tables for four with flat- screen TVs over looking the ice.

"You've got four barstools and your name is on the table so you know where you're going," said Vanderbeek, who played football in college before becoming a hockey fanatic. "You've got the TV. You've got 100 stations. We got two of our buddies here. The waitress comes up and says, 'Paul what would you like?'"

A big burger and a cold beer, that's what. As I noted, I'm not a big hockey fan, but I'm sure I'll be hitting some Devils games. Of course, that will be easy for those of us at Star-Ledger Plaza, which is closer to the Newark arena than Times Square is to Madison Square Garden.

Speaking of Madison Square Garden, one of its selling points is that you can get right off the train and walk upstairs to the game. An experiment was in order. First I would walk from the Prudential Center to Newark Penn Station. I'd take the train to New York Penn Station. And then I'd walk to the Garden.

I checked my watch and set out. A mere seven minutes later, I was in the train station. Once I got to New York, I checked my watch and headed to the Garden. The walk was shorter but uphill all the way. It also took seven minutes.

The main drawback of the Newark arena is not the length of the walk but the quality. At the moment, it involves crossing several busy streets. But by next year a walkway over busy McCarter Highway will be completed. You'll get off the train and then walk toward the arena along a soon-to-be-completed greenway called Triangle Park. The experience should be, on the whole, no worse than taking the train to the Garden. But once inside, the Prudential Center will be infinitely superior.

All in all, the arena offers a superb array of benefits for suburban sports fans, if not for the Newark political class. And that is as it should be. They didn't pay for it. We did.

JCMAN320
October 10th, 2007, 10:59 PM
Newark arena built too close to street

by Jeffery C. Mays and Jonathan Schuppe Wednesday October 10, 2007, 9:37 PM

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2007/10/large_09EXHOME11.JPG
William Perlman/The Star-Ledger
The exterior of Prudential Center at Edison Place today.

With two towering glass entranceways, a high-definition scoreboard and a massive video screen visible from Manhattan, the Prudential Center in downtown Newark boasts all the features of a state-of-the-art arena.

Except for one thing: it was built too close to the street. City officials said today the arena, due to open Oct. 25, isn't far enough from traffic to protect it from a potential terrorist attack.

To make up for the shortcoming, Newark will outfit surrounding streets with concrete barriers to keep cars and trucks from the entrance at the corner of Edison Place and Mulberry Street.

"You can't construct an arena and put it right against a street in a post 9/11 world," Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy said. "So we're playing catch-up and taking measure to make sure it's safe.

"It will be safe on opening day," he said.

McCarthy and Mayor Cory Booker, who took office last year, long after construction began, declined to comment on who was to blame for the apparent oversight.

The Prudential Center is the largest develelopment project in Newark history, costing $375 million - with most of the money coming from taxpayers. Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek said the building will be the "safest arena in the country."

Read the full story in Thursday's Star-Ledger.

66nexus
October 11th, 2007, 03:05 AM
Newark arena built too close to street

by Jeffery C. Mays and Jonathan Schuppe Wednesday October 10, 2007, 9:37 PM

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2007/10/large_09EXHOME11.JPG
William Perlman/The Star-Ledger
The exterior of Prudential Center at Edison Place today.

With two towering glass entranceways, a high-definition scoreboard and a massive video screen visible from Manhattan, the Prudential Center in downtown Newark boasts all the features of a state-of-the-art arena.

Except for one thing: it was built too close to the street. City officials said today the arena, due to open Oct. 25, isn't far enough from traffic to protect it from a potential terrorist attack.

To make up for the shortcoming, Newark will outfit surrounding streets with concrete barriers to keep cars and trucks from the entrance at the corner of Edison Place and Mulberry Street.

"You can't construct an arena and put it right against a street in a post 9/11 world," Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy said. "So we're playing catch-up and taking measure to make sure it's safe.

"It will be safe on opening day," he said.

McCarthy and Mayor Cory Booker, who took office last year, long after construction began, declined to comment on who was to blame for the apparent oversight.

The Prudential Center is the largest develelopment project in Newark history, costing $375 million - with most of the money coming from taxpayers. Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek said the building will be the "safest arena in the country."

Read the full story in Thursday's Star-Ledger.

Oh c'mon!! A terrorist attack? What would stop a terrorist from blowing up the Izod Center then (accessible via parking lot)? Or MSG (which would be much worse in terms of collateral damage i.e. train station). I would think that an out-of-control drunk driver ramming the glass would be of more concern (which can be minimized with higher curbing. Not as attractive but safer)

JCMAN320
October 11th, 2007, 03:19 PM
R. Kelly to perform at Prudential Center

by Jay Lustig Thursday October 11, 2007, 2:39 PM

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2007/10/large_kellyL.jpg
Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger
R & B artist R. Kelly performs at NJPAC at an April 2006 concert.

Newark's new arena, the Prudential Center, will open to the tune of rock music, in the form of 10 Bon Jovi concerts beginning Oct. 25. But R&B and rap will soon be heard there, too, as a tour headlined by R. Kelly - and also featuring Keyshia Cole, Ne-Yo and J. Holiday - has been booked for Nov. 22, Thanksgiving night.

Tickets, priced from $48 to $103, go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Call (201) 507-8900 or visit ticketmaster.com.

Kelly has been one of the most commercially successful recording artists of the last 15 years, with hits ranging from the inspirational "I Believe I Can Fly" to the bizarre R&B soap opera "Trapped In the Closet." He has also been involved in many scandals, and is currently facing child pornography charges in his hometown of Chicago.

He last appeared in Newark in April of 2006, performing at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The show started nearly two hours late, inspiring boos from the crowd before he sang a single note.

Eugenious
October 11th, 2007, 03:52 PM
Oh c'mon!! A terrorist attack? What would stop a terrorist from blowing up the Izod Center then (accessible via parking lot)? Or MSG (which would be much worse in terms of collateral damage i.e. train station). I would think that an out-of-control drunk driver ramming the glass would be of more concern (which can be minimized with higher curbing. Not as attractive but safer)

Saw this on the news yesterday, gave me a chuckle...

what a bunch of morons with nothing to do...

66nexus
October 13th, 2007, 01:21 PM
Saw this on the news yesterday, gave me a chuckle...

what a bunch of morons with nothing to do...

Did the article say they were going to completely block off Edison Pl? I'm hoping they mean they'll install concrete barriers on the curb they way they set up the ones in front of Gateway

66nexus
October 14th, 2007, 01:33 PM
http://www.nj.com/newarkguide/

66nexus
October 20th, 2007, 03:54 AM
Buzz about the Rock. One more week


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/20/sports/hockey/20sandomir.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

OmegaNYC
October 20th, 2007, 03:00 PM
The Pru ROCKS!!! I passed by there on Friday, and I can say, that arena is going to "rock"!

scrollhectic
October 20th, 2007, 07:48 PM
The Rock does look great. The lighting on Eleven 80 looks fantastic at night. Broad and Market's make-over look good as well. Hopefully the momentum will continue without any lulls.

JCMAN320
October 21st, 2007, 01:44 AM
Poll: Most Jerseyans will go to The Rock, but not for hockey

by Brad Parks Saturday October 20, 2007, 10:00 PM

While a majority of New Jersey residents say they plan to attend an event at the new Prudential Center at least once a year, a far smaller percentage say it will be to attend a hockey game, according to a poll.

"There would be much more buzz about the arena if it didn't involve a hockey team," said Mickey Blum of Blum & Weprin Research, which conducted the poll on behalf of The Star-Ledger. "It's clear an NBA team would be a much bigger draw. But the arena is still going to be bringing a lot of people into the city."

Of the poll respondents who live in New Jersey towns outside Newark, 57 percent said they would go to the Prudential Center for a game or concert within the next year, but only 31 percent said they would go see hockey.

Among Newark residents, the numbers jumped: Sixty-five percent said they'll go to the arena for some event, and 41 percent said they'll go to a hockey game.

Still, if there's one thing nearly everyone in the poll agreed on, it's that the Prudential Center -- which will be home to the Devils hockey team, Seton Hall basketball and a host of concerts and other attractions, starting Thursday -- will ultimately help the image of New Jersey's largest city as fans and concertgoers are lured in and given a glimpse of the city's revitalized areas.

Among state residents, 79 percent say the arena will help the city's image a lot or a little. Among Newark residents, 82 percent say it will help.

"The way most people see it, it can only be good for the city," said Blum, whose group called random samples of 500 Newark residents and 803 residents from elsewhere in New Jersey over the summer. The poll was conducted in June in conjunction with a poll on attitudes from the 1967 Newark riots.

The margin of error for the Newarkers' segment of the poll was 4.5 percentage points, with 3.5 percentage points for the statewide poll. ¶

"One of the problems with Newark that we saw in other parts of the poll is that it wasn't a destination," Blum said. "People who had reason to go there were mostly just passing through -- at the airport, at the train station. This will give them a reason to go there and stay for a while."

Read more in The Sunday Star-Ledger.

kevin
October 22nd, 2007, 12:33 PM
The Rock does look great. The lighting on Eleven 80 looks fantastic at night. Broad and Market's make-over look good as well. Hopefully the momentum will continue without any lulls.

They're not even done with the lighting - the building's supposed to be lit from the 6th floor up. They've been dragging their feet on installing the fixtures. One week it was pretty windy, which is understandable, but sheez, you'd figure they'd have this thing done in time by this week. The stupid scaffolding is supposed to come down very soon as well, which means the building is nearly done. The final touch? A flag on the pole.

21&Invincible
October 22nd, 2007, 12:42 PM
Ah you're so right about that flag thing Kevin. That's when we'll know it's done.

kevin
October 22nd, 2007, 12:42 PM
Poll: Most Jerseyans will go to The Rock, but not for hockey


While a majority of New Jersey residents say they plan to attend an event at the new Prudential Center at least once a year, a far smaller percentage say it will be to attend a hockey game, according to a poll.

"There would be much more buzz about the arena if it didn't involve a hockey team," said Mickey Blum of Blum & Weprin Research, which conducted the poll on behalf of The Star-Ledger. "It's clear an NBA team would be a much bigger draw. But the arena is still going to be bringing a lot of people into the city."

Of the poll respondents who live in New Jersey towns outside Newark, 57 percent said they would go to the Prudential Center for a game or concert within the next year, but only 31 percent said they would go see hockey.

Among Newark residents, the numbers jumped: Sixty-five percent said they'll go to the arena for some event, and 41 percent said they'll go to a hockey game.


My wife and I definitely plan to go to more than one hockey game. Tickets for the ultra nosebleeds are $10 a pop, and living 1.5 blocks away, we have no excuse not to.



Still, if there's one thing nearly everyone in the poll agreed on, it's that the Prudential Center -- which will be home to the Devils hockey team, Seton Hall basketball and a host of concerts and other attractions, starting Thursday -- will ultimately help the image of New Jersey's largest city as fans and concertgoers are lured in and given a glimpse of the city's revitalized areas.

Among state residents, 79 percent say the arena will help the city's image a lot or a little. Among Newark residents, 82 percent say it will help.

***

"One of the problems with Newark that we saw in other parts of the poll is that it wasn't a destination," Blum said. "People who had reason to go there were mostly just passing through -- at the airport, at the train station. This will give them a reason to go there and stay for a while."


One of the problems is that you kind of have to explore to find the reasons to stay. There are some great places right around the arena - there's the Arena bar and Hell's Kitchen Lounge (both of which I've never been to), Scully's Publick House, a fantastic Irish Pub which just opened up on Clinton Street, the Key club, 27 Mix, the Kilkenny Alehouse, and McGovern's Tavern, and that's not even mentioning the Ironbound. I think one of the best things the city could do is put together a pamphlet with all of these destinations (like a mall directory) and distribute them at the arena and train station.

JCMAN320
October 23rd, 2007, 10:37 PM
NEW JERSEY DEVILS MASCOT TOUTS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Visits Newark Penn Station to remind travelers to take transit to new Prudential Center

October 23, 2007
Contacts: Dan Stessel or Joe Dee
(973) 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — N.J. Devil, the mascot of the New Jersey Devils, will greet travelers in Newark Penn Station’s main concourse from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, October 24, 2007 to remind them that public transportation is the best way to get to the new Prudential Center.

Conveniently located two blocks from Newark Penn Station, the Prudential Center has its grand opening Thursday night with the first of ten Bon Jovi concerts. The arena is also home of the Devils, who play their first game in their new home Saturday night.

NJ TRANSIT representatives will accompany the mascot and answer any questions about traveling to the Prudential Center and walking from Newark Penn Station to the arena. New Jersey Devils staff will give away free Devils merchandise.

Newark Penn Station is served by NJ TRANSIT buses, trains and the Newark Light Rail system as well as PATH and Amtrak trains.

The arena will be a year-round destination, hosting concerts, family entertainments, sporting events and other attractions. It also is home of the Seton Hall University men’s basketball team and the New Jersey Ironmen Major Indoor Soccer League team.

WHO: New Jersey Devils team mascot and NJ TRANSIT representatives

WHAT: Meet and greet; public transportation travel tips

WHERE: Newark Penn Station

WHEN: Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 4-6 p.m.

JCMAN320
October 25th, 2007, 08:45 PM
Prudential Center ready to Rock

by Joe Ryan Thursday October 25, 2007, 6:18 PM

http://www.nj.com/hp/332/1025_pru.jpg

Dignitaries gathered beneath the soaring glass and brick of the Prudential Center in Newark today and cut a red-and-black ribbon, marking the opening of the $375 million arena they hope will help lift the city from decades of violence and poverty.

The 18,000-seat downtown facility opens to the public tonight with the first of 10 concerts by Bon Jovi. Built by the New Jersey Devils, the venue is the New York region's first professional sporting venue to open in 26 years.

"Indeed, this is a testament to hope," said Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who said the arena would help the city resume its role as a center for arts and commerce. "This building is also a manifestation of New Jersey coming together."

While the arena cost $375 million to build, the price tag for the entire project was $467 million, including repaving surrounding streets and infrastructure improvements. Prudential has agreed to pay about $105 million over 20 years for naming rights to the arena.

"This will be a great home for the people of New Jersey -- a hub where people will come to join together," said Gov. Jon Corzine.

Workers have for weeks toiled around the clock to prepare for today's opening. They continued hammering away at finishing touches, even as the officials gathered for today's ribbon cutting.

The arena's roots stretch back to 1997, when then-Newark Mayor Sharpe James tried unsuccessfully to convince the New Jersey Nets to move to Newark. The Devils agreed to build the facility in 2000.

"What a historic day it is," said Jeff Vanderbeek, owner of the New Jersey Devils hockey team, which will play the game at its new home on Saturday night.

Booker -- James' successor and bitter rival -- today extended thanks to James, who was among the dignitaries at the ceremony.

"If it were not for my predecessor ... Sharpe James, we would not be here today," Booker said.

Tonight's events begin at 5 o'clock, when the city rolls out a red carpet for celebrities and VIPs. They'll be strutting at the arena's Mulberry Street/Edison Place entrance.

Between 6 and 6:30 p.m., the arena will open its doors to the public.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., with a performance by My Chemical Romance. Bon Jovi probably will not take the stage until after nine to begin the first of the band's 10-show run.

JCMAN320
October 25th, 2007, 08:51 PM
First chords struck at Prudential Center

by Nawal Qarooni and Claire Heininger Thursday October 25, 2007, 8:15 PM

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2007/10/large_arrive.jpg
Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger
Fans enter the southeast entrance of the Prudential Center.

A buzzing crowd of thousands is inside the Prudential Center this evening, as opening band My Chemical Romance took the stage at 8:01 p.m. as the first act to perform at Newark's $375 million new arena.

"It's incredibly beautiful," said Sarah Pierce, 25, a Britain native and Bon Jovi fan who was inside the arena with her husband as the concert began. "It seems fine to us."

Bon Jovi is expected to go on at about 9 or 9:30 p.m., in a show that came with all the trappings of opening night, from a ribbon-cutting at noon to a red carpet at 5.

On the carpet, boldface names began to appear at about 6 p.m., with Newark Mayor Cory Booker and his date - Chanda Gibson, 33, of Jersey City - starting the procession.

"This is not the first time I've walked down the carpet, but it's certainly the best one I've walked," said Booker, adding he bought both his "custom-made" jacket and shoes in downtown Newark.

Booker and Gibson were followed by former New Jersey Devils Captain Scott Stevens, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame next week. "I look forward to the hockey here, and it's great to be here on opening night," Stevens said.

Also arriving to the concert in style were Milena Govich of "Law & Order," "Sopranos" stars Aida Turturro (Janice) and Sharon Angela (Rosalie Aprile), and a handful of local actresses and artists who contributed to the arena. At about 6:45 p.m., the crowd of about 3,000 onlookers began to dissolve into the Prudential Center. Designer Kenneth Cole pulled up just before 7, but almost as soon as he went inside, heads turned and carpet-watchers cried "fire" as a vehicle burst into flames in a nearby parking lot.

Before the celebrity parade, Jon Bon Jovi's younger brother, 33-year-old Matt Bongiovi, was walking the carpet and working the crowd with a cigarette dangling from his lips.

"Whenever you're part of the beginning of history or the end, you're truly part of the history of that building," said the younger Bongiovi, who, like his brother, is a Sayreville native. "You're not just filler. And in our backyard, that's pretty cool."

At 4:30, a modest crowd of about 200 to 300 people stood behind the rails separating the carpet from the street, near the arena's Mulberry Street/Edison Place entrance. But by 6:30, the number had swelled to more than 3,000 fans, flanked by bright lights and television camera crews.

Slidshow:
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2007/10/opening_night_at_the_prudentia.html

JCMAN320
October 25th, 2007, 10:03 PM
'Devil' Bon Jovi takes the stage at Prudential Center

by Nawal Qarooni and Claire Heininger Thursday October 25, 2007, 9:27 PM

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2007/10/large_aaajovi.jpg
William Perlman/The Star-Ledger
Jon Bon Jovi performs.

Thousands are inside the Prudential Center as Bon Jovi took the stage to screams of applause tonight in the first performance at Newark's $375 million new arena.

Band members started filing onto the stage around 8:54 p.m, to a set resembling the interior of a diner. At 9 p.m., with the stage dark, the crowd went wild when the only light shone on Jon Bon Jovi, silhouetting him in the doorway of the diner with his guitar. After he entered the "diner," as concertgoers snapped photographs, the band broke into its first song, "Lost Highway," the title song for its new album.

"I'm a New Jersey Devil and this is my new house," Bon Jovi told the cheering audience, before launching into the second song, "You Give Love a Bad Name."

JCMAN320
October 25th, 2007, 10:09 PM
Bar crowd soaks up arena excitement

by Nyier Abdou Thursday October 25, 2007, 8:59 PM

At MmmBello's Pub, just behind Penn Station on Market Street in the Ironbound, the mood was unusually boisterous and light-hearted for a Thursday night. Regular Brian McGovern, 33, was soaking it all in at the bar.

"I couldn't find a seat tonight," said McGovern, a former Newark resident who works at Prudential and now lives in Hillsborough. "It's totally different. There are new faces - it was like a college bar for a minute there."

McGovern was enthusiastic about the boost the center would give Newark. "It's totally awesome," he said. "I'm really thrilled that they actually went through with this. Newark needs this. New Jersey needs this. Personally, I'm tired of being the red-headed step-child of New York."

The music was loud and it was Bon Jovi, circa "Slippery When Wet."

"He's the man!" said Edgar Guzman, of Scotch Plains.

Patricia D'Antono of Lincoln Park, a self-proclaimed Jersey Girl - "hair and all" - said the new Prudential Center "is going to be tremendous for the area." And having Bon Jovi as the kick-off show, she said, was fitting.

"It's Jersey and it's Jon at his best," she said, pausing to belt out parts of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" with the rest of the bar. She and her friends drove in without problems around at 6 p.m. and weren't sweating the drive home, she said.

Manny Rebelo, of Warren, who opened MmmBello's Pub in 1993, said the unusually heavy crowds of non-regulars was a good sign the center would boost business.

"It's the only reason I stayed here for the last three years," Rebelo said, yelling over the Bon Jovi music. "I believe it's going to help everybody in this area. It could turn into another Hoboken."

JCMAN320
October 25th, 2007, 10:43 PM
A new day for Newark as $380 million arena opens

10/25/2007, 10:02 p.m. EDT
By JANET FRANKSTON LORIN
The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Singing the title song from their latest album, "Lost Highway," New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi christened a glistening $380 million arena, pegged as a hope to help revitalize the struggling city of Newark.

"I'm a Jersey Devil and this is my new house," said the band's frontman, Jon Bon Jovi. "It looks good with all you people in it. Welcome to `The Rock' here in Newark, New Jersey."

Just hours earlier, workers put the final touches on the new Prudential Center, as they dumped dirt into planters and vacuumed a red carpet. Police patrolled the streets nearby on horseback and on foot.

Some concertgoers arrived hours before Bon Jovi took the stage for the opening night performance, the first of 10 shows.

The event attracted many first-time visitors to Newark, including Michael and Mary Delia, who drove three hours from the North Fork of Long Island.

"We didn't know it would be in the middle of the city," said Mary Delia, 32, who delivers mail. They were impressed with their first look at the arena nicknamed "The Rock."

"It's beautiful," said Michael Delia, 32, a Verizon technician. "This particular area doesn't reflect the reputation that Newark has. It's very Manhattan-like."

The arena opened amid hopes that crowds attending concerts and sporting events would help revive a city whose image has been tarnished by violent crime, poverty and high unemployment.

"It's our first time in Newark," said Michelle Payne, 41, who drove nearly two hours from South Jersey with her 16-year-old daughter, Ashley. "So far so good."

As concert time neared, Mayor Cory A. Booker walked down a red carpet with Chanda Gibson, his date for the evening.

Several New Jersey celebrities soon followed: former New York Giant Tiki Barber and several stars of the former HBO series "The Sopranos," including Aida Turturro, who played Janice Soprano, and Robert Iler, who played Anthony Soprano Jr.

"I am a huge Jon Bon Jovi fan," Barber said. "He's a big Giants fan."

The downtown arena is the first professional sports venue to open in the New York region in 26 years. It will be the home of the New Jersey Devils hockey team.

"I have all the confidence in the world that when people come see this building, it's gonna sell itself," said Devils chairman and owner Jeff Vanderbeek. "The rest will follow."

After playing their first nine games on the road, the Devils will skate on their new home ice Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.

During a ribbon-cutting Thursday afternoon, Booker said the opening of the arena is "a testimony to hope."

He said visitors who worry about their safety coming to Newark will be surprised.

"People's perceptions of Newark are frozen in time," he said. "People are going to rediscover Newark."

Gov. Jon S. Corzine said that the city's renewal will be built by momentum and credibility.

"Not only will we get to hear Jon Bon Jovi tonight, which is always a thrill," he said, "but this is a milestone."

Other officials who supported the arena over the years also attended, including former Mayor Sharpe James, who has been indicted on federal corruption charges for allegedly using city credit cards for personal expenses.

"I'm excited to have been a part of where we are today," James said.

After a news conference, former political rivals James and Booker shook hands, joked and even embraced.

Thursday was the first of the city's traffic alert days, issued when events at the arena take place on weekdays. Commuters and concertgoers were encouraged to leave their cars at home and take the train.

But dire predictions of epic traffic jams failed to materialize as cars proceeded through the city's downtown area at a pace similar to a normal weekday rush hour. Just before 8 p.m., the state Department of Transportation reported no delays on area roads.

Bon Jovi fan Tina Wiecek said she drove into the city and parked near the arena.

"It was no problem," said Wiecek, 25, of Clifton.

Liz McClure, 40, also reported an easy trip by train from Point Pleasant, visiting Newark for the first time in 20 years.

"I was pleasantly surprised," she said. "The train was very easy. I would do it again."

The Devils, the Seton Hall men's basketball team and the New Jersey Ironmen indoor soccer team will call "The Rock" home. The men's and women's basketball teams from New Jersey Institute of Technology also will play several home games at the arena this season.

It will seat 17,615 people for hockey, 19,000 for concerts and 18,500 for basketball.

Vanderbeek said the arena's final cost won't be calculated until months after the opening, but he estimated it at between $377 million and $381 million.

The city is funding $210 million and the Devils are paying the rest.
__

Associated Press Writer David Porter in Newark contributed to this story.

___

On the Net:

http://prucenter.com

JCMAN320
October 25th, 2007, 11:04 PM
For some, arena's backside is front and center
Critics contend Prudential Center's main entrance is on the wrong street

by Katie Wang Wednesday October 24, 2007, 10:30 AM

http://blog.nj.com/newarkguide_impact/2007/10/large_broad.jpg
Noah Addis/The Star-Ledger
View of the Prudential Center arena, still under construction, as seen from Broad Street in Newark.

As far as Lisa Harris is concerned, Newark's new $375 million Prudential Center arena is backward.

The front of the arena, with its pair of glass atrium towers that sparkle like champagne flutes, is facing east -- away from downtown Newark. The back of the building, a red brick facade eclipsed by a hulking gray parking deck, is facing Broad Street.

"They're hiding it from us," said Harris, 39, a Newark resident who waited on Broad Street last week for a bus. "They should have it here on the front."

For Morris Adjmi, the Manhattan architect who designed the building, the orientation of the arena was simply a practical matter: Broad Street could not handle the crush of people who could be spilling out of the arena for concerts and games.

"It would almost be too overwhelming to have that massive amount of people concentrated on Broad Street," Adjmi said. "People aren't just coming in, one or two in a single file. You have thousands of people who are arriving. The idea is to have these entrances around the arena."

The orientation of the arena, which opens tomorrow, has mystified some Newarkers who view it as clear symbol of how the $375 million facility is not really meant for Newark residents. Critics cannot understand how the architects could turn the building's back to Broad and Market streets, one of the busiest and most celebrated intersections in the country.

"They turned their backside to Broad Street," said City Council President Mildred Crump, who has been critical of the Devils and the arena deal. The city has put up $220 million toward the construction of the building and has budgeted millions more for street improvements and parks around the building.

Doug Eldridge, executive director of the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, said he has heard a lot of complaints about the issue.

"What do we get? A blank wall? It adds to the longtime impression that downtown Newark is suitable only for parking," he said. "Some people feel this arena has turned its back on the inner city."

Adjmi said he never intended to shun the city. Adjmi and his team spent eight months drafting the design. This is the firm's first arena.

"We're very sensitive to context and relationships of historic buildings to the historic fabric of the city," said Adjmi, who started his career working with Italian architect Aldo Rossi. "I think what people are not realizing right now just by looking at the arena in its current state is that it's part of the larger master plan for the entire city.

"The arena, as far as we're concerned, has to relate to the city and work with the fabric of the city," he continued. "It also has to represent the forward thinking and future of Newark as well."

The two main gateways are on Mulberry Street at the intersections of Edison Place and Lafayette Street -- both of which face Newark Penn Station. Those entrances will include wide plazas that are supposed to absorb the crowds.

A third entrance, Adjmi said, will eventually be added on Broad Street, using the historic New Jersey Central Railroad building.

Adjmi said the plan is to convert that building into a museum for visitors to walk through, but no date has been set on when that will be completed. It will not be ready by the time the arena opens with the Bon Jovi concert tomorrow.

Adjmi said the large gray wall, which is part of a parking deck and overshadows the backside of the Prudential Center, will not be the permanent view from Broad Street. Eventually, he said, retail or office buildings will be constructed in front of the wall.

But Newark has a tortured history when it comes to promises about buildings. The incomplete Renaissance Mall, once touted as a savior for Newark, stood out like an open wound on Broad Street for years before it was knocked down for the arena.

Ingrid Reed, director of the New Jersey Project at Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics, said the absence of an entrance at Broad Street hurts the city because it could offset the economic revitalization of Newark.

"That was one of the justifications for the arena," Reed said. "What makes economic revitalization work is accessibility by people."

Reed said it is advantageous to have as many access routes as possible in order to rejuvenate an entire area.

"The whole trick about cities is to constantly have every street be interesting and so that you can get to main features in different ways," she said. "If you think of plazas in Europe -- you don't get to Notre Dame from only one vantage point. Every street that leads you to an important place is potential for activity at the ground level."

Aida Megala, the owner of Bill's Coffee Shop, a mainstay on Broad Street for 20 years, said she was disappointed that the arena is facing the other direction. Pedestrians walking down Broad Street have to crane their necks in order to get a glimpse of the Prudential Center sign that peeks above other buildings.

"How will they know businesses are on this side?" asked Megala, standing behind her lunch counter one afternoon.

Charles Carreras, a 38-year-old pizza maker from Newark, said it makes no sense to have the back of the building face Broad Street.

"It should face the city," Carreras said. "This area is busy. It's always busy. It's congested. You can show people what's going on in downtown Newark."

Sandra Hiett, 39, of Newark, said the arena is not for the residents in this city anyway. Hockey, she said, is not a sport that piques the interest of the city's predominantly black population.

Nor does Bon Jovi, who is scheduled to play 10 shows beginning tomorrow.

"I guess they don't want a lot of people in Newark to know about the arena," said Hiett.

Katie Wang covers Newark City Hall. She may be reached at kwang@starledger.com or (973) 392-1504.

Marv95
October 25th, 2007, 11:32 PM
Umm, they are not "shunning" the city. With Broad St the way it is and Penn Station being 2 blocks away, it makes sense to have the big screen and entrances on Mulberry. And as far as that wall, I was there tonight, and they added artwork on it.

JCMAN320
October 25th, 2007, 11:41 PM
That's great to hear Marv. I hope the Prudential Center combined with the NJPAC, Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, Newark Museum, Newark Sypmphony Hall, along with the renewed interest in Broad and Market as a regional retail corridor the way it use to be and a plce that give the city an identity can finally bring Newark afloat.

JCMAN320
October 26th, 2007, 12:40 AM
Newark's New Image

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2007/10/large_opening_large.jpg

If Newark's revitalization comes to fruitition, combined with Jersey City's turn around long under way, New York has some serious compeition to contend with!!!:)

21&Invincible
October 26th, 2007, 01:57 AM
That's a really beautiful picture.

kevin
October 26th, 2007, 03:24 AM
Umm, they are not "shunning" the city. With Broad St the way it is and Penn Station being 2 blocks away, it makes sense to have the big screen and entrances on Mulberry. And as far as that wall, I was there tonight, and they added artwork on it.

I was under the impression that there were going to be storefronts on Broad Street in front of the arena. They're preserving the old Central Jersey rail station, and since an arena is a known commodity, why not use the valuable real estate to improve business? If people are coming to Newark to see a show, they'll see these businesses while going to the arena. They put the milk in the back of the grocery store for a reason.

Also, it certainly was weird to see all these things open in Newark at 10pm.

21&Invincible
October 26th, 2007, 04:58 AM
Also, it certainly was weird to see all these things open in Newark at 10pm.

So true, this will certainly help Newark become more 24/7. I'm a student at Rutgers-Newark and it would be nice not to have to always go to the city for entertainment.

JCMAN320
October 26th, 2007, 08:30 AM
I just feel it this is going to make Newark work, by forcing it into the public minds and think that when they are going to show they are going to Newark; the way it use to be for entertainment in New Jersey, you wanted it you went to Newark. Go Brick City :)!!!

lofter1
October 26th, 2007, 09:06 AM
Anyone been to concerts here yet?

How are the acoustics? What's it like?

Reportage, please -- photos a big plus ;)

JCMAN320
October 26th, 2007, 09:52 AM
Lofter a bunch of people on NJ.com said that the acoustics were top notch and the best of any arena around. I took the public tour offered days earlier and trust me this place puts the Garden to shame.

Bon Jovi had the first concert there last night on it's official opening thats what all the buzz is about. From what I heard on the forums on NJ.com the acoustics were top notch and the place has a very intimate feel.

I'm goin there on December 7th to see the Devils play teh Washington Capitals. I look forward to it. It is already gettin the notarity of having the best ice in the NHL.

OmegaNYC
October 26th, 2007, 12:37 PM
I wish I could see Bon Jovi in concert at the Rock. I loved what he said when he opened his show last night: "I am the Jersey Devil, and this is my new house.". Hopefully, I can see the Devils play soon.

JCMAN320
October 26th, 2007, 04:37 PM
Arena opens and Newark glows

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2007/10/large_opening_large.jpg

Friday, October 26, 2007
BY KATIE WANG AND MARK MUELLER
Star-Ledger Staff

Calling it a historic day, Newark officials celebrated the opening yesterday of their long-sought arena, the $375 million Prudential Center, amid hopes that sporting events and concerts will bring crowds, cash and a touch of luster back to New Jersey's largest city.

Beaming politicians predicted an economic boom. Celebrities walked a red carpet into the soaring glass-and-brick building. Spotlights sliced through the night sky. And out-of-towners streamed in by the thousands for the first of 10 concerts by Bon Jovi.

For one night, at least, struggling Newark took on the feel of a debutante at the ball.

"Tonight Newark is a city of destiny," Mayor Cory Booker said in an arena VIP area, where he mingled with retired Giants running back Tiki Barber and actors from "The Sopranos" during the concert. "The energy from everyone I've come into contact with is amazing. It's wonderful to see everyone with such hope and optimism about our great city."

The downtown building, nicknamed The Rock, is the first professional sports arena to open in the New York metropolitan area in a quarter century. A decade in the making, it is home to the New Jersey Devils, the Seton Hall University basketball team and the Ironmen of the Major Indoor Soccer League. With concerts and family shows, it's expected to host about 200 events a year.

My Chemical Romance, like Bon Jovi a New Jersey-bred band, opened last night's show at 7:30 p.m. Bon Jovi took the stage at 8:59, with lead singer Jon Bon Jovi declaring nine minutes into the band's set, "I'm a New Jersey Devil, and this is my new house."

The crowd of more than 17,000 roared its approval.

In luxury suites that can run up to $285,000 and in sleek lounges and bars, men and women in business attire mingled with other visitors in jeans. Attendants in black Nehru-style jackets carried silver trays of oversize cookies. Top-shelf liquor flowed.

By 11:20 p.m., nearly four hours after it began, the high-stakes inaugural event was done. Fans called the show -- and perhaps more important for the city, their trip to Newark -- a success.

"It was an awesome show," said Vince Feminella, 55, of Hamilton Township. "I think it showed what Newark can do and what it can be. I'll definitely come back."

City officials said the opening marks the start of a new era.

Gathering with Gov. Jon Corzine, Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek and a host of dignitaries for a noontime ribbon-cutting ceremony, Booker predicted the building will lead people from outside Newark to "rediscover" the city.

"I know it will continue to fuel and energize the resurgence of Newark," Booker said. "Indeed, this is a testimony to hope."

Booker also paid tribute to his predecessor, Sharpe James, the arena's earliest and most ardent booster. Without the former mayor and current state senator, Booker said, "we would not be here today."

James, awaiting trial on corruption charges, attended the ribbon-cutting but was not invited to speak. In an interview, he said the arena would create new hope and opportunity in a city that has struggled for decades with poverty, high unemployment and violence.


FINISHING TOUCHES

A good first impression meant everything, and workers scrambled to complete the finishing touches on time, laying cobblestones on streets and filling large curbside planters in the afternoon.

Electronic signs along busy main boulevards blinked a greeting, "Welcome to Newark." Police officers on motorcycles, on horseback and on foot patrolled downtown streets, working to manage the flow of visitors and to reassure suburbanites leery of the city's reputation for crime.

Yellow-jacketed NJ Transit workers at Newark Penn Station directed commuters to the brightly lit arena a few blocks away.

Despite days of gridlock alerts in the city's congested downtown, traffic moved relatively smoothly throughout the evening. Many people appeared to have heeded appeals to use mass transit.

Police reported no problems, though some excitement came when a security van caught fire in a parking lot along Mulberry Street, within 500 feet of the building's red-carpet entrance. No one was injured, and firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze.

By nightfall, as people swarmed into the building, snapping pictures in the imposing glass atriums, a city worker with a broom walked the streets in search of litter. He didn't find a scrap.


FIRST-TIMER

Emily Critchett and her husband, Christopher, were among the first concertgoers to arrive, having taken the train from South Orange before 5 p.m. Critchett, a 31-year-old investment banker from Roseland, had never before set foot in Newark.

"Nothing ever brought me here until tonight," she said.

Surveying the buildings around her, she added, "It's not really that bad. It looks like Jersey City."

Michael Delia, a Bon Jovi fan who drove with his wife, Mary, from Long Island, was more impressed, both by the Prudential Center and its surroundings.

"It's beautiful," said Delia, 32. "This particular area doesn't reflect the reputation that Newark has. It's very Manhattan-like."

Newark officials are counting on that kind of reaction to justify their investment in the project.

The city put up $210 million for the building and tens of millions more for road improvements and other work around the site. Expectations of a return on that spending run high. City officials envision new hotels, restaurants and apartment towers downtown.

Newark resident Russ Lydon, 25, both a Bon Jovi and a Devils fan, has high hopes, too, saying as he headed to last night's show he believes the arena will "put Newark back on the map." Lydon said he plans to return tomorrow night for the Devils' home opener.

"It's going to change a lot of people's minds about Newark," he said.

Vanderbeek, the Devils owner, has expressed confidence the arena will succeed, saying the team's fans have longed for a venue to which they can take the train instead of their cars. That idea was borne out by brothers Jack and Chris Lehmann, who arrived by train from Bradley Beach, where both live.

"This is going to be phenomenal for Devils fans," said Chris Lehmann, 46. "You don't have to drive -- in New Jersey."


Staff writers Jeffery C. Mays, Brad Parks, Maura McDermott, Leslie Kwoh, Nawal Qarooni, Joe Ryan, Claire Heininger, Nyier Abdou, Ted Sherman, Alexi Friedman and Steve Politi contributed to this report. Material from the Associated Press also was used.

66nexus
October 26th, 2007, 08:22 PM
'It's not that bad-it looks like Jersey City.' lol c'mon JCMan, there's no way you didn't get a rise out of that one:D. I guess JC's leadin' the way...now if only we could get the two to merge-
I know-everybody-I know, county lines redrawn and yadayada. But a man can still dream...a man can still dream

danny007
October 26th, 2007, 09:34 PM
I was looking at the arena last night from Penn Station coming back from the City, and I was thinking, the one tenant that should be in that building, but isn't is the Nets. Them going to Brooklyn isn't a done deal yet and a big reason for that is the Eminent Domain appeal going on in Federal Court. That is the heart of the AY project and if the plantiffs are successful in that appeal, for all intents and purposes, the AY project is dead and from what I've read, that case the plaintiffs have is very strong. Check out what Norman Oder writes about the AY project and the ED lawsuit at http://www.atlanticyardsreport.com and also the Brooklyn Paper website at http://www.brooklynpaper.com/

When you click on the link, go to the archives and click on October 2007 and scroll down to the October 13th post, it talks about the Nets maybe playing at the Rock sooner rather than later. When you click on the Brooklyn Paper site, scroll down to see the Atlantic Yards coverage section and you'll find very interesting reads about the project.

Don't think Jeff Vanderbeek, Gov. Jon Corzine, and NBA commissioner David Stern aren't watching the developments in the Brooklyn situation, because they're waiting to see how that ED appeal plays out. This is going to be one to really watch and if AY goes down for the count, Vanderbeek will go full bore to get the Nets and as for that penalty if the Nets leave the Meadowlands for Newark, I think after the success of the Rock last night and its proximity to Penn Station, its a $13 million penalty well worth paying. The Nets, I have a feeling will be at the Rock playing basketball sooner rather than later.

66nexus
October 26th, 2007, 10:30 PM
^Good reads.

Honestly, if the NJ/NYC metro area wouldn't mind, I wouldn't mind if the NBA had a triple-threat rivalry much the way the NHL has the Rangers/Devils/Islanders. That rivalry keeps the metro area hockey alive during local games. I couldn't imagine not having the Rags as rivals.

I wish the Nets would either leave or go to Newark already. The Meadowlands is about to get Xanadu AND the New Meadowlands Stadium (Jets/Giants)...they in NO way need the Izod Center.

JCMAN320
October 26th, 2007, 11:13 PM
Lol 66nexus yea it got me excited about JC leadin the way, but last night was about Newark, Jersey City gets enough publicity, last night was Newark's night to enjoy.

I really hope the Nets go there, me being a die hard Nets fan, the Rock puts the IZOD Center to shame. This place is too good to pass up. If AY keeps dragging out as it will into 2008, I hope Ratner put the Nets up for sell and Vanderbeek buys them and moves them to Newark. They belong there. The Nets were suppose to go there before Ratner bought the team.

Think about it the Nets-Devils in The Rock at Newark Penn Station, and Knicks-Rangers at in The Garden New York Penn Station. A PATH subway series!!! It makes all the sense in the world!!!!!!!!!!!

Newark is quickly going to back to it's role as the cultural and enterainment center of New Jersey with the Prudential Center, NJPAC, Newark Museum, Newark Symphony Hall, Riverfront Stadium, Red Bull Park near by in Harrison, etc...

Here is a 3d view and guide with all Newark has to offer. Get ready to rediscover Newark people.

http://www.nj.com/newarkguide/map/downtown/

JCMAN320
October 26th, 2007, 11:30 PM
NJ Transit, PATH say more people took trains to arena

by Joe Malinconico Friday October 26, 2007, 7:50 PM

Newark's traffic strategy for the Prudential Center seems to have worked - at least on opening night.

NJ Transit said today that an extra 4,500 people took trains into Newark on Thursday evening - about 4,000 to Penn Station, which is a few blocks from the arena, and 500 to Broad Street station, where shuttle buses took concertgoers to and from The Rock.

NJ Transit spokeswoman Penny Bassett Hackett said the railroad had been expecting between 20 and 25 percent of arena patrons to use its trains. And they were right on target, with opening night crowd eclipsing 17,000.

In addition, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey registered a surge on its PATH trains from Penn Station after the concert. About 2,000 more riders than on a normal night rode the PATH to Hudson County and Manhattan.

Stefan Pryor, Newark's deputy mayor for economic development, said city officials found some parts of their transportation system that they want to improve.

For example, despite warning motorists to avoid Route 21, the northbound lanes of the highway became clogged with traffic before Thursday's show. So the city will increase the number of variable message signs directing drivers to use other routes, including Broad Street, said Jack Nata, a senior analysts for the city.

Read the full story in Saturday's Star-Ledger.

danny007
October 27th, 2007, 10:09 AM
JC, you did mention that AY would likely drag into 2008 and beyond, but I do have a clarfication to make. I did speak with Norm Oder from Atlantic Yards Report this morning on the ED situation this morning and this is what he told me verbatim when I talked about the consequences of Ratner losing that appeal:



Not at all. The answer is that if FCR loses the appeal, then the case goes back to the trial court judge and proceeds toward trial--so there would be a lot more process before any verdict in favor or against ED, and almost certainly the loser would appeal. FCR is not doing as much as perhaps it might be doing, but a considerable amount of prep work is going on.



As I said the other night, stay tuned.

STT757
October 27th, 2007, 12:18 PM
After visiting my Wife's Grandmother in a rehabilitation/Assisted Living center in Jersey City (Monmouth street) we decided to go to Newark's Iron Bound for dinner, the drive up Mcarter Highway was way busier than usual. We actually hit some traffic (a good sign to me that people are coming to the City), they had lots of electronic signs mounted at traffic lights welcoming them to the area and directing them to the Prudential Center and what parking lots had space available. The Sky was all lite up from the Arena, many of the restaraunts in the Iron Bound had signs welcoming Arena visitors, this is all great to see!

Now they need to get to work on bringing the Nets or as mentioned another NBA franchise to Newark, and get Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen to play the Rock.

JCexpert558
October 27th, 2007, 03:34 PM
Isnt there supposed to be a Some surrounding buildings near the stadium, or is it already being built now:confused:

JCMAN320
October 27th, 2007, 08:27 PM
As I watch the New Jersey Devils play tonight and see how great the Rock looks good, this is something great for New Jersey. This is New Jersey's team and New Jersey's new arena for sports and enteratinment. Not New York's, this is a night just for New Jersey which feels great!!!

Newark being the third oldest city in the US only after NY and Boston. Newark has been a very important city in this country's history in terms of industry and inovation. Also Newark use to rival NY on terms of arts and entertainment. So many big name performers called Newark home back in the day. It was New Jersey's Manhattan in terms of being the center for New Jersey for arts, entertainment, and culture. Newark was the place to be seen. Newark's Broad and Market at one time was the busiest intersection in the world exceding Time Square.

This is a great and historic time for Newark and New Jersey. Every New Jerseyan should be proud and pounding there chests because we have a arena that is the envy of the country. This is great.

66nexus
October 28th, 2007, 12:00 AM
As I watch the New Jersey Devils play tonight and see how great the Rock looks good, this is something great for New Jersey. This is New Jersey's team and New Jersey's new arena for sports and enteratinment. Not New York's, this is a night just for New Jersey which feels great!!!

Newark being the third oldest city in the US only after NY and Boston. Newark has been a very important city in this country's history in terms of industry and inovation. Also Newark use to rival NY on terms of arts and entertainment. So many big name performers called Newark home back in the day. It was New Jersey's Manhattan in terms of being the center for New Jersey for arts, entertainment, and culture. Newark was the place to be seen. Newark's Broad and Market at one time was the busiest intersection in the world exceding Time Square.

This is a great and historic time for Newark and New Jersey. Every New Jerseyan should be proud and pounding there chests because we have a arena that is the envy of the country. This is great.

True enough lol. Just got back from the game (place was packed) but man the Sens KILLED us. Somebody has to beat this team!

Wanted to get some fan merchandise but too many people, maybe next time. All in all, great experience.

JCMAN320
October 28th, 2007, 03:27 AM
The puck hits the ice at Newark's Prudential Center

by Jeffrey C. Mays and Joe Ryan Saturday October 27, 2007, 6:50 PM

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2007/10/large_devsanthem.JPG
TONY KURDZUK/THE STAR-LEDGER
The New Jersey Devils during the national anthem before their inaugural game tonight at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Rock and roll gave way to sticks and skates tonight at Newark's Prudential Center where a sold-out crowd dotted with red-and-black jerseys watched the New Jersey Devils take the ice against the Ottawa Senators in the inaugural game at their new home.

Although the visitors won 4-1, fans said they enjoyed the game -- and especially the Devils' new home.

"I was hoping they would win but the bigger picture is that all these people came to Newark to watch hockey," said William Miles, a born-and-raised city resident. "It's a beautiful building."

Newark Mayor Cory Booker joined the teams' principal owners, Jeff Vanderbeek and Michael Gilfillan, National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman, former Devils players Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko and Prudential chief executive Art Ryan for the first drop of the puck at 7:15 p.m.

The man most responsible for the arena getting built, former Newark Mayor Sharpe James, sat quietly in his seat as fans crowded around him to shake his hand and thank him.

"It's exciting," he said. "Unfortunately the excitement didn't help us win but this is a tremendously successful beginning."

Fans heaped praise on the facility, with its wide concourses, luxury suites and sleek bars and restaurants overlooking the ice.

"The building is amazing," said Andy Scerbak, a 50-year-old Devils season ticket holder from Clifton.

Bon Jovi opened the venue on Thursday to a cheering crowd of more than 16,000. Workers have been laboring feverishly to transform the arena from a rock concert venue to an ice hockey palace, removing the floor laid on top of the ice and lowering an eight-sided, 65,000-pound scoreboard from the ceiling.

The Devils have played at the Meadowlands Continental Airlines Arena since moving to New Jersey in 1982. The Meadowlands is miles from the nearest restaurant, and the move to Newark opens a city's worth of options to fans.

Pre-game crowds spilled in and out of bars and cafes near the arena. David Kornreich, 35, has been attending Devils games since 1982 and was thrilled to have eaten dinner within walking distance of the ice.

"That's something your couldn't do in the Meadowlands," Kornreich said.

The venue's down-to-the-wire construction schedule has kept the team away from its new home for the last three weeks.

They toured the building on Sunday along with season ticketholders, but only "walked on cardboard," goalkeeper Martin Brodeur told the Associated Press.

JCMAN320
October 28th, 2007, 03:35 AM
A sporting triumph for three Jersey guys

Posted by Mark DiIonno October 27, 2007 5:25AM
Categories: Hot Topics

Newark's new Prudential Center is a sports venue glamour shot; high-definition, high-tech, an oval of sophisticated clubs and trend-atmosphere restaurants. The opening act was Jersey Shore boy Jon Bon Jovi, pal and model for the late Gianni Versace and current fragrance partner of Kenneth Cole. He's come a long way from hometown Sayreville, yes, but is as Jersey as Springsteen.

Monmouth Park is a historic classic with a new sheen, a post-World War II beauty that has kept pace with America's growing sports and entertainment complex. Not unlike Frankie Vallie, the Newark Jersey Boy who found his roots in street corner acapella and married it to his unique falsetto and who was entertaining the international set at Monmouth College last night.

Yes, they could have gone to New York to see "Jersey Boys" on Broadway, but why do that when the original was in town? Like the famed track, Vallie is an enduring piece of the history of his business, still doing what he's done for almost 50 years. Singing like nobody else.

So here we are, in a sports weekend with a story worthy of its own "Jersey Boys" production. The triumverate of Robert Mulcahy, George Zoffinger and Jeff Vanderbeek -- while not always exactly on the same page -- have written an unprecedented chapter in New Jersey sports and entertainment history.

Today, we will see an international horse racing event many said would never come to New Jersey, the Devils play their home opener in an arena many said would never be built, and Rutgers hosts West Virginia in a nationally-televised game that could keep alive the Scarlet Knights' hopes for a major bowl game, a status many said they could never reach.

'We are all very competitive," said Zoffinger, the current head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. "That's for sure."

The motto for all three, as Vanderbeek said earlier this week, "If you're not going to go first class, don't bother."

Or as Mulcahy said yesterday at the Breeders' Cup, "If you're going to play at this arena, at this level, you have to go all the way."

The state did just that for the Breeders' Cup with a $30 million dollar facelift of Monmouth Park, $25,000 of which were spent on the yellow-and-purple Jersey mums that brightened the rainy day at the track.

"Welcome to New Jersey" is how Liz Glosser greeted patrons to one of the sponsor tents outside the paddock area. Glosser was one of the hundreds of volunteers serving as guides for the big days of racing, and was not shy about showing off her state. "People are telling me how beautiful (the park) is, and the area in general. I tell them there's a lot more to see."

Last night, the gala was hosted in the Wilson Hall, the neoclassical French mansion of Woolworth President Hubert Parson, now the administration of Monmouth University. Mansion is too small a word.

It is a palace, one of 20 great American palaces built by people like the Vanderbilts and Hearsts during the era.

The Breeders' Cup is an event akin to soccer's World Cup. Mulcahy began courting Breeders' Cup people 20 years ago as head of the NJSEA. Zoffinger and his people closed the deal and are running the show. It's a little role reversal from when the World Cup soccer tournament came in 1994. Then it was Zoffinger who got it started and Mulcahy who ran the show.

Under Mulcahy's 19-year tenure at NJSEA, the state became a major player in national and international sports promotion. A former mayor of Mendham and Gov. Brendan Byrne's chief of staff who was once in charge of the state's prisons, Mulcahy had a vision to make New Jersey bigger than just the Giants, Jets, Devils and Nets. Under Mulcahy's watch, New Jersey got the Kick-Off Classic (which usually featured two of college football's best teams), the NCAA Final Four, the World Cup, the Hambletonian, even Pope John Paul's Mass at the Meadowlands. "Bob did that; he elevated the state's status," Zoffinger said.

He did the same thing at Rutgers, maneuvering budgets and coaching staffs and commitments from administration and alumni until he created an environment, not just an illusion, of big-time football.

Michael Chavies, a former Rutgers player and Rutgers Law graduate, is now on the Orange Bowl selection committee. He was a guest of Mulcahy's yesterday at Monmouth, along with selection members from the other bowls.

"I never thought Rutgers would be in the running for such things," said Chavies. "What has happened here is remarkable. It's great for the state, for pride in the state."

"This weekend reminds me of when we hosted the Super Bowl and Phoenix Open in the same week," said Scott Asher, a representative of the Fiesta and Insight Bowls. "It just has that big-event feel."

That big-time feel spread from Oceanport to New Brunswick to Newark, new home of the Devils.

While the state is just getting used to Rutgers being great, the Devils are a team with three Stanley Cup champions and multiple conference title banners hanging from their rafters. Vanderbeek, the son of a Somerville dry cleaner and a Bloomfield Collge graduate, and a vision of building an arena that is quickly gaining a reputation as being the most beautiful new sports arena in the world.

So without question, this is the greatest weekend in New Jersey -- Jersey -- sports history. It has nothing to do with the Yankees, or the Giants or Jets, or other teams with New York or Philadelphia logos Jerseyans root for.

Too bad Frank isn't around to see it.

66nexus
October 29th, 2007, 10:46 PM
Not mentioned in the article though is that both JC and Newark have grown since 2005:



http://www.nj.com/jjournal/stories/index.ssf?/base/editorials-0/119363755157530.xml&coll=3

Monday, October 29, 2007

B y the U.S. Census in 2010, Jersey City may be the largest city in the state, finally overtaking Newark for the distinction. Newark is at 273,546 residents and Jersey City has 240,055, according to the last count.
Unfortunately, after the next census, many people will still see the Hudson County seat as the second city because it is still not a destination and lacks meaningful cultural institutions.
http://ads.advance.net/RealMedia/ads/Creatives/ADVANCE/CONTENT_WELL_ARROW/downarrow.gif (http://ads.advance.net/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/www.nj.com/xml/story/jersey_journal/ed/edop/1881924821/StoryAd/NJONLINE/TACODA_REMNANT_NJ01/tacoda_300X250_nj_dlvy.html/34383561393931633437323661626430?1881924821) Advertisement (http://ads.advance.net/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/www.nj.com/xml/story/jersey_journal/ed/edop/1881924821/StoryAd/NJONLINE/TACODA_REMNANT_NJ01/tacoda_300X250_nj_dlvy.html/34383561393931633437323661626430?1881924821)
http://www.nj.com/images/spacer.gif http://ads.advance.net/RealMedia/ads/Creatives/ADVANCE/CONTENT_WELL_ARROW/continuestory.gif (http://www.nj.com/jjournal/stories/index.ssf?/base/editorials-0/119363755157530.xml&coll=3#continue) http://www.nj.com/images/spacer.gif

http://www.nj.com/images/spacer.gif http://www.nj.com/images/spacer.gif Thursday evening's opening of the Prudential Center in Newark, with a Bon Jovi concert, drove that point home. Newark's $375 million arena, dubbed "The Rock," is the home of the National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils, who played their first game on their ice Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.
Newark's New Jersey Performing Arts Center is world class, and the restored Symphony Hall is that city's pride. The Newark Museum, with its interesting art and ethnographic exhibitions, is a major arts institution.
Ironically, these Newark sites will be bolstered by the close proximity of the professional soccer stadium, under construction across the Passaic River in Harrison, where the Red Bulls will score their goals.
An indoor arena home for the Devils and New Jersey Nets basketball team was first offered in 1999 to Hudson County, on or adjacent to the Hoboken Terminal on the Jersey City border. Local activists attacked the plan, claiming it would bring unacceptable density and traffic. Today, the arena is in Newark and new housing and office development is planned for the area around the Hoboken Terminal.
Jersey City's cultural centers - the Jersey City Museum and the Loew's Jersey Theatre - are works in progress, with small or no budgets. The Liberty Science Center is unique in the city because it is in an isolated location - Liberty State Park - and for awhile never advertised what city it calls home.
Entrepreneurs are not encouraged to build theaters or sports arenas. It is hard to believe that with all the development and planning over the past two decades, little thought has been given to cultural and recreational institutions.
Jersey City officials had better remember that the largest city is not just measured by numbers.

JCMAN320
October 30th, 2007, 12:59 AM
Jersey City Museum is actually a really nice museum, it just moved into it's own buildings right around 2000 after being in the JC Lirbary Branch for a almost a century. Give it time, but it really is a nice museum in a beautiful building and hope to expand when it gets more artifcats.

Jersey City Museum Main Branch is gorgeous and has so much information and has the New Jersey Room which features a plethora of history about JC, Hudson County, and the area in general.

The Liberty Science Center will become more intertwined with the city once the Jersey Ave extension is built and the Hotel and convention center next to it is buillt.

The Loew's Jersey Theater will be JCPAC (evenutally), once it gets someone professional to take it over. Right now it's run by volunteers and they do great work in restoring it and putting on performances and playing old movies during the weekened and getting big acts to perform there, but it should be run by a theatre company. It is a beautiful theater and has been restored lovingly but needs to be run professionally. Also the Loew's Jersey has just about the exact same amount of all the seats in the NJPAC in all its halls.

Liberty State Park is a cultural insitiution within itself with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Jersey Central Railroad Terminal.

All those new developments like the NJPAC and the Prudential Center were going to go Newark anyway because it is the state's largest city and needed the biggest boost and is closer to more mass transit options with Newark Liberty, Newark Penn - Amtrack, PATH, Newark Subway, the largest port on the East Coast ( i know not mass transit but again still big factor), all the highways etc....

investordude
October 30th, 2007, 01:06 AM
Unless the Supreme Court intervenes I don't think the eminent domain lawsuit is likely to succeed. The second district court hasn't changed that much - you'd need ideologically conservative justices intent on overturning Kelo relatively quickly after it was ruled on.

But FWIW, I think it would be better if the Nets stayed in Newark so at least the stadium was utilized, and FCR just build the condos in Brooklyn. Brooklyn land values are higher than Newark's, so a stadium is wasteful. But the condos are needed and would help the city.

Either way, hopefully there will one day be demand to build major urban staff around the new stadium and finally get some private sector major new building in Newark.

JCexpert558
October 30th, 2007, 07:07 AM
It may be possible for Jersey city to surpass Newark, but it will probably take a long!!!!!!!!!! Time. Why because Newark has been the biggest city in Jersey for a long time, and newark has lots of nice amentities. For instance it has a arena, the NJPAC, and Newark musuem. To be honest I think that the city may be in the 300,000s by now. By the Census bureau, it may reach the population of 600,000. Newark also has alot more business than JC, and Newark holds one of the biggest Insurance copanies in the world. Even though JC has more developmernt going on than Newark, it will still have it's title of the biggest city for a long time.:D

66nexus
October 30th, 2007, 11:40 AM
It may be possible for Jersey city to surpass Newark, but it will probably take a long!!!!!!!!!! Time. Why because Newark has been the biggest city in Jersey for a long time, and newark has lots of nice amentities. For instance it has a arena, the NJPAC, and Newark musuem. To be honest I think that the city may be in the 300,000s by now. By the Census bureau, it may reach the population of 600,000. Newark also has alot more business than JC, and Newark holds one of the biggest Insurance copanies in the world. Even though JC has more developmernt going on than Newark, it will still have it's title of the biggest city for a long time.:D

lol I'm not too sure about that, we'll have to see in the long run;)

66nexus
October 30th, 2007, 11:45 AM
Unless the Supreme Court intervenes I don't think the eminent domain lawsuit is likely to succeed. The second district court hasn't changed that much - you'd need ideologically conservative justices intent on overturning Kelo relatively quickly after it was ruled on.

But FWIW, I think it would be better if the Nets stayed in Newark so at least the stadium was utilized, and FCR just build the condos in Brooklyn. Brooklyn land values are higher than Newark's, so a stadium is wasteful. But the condos are needed and would help the city.



I've said this before, but honestly, I wish the Nets would either go to Brooklyn NOW or move to Newark already. I think the Izod Center is the worst out of the 3 picks. The NYC/NJ metro area NHL rivalry (Devils, Rangers, Islanders) is one of the most competitive in the league. I truly think that strategy would work with the NBA.
However, as long as the Nets are here, NJ can't even start looking for another team so either move them already or plop them in Newark.

Of all places I don't know why FCR wants to build Manhattan right on top of Brooklyn

JCMAN320
November 5th, 2007, 11:04 AM
Workers continue sculpting the Rock
Opening night didn't end polishing at Pru Center

Monday, November 05, 2007
BY MAURA McDERMOTT
Star-Ledger Staff

Dale Adams was on dust patrol at the new Prudential Center in Newark, wielding a crumpled blue rag as he strode through the facility.

The arena's general manager swiped construction dust from metal elevator doors and behind a row of seats. He sighed when he spotted bootprints on the otherwise spotless floor of the upper concourse.

"They just cleaned this floor last night," Adams said last week, laughing and shaking his head. "We'll clean it again."

The $375 million venue debuted just over a week ago, when Jon Bon Jovi welcomed some 17,000 screaming fans to the structure he called "my new house."

Adams, who has helped supervise eight arena openings in his career, said the Prudential Center's was the smoothest he has seen.

But -- no surprise to those who have endured even a minor home renovation -- that doesn't mean the construction work is done.

Tucked into the spaces most patrons never see, 50 or so laborers are hard at work. It will take another six months or so to complete the finishing touches, Adams said.

So for now, the arena's "fire watch" workers stand guard until the city grants a final certificate of occupancy. The Devils expect to get the certificate within 45 days, said Jim Cima, a senior vice president with Devils Renaissance Development. The team's practice ice rink still awaits its scoreboard and restrooms. A corner office whose wide panel of glass overlooks the practice ice is being completed for team general manager Lou Lamoriello.

The arena workers are touching up paint. Checking carpets for signs of wear. Making sure escalators run right. Moving high-definition screens lower. Adding more trash cans.

Not to mention installing a doorknob at the "bunker" bar in the depths of the building, where as many as 100 Platinum Club members hang out at red banquet seats and a granite bar.

"We'll be growing into the rest of the little spaces as the city will grow into all the little restaurants and bars around here," Adams said.

A week after opening night, arena managers meet daily to keep tabs on the ongoing work.

The floors are in constant need of cleaning.

The construction dust "just catches everything and it doesn't let go," Adams said as he touched his index finger to a fine layer of it behind a row of seats. "Probably no one's going to see it, but we're going to clean it."

They also discuss feedback from patrons.

The arena has earned mostly rave reviews, with patrons praising its wide concourses, five-story-tall glass windows and sleek bars overlooking the action, as well as its downtown location near trains and highways.

But the first few nights, some event-goers said they had trouble finding their seats.

So Adams said the arena is posting more signs and making sure employees point people in the right direction.

Many patrons said the arena has better sound than other venues its size. But in the highest seats on opening night, some strained to figure out what Jon Bon Jovi was saying when he spoke between songs.

"Anytime anybody talked it was muffled," said Barbara Suberati, a Pompton Lakes woman who bought tickets for the upper deck seats with nearly a dozen friends. "I would come back again, I just wouldn't get the same seats. I would get lower seats."

Adams said he passed comments like those along to the band, whose sound engineers can tinker with the system.

The arena boasts plenty of sound-absorbing tiles and curtains, he said.

But, he added, "You still have a lot of concrete in here and the ability for sound to bounce around."

Also, some patrons in the top, 200-level sections called the seats too small.

The cushions are about 16 1/2 inches wide, according to a quick ruler measurement. That's about an inch narrower than the 100-level seats below and 2 1/2 inches narrower than the plush club seats closest to the center ice.

Even Suberati, who is 5-foot-2, said she barely had enough legroom.

Greg Lord, who stands 6 feet tall, said he had it worse.

A Devils season ticket holder since 1993, Lord said he canceled his $1,250 season tickets after the Devils' home opener against the Ottawa Senators because it was "painful" to sit in the top-level seats with his knees pressed against a glass wall.

"It's a real shame," said Lord, adding he had been happy with his top-level seats at the Devils former home at the Meadowlands. "I'll never go to a Devils game there again."

Adams said the seats are stacked at a steep angle to give better views of the action on the stage or hockey rink below. The front row of the top-level seats nearest the "Taste of Newark" food stands on the upper concourse have plenty of legroom, he pointed out.

"You're more on top of the crowd, you're more on top of the event" because of the steeper angle, he said. "That's really what everyone wants."


Maura McDermott may be reached at mmcdermott@starledger.com.

Radiohead
November 6th, 2007, 01:15 AM
Devils opening night 10/27/07
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2111/1790099091_a7d42d4a00_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2136/1790936120_55e02dfbcc_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2138/1790092859_d336b2df59_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2142/1790954400_271b79c507_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2094/1779566063_86fe786ce4.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2122/1790933014_4610e72482_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2405/1784239409_42fe1731c9_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2405/1784239409_42fe1731c9.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2118/1784227483_b008ac3413_b.jpg

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1039/1409743199_53c45cb933.jpg

Setting up for Bon Jovi
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2214/1677940636_8b09650f4b_o.jpg

Radiohead
November 6th, 2007, 02:06 AM
A few full screen pics

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2188/1883664517_c515f22bd8_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2188/1883664517_830b877233_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2117/1883665949_c3a8ca91fd_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2117/1883665949_d87db49a04_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2210/1883662021_cf85faee2e_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2210/1883662021_1941b81427_b.jpg


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2303/1883668329_68ff218d8d_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2303/1883668329_68ff218d8d.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2254/1738735108_a16e69697e_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2254/1738735108_a16e69697e.jpg


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2309/1785838397_e98da3152f_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2309/1785838397_e98da3152f.jpg




http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1073/1121408048_0e03c466f1_o.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1073/1121408048_8ad51f1526_b.jpg

JCMAN320
November 6th, 2007, 12:39 PM
Great pics Radiohead. I'm going to see the Devs play the Capitals Dec 7th. I'll be sure to take some shots.

macmini
November 7th, 2007, 11:38 AM
As much as I love to hate on Newark The Prudential Center looks amazing can't wait to see a concert there. I don't know if any has already posted this story about Barry Melrose the a@@ for ESPN. This dummy should be fired for just being stupid hell I didn't even think Don Imus should have been fired, but this guy should go.


ESPN analyst apologizes for remarks about Newark, New Jersey

17 hours ago
NEWARK, N.J. - ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose apologized Tuesday for negative remarks about the area around the New Jersey Devils' new Prudential Center arena.

In a video segment posted on ESPN.com last week, Melrose described the recently opened arena as a "beautiful new building" but added, "Don't go outside if you have a wallet or anything else, because the area around the arena is just horrible."

Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and Municipal Council President Mildred Crump took exception to the remarks and called for Melrose to apologize.
"All of us make mistakes, but it's a shame when it's at the expense of 300,000 people," Booker said, referring to Newark's population.

Newark has experienced a rising homicide rate in recent years, and city officials are banking on the new arena to change perceptions about New Jersey's largest city and to spur downtown development.

Melrose said he has driven through Newark before but has not been to the Prudential Center. He said he based his comments on footage aired by Canadian broadcaster TSN before the Devils' first game at the new arena Oct. 27.

"I was trying to be funny and I'm sorry it didn't come through that way," he said by phone from St. Louis. "No excuse. When I talk I don't want to offend anybody. I love hockey and I want Newark to be a success. I certainly never wanted to hurt the feelings of the people of Newark or the people of New Jersey. There was no malice on my part."

Melrose said he first heard about the negative reaction to his comments, which were posted on the Web site last Thursday, on Monday. He said he called Booker's office Tuesday but wasn't able get through to the mayor.
Melrose said he wants to come to Newark to have lunch with Booker and tour the area around the arena. Booker sounded agreeable.

"I welcome him coming to the city so we can dispel his ignorance," Booker said. "I'm happy to hear that he's willing to come and see the truth and I'm hoping he's responsible enough to write about it."

A former NHL player and coach, Melrose has worked as a commentator and studio analyst at ESPN since 1996.

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the network would not punish Melrose for the comments.

"Barry addressed it and that was the important thing," Krulewitz said. "He obviously was remorseful and we feel it's in everybody's best interests to put it behind us."

OmegaNYC
November 7th, 2007, 12:26 PM
Barry is an idiot. I feel sorry for him. HE BASED HIS "FACTS" ON WATCHING T.V.! Besides, most areas are located in a "bad" area. Can anyone say "Yankee Stadium"?

JCMAN320
November 21st, 2007, 01:46 AM
Vast transformation planned around Newark arena

by Jeffery C. Mays and Maura McDermott/The Star-Ledger Tuesday November 20, 2007, 9:02 PM

Thousands of sports fans and concertgoers have visited the Prudential Center in Newark since it opened last month, and the reviews are mostly positive.

The area around the Rock hasn't met with the same acclaim, however. While it may not be as bleak as some assessments, the reality is inescapable: There are fewer choices in dining, shopping and entertainment around the arena than there are stretches of blacktop.

City officials envision a vast transformation of the land surrounding the $375 million arena. Plans are in the works for a neighborhood bustling with restaurants, bars and stores and, above them, offices and residences. Two hotels are being discussed, as well as possibly a children's museum.

The arena's picture window along Mulberry Street will overlook a new, triangular park stretching to the train trestle over McCarter Highway. And plans call for a pedestrian walkway with access to Newark Penn Station.

"I want the public to go to our downtown and spend an entire day eating, going to shows, museums and other types of entertainment," Newark Mayor Cory Booker said. "I see thousands of more residential units so it is a 24-hour district."

The arena, a joint public-private venture that has given the area the cachet it hasn't had in decades, was built with the intention of catalyzing economic development in New Jersey's largest and one of its poorest cities. As part of the plans, a redevelopment zone was designated for 24 acres surrounding the Prudential Center.

"The arena is promising because of its symbolic value to draw positive attention to the city," said Bill Crawley, chief operating officer of the Newark Downtown Core Redevelopment Corp. His agency is charged with managing the development in the zone, which lies just south of the Gateway office complex and is bounded by McCarter Highway to the east.

Read the full story in Wednesday's Star-Ledger.

JCMAN320
November 29th, 2007, 03:17 AM
From NewJerseyDevils.com

http://cdn.nhl.com/devils/images/upload/2007/11/jerseypride.jpg

It’s that time of year again. The NHL season is in full swing, and it’s just a matter of time before New Jersey’s high school ice hockey teams hit the ice to begin the new campaign.

With the opening of Prudential Center, the Devils’ new state-of-the-art facility in Newark, the 2007-08 season has introduced a new era for hockey in the state of New Jersey. Of all the arena’s impressive features, perhaps the most eye-catching interior element is the exhibit of hockey jerseys from high schools around the Garden State.

Over 115 of the state’s varsity sweaters are prominently displayed around the main concourse of “The Rock,” which is also set to become the new home of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) state high school ice hockey championship games.

Scheduled for March 2008, the championship will have a new look, according to the NJSIAA. The 94 public schools with ice hockey programs will be split into two distinct divisions based on enrollment. The 47 schools with a large enrollment will compete for a title, while the 47 small enrollment schools vie for their own public ice hockey trophy.

Last season, St. Augustine capped off a perfect 23-0 season with a 3-1 victory over St. Peter’s Prep in the non-public school finals. Randolph claimed its second consecutive public championship, winners over Bridgewater-Raritan in a 5-4 overtime thriller.

Perennial favorite non-public schools Bergen Catholic, Christian Brothers Academy, Delbarton, Paramus Catholic, and Seton Hall Prep are all represented on the concourse walls, as are many public teams, including Fair Lawn, Hillsborough, Morris Knolls, Northern Highlands and Ridge, to name a few.

State prep squads Hun and Pennington, among others, have their uniforms appearing on the concourse, as do recent champions, including Bayonne, Brick Township, Clifton, Hudson Catholic, and West Essex.

Established programs share the spotlight with programs on the rise such as St. Rose, Edison, Hackettstown, J.P. Stevens, Monroe and local Newark East Side. Some of the showcased uniforms come from pairs of schools that run joint ice hockey programs, among them Verona and Glen Ridge, Pascack Valley and Pascack Hills, and Whippany Park and Hanover Park.

Prudential Center’s array of high school jerseys isn’t just limited to boys programs. Girls teams from Summit and Morristown-Beard are represented, as are Blair Academy, Lawrenceville, Pingry, Princeton, and Princeton Day.

Glancing up at their old alma mater’s crest is just one of the many “little things” fans have gotten to enjoy at the new Prudential Center. With the continued growth of ice hockey at a grassroots level for both boys and girls, it may not be long before the entire main concourse runs out of space and fans in the upper concourse start seeing sweaters on their walls, too.

For school officials wishing to have their high school varsity ice hockey team featured by the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center, contact Mike Merolla at merolla@newjerseydevils.com or Jason Romano at jromano@newjerseydevils.com.

--------------------------------------------
JCMAN Thought of the Day

This is great, this is something that sets the Devils apart from any other organization, giving a stronger identity for one of the most succesful hockey teams in the NHL. The New Jersey Devils are really NJ's OWN pro team. It is a name that relates to the state and winning 3 Stanley Cups in 9 years really cements them as one of hockey's great teams. This will also help the Devils relate to NJ on a more personal level.

OmegaNYC
December 8th, 2007, 01:25 PM
Anyone seen the coverage on Channel 7? Man, did the Devils fans let him hear it! :D It was funny seeing one Devils fan; walking outside with his wallet attached to a fishing pole.

IT'S SAFE TO SAY, MELROSE TURNS POSITIVE AFTER NEWARK TOUR
Saturday, December 08, 2007
JEFFREY C. MAYS
Star-Ledger Staff
After touring sections of Newark yesterday, ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose apologized again for making negative comments about the city and said he was impressed with what he saw.

Melrose was given a tour of the city by business administrator Bo Kemp, who took him to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, and the University Heights and Ironbound sections.

Their tour ended around 5:30 when their city van pulled up at Mompou, a tapas and wine bar on Ferry Street in the city's Ironbound section.

"I've seen a very active downtown and a very energetic bunch of friendly people," Melrose said. "Unless Bo was hiding a part of the city I haven't seen, I'm impressed."

The group had a table near the front of the crowded and noisy eatery, where they munched on chorizo, cold cuts and a special off-the-menu plate of pasta.

"We're going to kill him with kindness," said Mompou owner Steve Yglesias. "The best way to react to something like this is to be civil and let them see what Newark is really all about."

Kemp said he didn't have enough time to give him a full tour of the city.

"There's no point in proving anything because we know how great a city Newark is," Kemp said.

In a video on ESPN.com five weeks ago, the outspoken former NHL player and coach called the Prudential Center a "beautiful building" but advised fans not to "go outside if you have a wallet or anything else, because the area around the arena is just horrible."

Melrose acknowledged afterward that he had never visited the arena, which opened in late October. The comments enraged Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek and Mayor Cory Booker, as well as Newark residents.

"There's no hard feelings," Vanderbeek said yesterday.

Booker commended Melrose for coming to town.

"It's a stand-up thing to do to come to Newark and see for himself. He took a bad situation and turned it positive," the mayor said. Then noting the large media presence, he added: "As a result a national TV audience is focused on Newark tonight."

But Melrose did hear it from some fans before game time.

After Mompou, the group showed up at the Arena Bar, where Melrose was greeted by angry fans who chanted profanities and threw confetti at him. They started chanting, "We love Newark" and "Let's go Devils."

One fan at the bar, James Mayo, 27, of Bayonne called Melrose a bum.

"He's never been here, so how can he talk down about Newark," said Mayo, a chemical plant worker. "He should have come met the fans, seen the environment and the arena first."

Katie Worst, 25, Bayonne, said she attended school in Newark and didn't agree at all with Melrose's original assessment of the city.

"The stadium was great, and it will bring it lots of money and lots of jobs," she said.

Melrose said the incident taught him about the power of words.

"It's a good lesson not to listen to others or second-hand talk," he said. "I've been to every rink in the NHL, and Newark is on the right track."

JCMAN320
December 8th, 2007, 01:58 PM
I was at the game last night and first off the arena is the best in the country hands down, second Melrose eating crow was great. Glad to see Newark and our Great State of New Jersey finally starting to grow a back bone when we get insulted and stand up for ourselves and say F-U to all the haters. Gotta love us Devils fans.

JCMAN320
December 11th, 2007, 10:02 PM
Pru Center ticket tax advances in Senate
Panel backs charge of 5% to offset costs

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
BY DUNSTAN McNICHOL AND JEFFERY MAYS
Star-Ledger Staff

Legislation that would impose a new 5 percent tax on tickets for events at the Prudential Center in Newark won quick approval from a state Senate committee yesterday, while a separate measure to tax parking at the arena got sidetracked.

The bills, designed to make arena patrons offset the estimated $5 million to $7 million a year Newark is projected to spend on security, traffic control and maintenance for events at the arena, were introduced just last month and will die unless passed by the end of the lame-duck Legislature on Jan. 8.

"We have to provide the security we need without impacting the community we live in," said Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex) a former Newark deputy mayor and sponsor of the measures.

Members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved the 5 percent ticket surcharge (S-2971) but were unable to muster the eight votes needed to advance a second bill (S-2891) that would have let Newark impose a 7 percent surcharge on parking fees.

That measure is scheduled to be considered again when the committee reconvenes Jan. 3.

Newark Business Administrator Bo Kemp said city officials lobbied for the surcharges and are happy to see the legislation getting consideration.

"It's very important, given the investment that the city has made, that the ongoing operation of the Newark arena is not carried on the backs of Newark taxpayers," said Kemp.

But the arena's operators took a dim view of the special charges that would target their patrons.

Dale Adams, general manager of the arena, said he is concerned the prospect of higher ticket and parking prices at the Prudential Center might drive promoters to other venues, like the Izod Center in the Meadowlands.

"The problem is, it drives business away," said Adams. "They should try to lower the taxes and encourage the acts to play here instead of other states. Business will prosper."

Rice's legislation exempts arenas operated by state authorities, such as the Meadowlands venues, from the new ticket surcharge.

The parking surcharge would apply to parking lots used for special events after 6 p.m. on weeknights and anytime on weekends. As written, the surcharge would only be available to the cities of Newark, Elizabeth and Jersey City, which already tax parking fees. Parking lots at Newark Liberty International Airport would be exempt.

Both measures would require authorization through a municipal ordinance.

Jeff Vanderbeek, owner of the New Jersey Devils, the primary arena tenant, declined to comment on the pending legislation, saying he wants to get more information about it.

arcman210
December 12th, 2007, 08:45 AM
i dont think the tax will detract ticket buyers too much...

when you buy tickets on ticketmaster or another site, they tell you the face value of the ticket before you buy, then when you get to the confirmation page at the end they tack on the extra fees.

for a $50 ticket, this fee would only an additional $2.50... plus the venue fee, serivce charge, and shipping or printing fee... i doubt many people will be turned off from buying their tickets by an additional few bucks.

JCMAN320
December 17th, 2007, 11:33 PM
Ticket tax at Prudential Center wins Senate approval

by The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk Monday December 17, 2007, 9:25 PM

Legislation that would impose a new 5 percent tax on tickets for events at the Prudential Center in Newark won approval from the state Senate today.

The Senate voted 21-14 in favor of a bill (S2971) designed to make arena patrons offset the estimated $5 million to $7 million a year Newark is projected to spend on security, traffic control and maintenance for events at the arena, which opened in October.

The bill was introduced in November and will die unless passed by the end of the lame-duck Legislature on Jan. 8. It now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex), a former Newark deputy mayor and sponsor of the measures, would exempt arenas operated by state authorities, such as the Meadowlands venues, from the new ticket surcharge.

That worried Prudential Center operators, who said they are concerned the prospect of higher ticket prices at the Prudential Center might drive promoters to other venues, like the Izod Center in the Meadowlands.

arcman210
December 19th, 2007, 10:47 AM
That worried Prudential Center operators, who said they are concerned the prospect of higher ticket prices at the Prudential Center might drive promoters to other venues, like the Izod Center in the Meadowlands.

They shouldnt worry about it. Once people get over their fears of the Newark stereotypes and see it for themselves (and lots of people already are doing that), they will hands down love the Rock 100 times more than the Meadowlands. The two are not even comparable.

JCexpert558
December 19th, 2007, 08:29 PM
I know that Newark is like a metropolitan city, but I think it should have a news channel because with it's new Arena, and lots of other things going on, it should all be told on Newarks own channel. Not like channel 7 news, CNN New York, and MNSBC.

ASchwarz
December 19th, 2007, 10:48 PM
I know that Newark is like a metropolitan city, but I think it should have a news channel because with it's new Arena, and lots of other things going on, it should all be told on Newarks own channel. Not like channel 7 news, CNN New York, and MNSBC.

Why would Newark have its own news channel? It doesn't even have an eighth of Brooklyn's population, yet Brooklyn doesn't have its own news channel.

And what does an arena have to do with a news channel? Should East Rutherford and Uniondale have their own news channels?

It's all one metropolitan area.

66nexus
December 20th, 2007, 01:09 PM
^Newark, like East Rutherford, has broadcasting stations. NJ does have news channels, but since they are metro they are tied to NY as well. Additionally, they're not as popular outside the metro as their NY counterparts.

Hell even Z100 (radio) is 'NY' but broadcasts from NJ

JCMAN320
January 9th, 2008, 11:56 PM
Brodeur wants Stars in Newark

Wednesday, January 09, 2008
BY RICH CHERE
Star-Ledger Staff

It has been 24 years since the NHL All-Star Game was played in New Jersey and Devils goalie Martin Brodeur would like to see it happen before his playing career is over.

"Oh yeah. I know they had it in New Jersey way back, but it would be nice," said Brodeur, who was voted the Eastern Conference's starting goalie for the Jan. 27 game in Atlanta. "We need the city to grow just a little more before we host it, but it's getting there. It's an awesome place. I think every new building should have a shot at it. No different for Newark.

"It would be tremendous for our ownership with all the effort that has been made. Next year it's in Montreal for their 100th season. After that I'm sure it will be considered."

The 1984 game was played at the Meadowlands. Chico Resch was the winning goalie and Joe Cirella scored a goal in the Wales Conference's 7-6 victory over the Campbell Conference. Brodeur was 11 years old.

This is the fourth time he was voted as the starter by fans and the 10th time he will participate in the All-Star Game. Brodeur (220,393 votes) came from behind in the voting, probably because the Devils spent much of the first month on the road, and beat out Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (175,350) as well as last year's starter, Ryan Miller of the Sabres.

"He's definitely a popular guy in this area," Brodeur said of Lundqvist. "It's kind of nice for our fans to see that. Stats-wise it's pretty similar between me and him, besides him being 4-0 and I'm 0-4 against him."

Brent Sutter will serve as an assistant coach, but said: "I'm not even talking about it. We've got a lot of games before then."

Defenseman Sheldon Brookbank sat out his fourth straight game, making him wonder if he'll get the chance to play against his brother, Wade, tomorrow night in Raleigh, N.C.

"To be able to suit up against my brother at this level would be a dream come true," Brookbank said. "But it's not up to me."

It's up to Sutter, who knows about the thrill of facing a brother in the NHL. So, will Brookbank play?

"I don't know, to be quite honest," the coach said. "There's always a sensitivity to that. At the same time, you've got to do what's right for your hockey club.

"The six defensemen we're using now are the six guys we want in our lineup. That's not to say Brooker won't get in the next game. When Brooker gets back in, he needs to get his game back to where it was. He needs to get back to being the player we acquired."

Kevin Weekes (sore leg) was not one of the few who took part in the morning skate, but he did dress as Brodeur's backup.

"He's going to be fine," Sutter said. "We're just using our heads with it. No reason for him to skate when he doesn't need to."

JCMAN320
February 26th, 2008, 11:10 PM
Bergen legislator fires back on arena
Accuses Newark of making 'sweetheart deal' on Rock

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
BY MAURA McDERMOTT
Star-Ledger Staff

A prominent Bergen County official went on the offensive yesterday, accusing Newark of making a "sweetheart deal" with the Prudential Center developers and asking to review the venue's lease and financial records.

The jab came soon after Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo called for the Meadowlands arena to close so Newark's venue will have a better shot at succeeding. DiVincenzo has called together a coalition of Essex County politicians to fight for "The Rock." The group is set to meet tomorrow to form a game plan, he said.

Located within 10 miles of each other, the recently opened Prudential Center in Newark and the 27-year-old Izod Center in the Meadowlands are in hot competition to attract ticket buyers and entertainment acts.

Yesterday, state Sen. Paul Sarlo wrote to the city of Newark and its housing authority, demanding copies of the Prudential Center's records.

"I'm not going to stand by and destroy a successful state asset to benefit a wealthy private investor," Sarlo said, in a reference to Devils team owner Jeff Vanderbeek. "He already has a sweetheart deal in place."

Sarlo was also among nearly 20 officials with ties to Bergen County and the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority to issue a statement yesterday calling the Izod Center "a boon to the entire region." The sports authority said it expects a profit of $2.2 million this year.

The Meadowlands arena had such an unfavorable lease with the hockey team that it operated at a loss until the Devils left last year, Sarlo said.

A spokeswoman for the city, Janet Dickerson, declined to comment.

The housing authority's executive director, Keith Kinard, did not return calls yesterday.

Newark's deal with the arena benefits the city by granting it a portion of all revenues, and by attracting more redevelopment around it, Vanderbeek said.

"It's just really a catalyst to spur the redevelopment of the downtown core," he said.

According to the Devils' 30-year lease with Newark, the team pays the city 7 percent of its income from suites, concessions, advertising and naming rights, plus 4 percent of other income, with a minimum annual payment of $2 million.

The city contributed $220 million to build the $375 million arena with the Devils paying for the rest. The total public investment is about $311 million, including work around the arena site.

Sarlo's request for documents echoes one made by DiVincenzo, who last week asked for copies of the sports authority's financial records, including its contract with the Giants and Jets, which DiVincenzo termed a "sweetheart deal."

The teams are funding construction of their $1.5 billion stadium, and the state is paying roughly $300 million for road and utility improvements.

State officials "went out of their way" to keep the football teams in New Jersey, DiVincenzo said. By contrast, the Nets' lease with the sports authority allows the team to move to Brooklyn with no penalty, but imposes fees up to $12 million if it moves to Newark, he said.

"Why are we penalizing the move to Newark?" DiVincenzo said.

The Nets will move to Brooklyn in 2010, according to team chief executive Brett Yormark.

As for the competition between the arenas, Yormark said, "The market's big enough for both venues to do well and flourish."

Gov. Jon Corzine has said the Izod Center will remain open at least while the Nets still play there.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Staff writer Maura McDermott may be reached at mmcdermott@starledger.com or (973) 392-7964.

Peter Quennell
February 27th, 2008, 11:02 AM
Two pluses going for the Izod center will be Xanadu and the Meadowlands rail link.

Ironically, a main reason the Devils grew interested in Newark was... the Newark Penn Station rail link.

The Izod location is very central, and if it was demolished or converted, an extended Xanadu for example might produce a lot more revenue.

It would be interesting to know when either arena was last really, really full.

66nexus
February 27th, 2008, 12:04 PM
Two pluses going for the Izod center will be Xanadu and the Meadowlands rail link.

Ironically, a main reason the Devils grew interested in Newark was... the Newark Penn Station rail link.

The Izod location is very central, and if it was demolished or converted, an extended Xanadu for example might produce a lot more revenue.

It would be interesting to know when either arena was last really, really full.

Devils vs. Islanders game last week at the Rock. Sellout crowd.

I think the Izod Center will do more to bring Xanadu down than the Xanadu bringing the Izod Center up. Also, isn't the Xanadu supposed to have a decent sized theater space with acoustics that murder the Izod's? Once the Nets leave the Izod will truly be a waste

kevin
February 27th, 2008, 12:46 PM
Devils vs. Islanders game last week at the Rock. Sellout crowd.

I think the Izod Center will do more to bring Xanadu down than the Xanadu bringing the Izod Center up. Also, isn't the Xanadu supposed to have a decent sized theater space with acoustics that murder the Izod's? Once the Nets leave the Izod will truly be a waste

In more ways than one. Since the Prudential Center opened, stores, eateries, and bars have opened up in droves. When I first moved to Eleven80, the closest bars were either in the Ironbound or the colleges. Now, there are three in the neighborhood. We've got The Spot, The Arena Bar, and Scully's, among others, and a steakhouse is supposedly going in across from the Spot on Commerce. There's a lot of planned renovation around the Market Street area next to the arena.

Why are businesses opening? Because of the influx of game-day patrons. But, more importantly, they stay open to support the local residents. The business they do encourages more businesses to get on board (because these places can't support the number of fans)...The more people come to Newark, the more people see how safe it is. Many venture into the downtown area looking for places to hang out before and after the games/shows.

Even if you have an arena in the Meadowlands, where would you build a restaurant or bar? Secaucus? Rutherford? People in Newark can walk to these many different eateries, they have choices, and aren't beholden to arena prices.

Marv95
February 27th, 2008, 03:08 PM
Two pluses going for the Izod center will be Xanadu and the Meadowlands rail link.

Ironically, a main reason the Devils grew interested in Newark was... the Newark Penn Station rail link.

The Izod location is very central, and if it was demolished or converted, an extended Xanadu for example might produce a lot more revenue.

It would be interesting to know when either arena was last really, really full.

Central to whom? Bergenities?

But I agree that it shouldn't be demolished(although I wouldn't shed a tear when the wreaking ball rolls in). Turn it into an IMAX palace or ampitheatre to give the sheltered North Jersey folk their pacifiers. Because when the Nets leave it will be as useful as the Spectrum--oh wait, they are planning to tear that down too.

OmegaNYC
February 27th, 2008, 04:06 PM
^^^ It will be as useful as the Polo Grounds. Oh wait... Umm, Shea! No... Silverdome! Err... Ahh, I ain't good at this. Seriously though, Newark has a new area. Izod is an eyesore on Route 3. Just knock the thing down, I'll say.

66nexus
February 27th, 2008, 05:00 PM
In more ways than one. Since the Prudential Center opened, stores, eateries, and bars have opened up in droves. When I first moved to Eleven80, the closest bars were either in the Ironbound or the colleges. Now, there are three in the neighborhood. We've got The Spot, The Arena Bar, and Scully's, among others, and a steakhouse is supposedly going in across from the Spot on Commerce. There's a lot of planned renovation around the Market Street area next to the arena.

Why are businesses opening? Because of the influx of game-day patrons. But, more importantly, they stay open to support the local residents. The business they do encourages more businesses to get on board (because these places can't support the number of fans)...The more people come to Newark, the more people see how safe it is. Many venture into the downtown area looking for places to hang out before and after the games/shows.

Even if you have an arena in the Meadowlands, where would you build a restaurant or bar? Secaucus? Rutherford? People in Newark can walk to these many different eateries, they have choices, and aren't beholden to arena prices.

It did always confuse me b/c the Meadowlands will still have the Jets/Giants, Xanadu, the racetrack...they'll do plenty fine without the Izod Center, I truly don't understand the fight to keep it. The Rock has done and will do more for Newark than a 25+ year old arena will do for the Meadowlands.

I agree with Marv, I don't think they should tear it down, but it would definitely serve a better purpose as something...else

arcman210
February 27th, 2008, 05:57 PM
downsize the izod center, remove the upper level and just make it a 8000-10000 seat arena... maybe bring in a minor league hockey team, still be able to have smaller concerts there. something like that would work well i think.

JCMAN320
March 25th, 2008, 04:23 PM
Stop work order issued to Devils

by Jeffrey C. Mays and Katie Wang/The Star-Ledger
Tuesday March 25, 2008, 2:41 PM

Newark construction code officials have issued a stop work order and fined the Devils for building an elevated pedestrian bridge between a parking deck and the Prudential Center on Lafayette Street without a permit.

The order was issued March 18, five days after construction officials inspected the bridge. On the same day, a violation and notice to terminate was also issued for "working without approved construction documents." The fine carries a $2,000 per week penalty.

The pedestrian bridge links the parking deck to the back of the arena, closer to the Edison Place entrance. The walkway extends from the third floor of the parking deck. A lattice steel frame is in place, but there is no glass enclosing the structure. The walkway arches over a driveway used as a loading area that connects Lafayette Street to Edison Place.

The Devils, who lease the $375 million arena from the city, said they believe they had permission to install the pre-fabricated structure. Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek said the planning board approved a site plan resolution last April with the pedestrian bridge in place.

Vanderbeek said the Devils applied for a permit and after a 20-day time period had expired, they called the city to see what happened and was told the permit was in process. The bridge arrived and officials felt they had permission.

"The bridge came the day it was supposed to come and they put the bridge up with the understanding it was being processed and we had planning board approval a year ago," said Vanderbeek.

scrollhectic
April 18th, 2008, 04:48 PM
there's some demolition work on mulberry near market. any idea what's going up? (please don't say a parking lot!)

66nexus
April 18th, 2008, 07:16 PM
there's some demolition work on mulberry near market. any idea what's going up? (please don't say a parking lot!)


Yeah I noticed that. I remember from earlier Star-Ledger renderings they stated that the area was intended to be some sort of 'green-space' for patrons to gather before a game at the Rock. But since then they had only cleared a small section of it (with a dozen or so small trees and a Prudential logo on the ground).

I had originally thought that that was the only 'space' they were going to provide. But today they seemed to be doing more clearing...not 100% sure

The 'Isley building' on Edison looks waaay better so I guess the ground floor restoration is well under way

arcman210
April 18th, 2008, 08:30 PM
i'm not sure exaclty what buildings are being demolished, but that block is supposed to include the public plaza for the arena as well as a courtyard marriot hotel, so it might be that.

JCMAN320
April 27th, 2008, 05:43 PM
Newark hoop dreams

Posted by Star-Ledger editorial board April 21, 2008 10:30PM

An arena was supposed to be growing in Brooklyn to provide a new home for the Nets in 2010, when the basketball team leaves the Izod Center in the Meadowlands.

For those looking at Brooklyn from New Jersey, the wish that something -- anything -- might happen to keep the Nets in New Jersey has been a hope that would not die.

Some things have happened. The real estate and credit markets have changed since the $4 billion Brooklyn Atlantic Yards development, with thousands of condos, other homes and an 18,000-seat arena, was proposed. Financing is no longer easy. The payoff is no longer certain. The Nets are losing $40 million a year.

When developer Bruce Ratner bought the team in 2004, the arena's estimated cost was $600 million. That has grown to $950 million, which would make it the most expensive arena ever. Delays caused by local opposition and financing problems could make it more expensive than that.

Those who dream in New Jersey know the rumors that developer Ratner bought the Nets only to sweeten the appeal of the development project. The reverie is that if Brooklyn falls through, a coalition of New Jersey buyers (led by the New Jersey Devils hockey team, perhaps?) would take the Nets off Ratner's hands. Then the Nets would move into the shiny new Prudential Center, which the Devils built with the city of Newark. Whether the financing of the Newark arena made sense (the city put up the lion's share), it's built and it draws tons of fans via mass transit. The arena here was originally planned as a home for the Nets, and that's where the team belongs.

What stands in the way of the dream? Well, there's Ratner. "Newark is not even a consideration. We're moving to Brooklyn," said a spokesman for the builder and the team. They are planning to break ground this year. They say.

Apart from whatever Ratner may be dreaming, there is the stumbling block of a clause in the Nets' contract with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns the Izod Center. If the Nets leave to play anywhere other than Brooklyn, the team must pay the authority a penalty that starts out at $12 million a year.

That clause was generally considered to be anti-Newark. Considering that the authority is a state agency, the provision seemed as hideous and out of place as a giant, psychedelic Ferris wheel in a swamp.

Something has happened. The hateful clause is being explained as a nonhostile means of preventing the Nets from pitting the Meadowlands against Newark. It was meant to avoid a bidding war for a short-term contract while the Brooklyn arena was built.

In fact, sources have told The Star-Ledger editorial board that if the Nets sign a long-term deal to play in Newark, the sports authority would waive that clause and happily cooperate with the Prudential Center for the greater glory and profit of both New Jersey venues.

If the authority is beginning to see the light, who knows what else might happen? Clap your hands and say, "I believe," sports fans. Might as well keep dreaming.

JCMAN320
April 28th, 2008, 11:26 PM
From The Real Deal:

Investors urge Ratner to ditch Brooklyn for Newark arena

http://s3.amazonaws.com:/trd_three/images/32796/Prudential_Center_articlebox.jpg
The Prudential Center
By David Jones

Developer Bruce Ratner has been approached by several New Jersey investors and public officials on a plan to relocate the Nets to the Prudential Center in downtown Newark, according to sources familiar with the talks.

The investors would like Ratner to have the Nets partner with the New Jersey Devils and move into the Prudential Center in Newark, where the hockey team has just finished its first full season.

"They're being wooed politically as well as by the private sector," said Ken Baris, a West Orange, New Jersey-based realtor, who is familiar with some of the investors who have approached Ratner. "There's a lot of people that kind of want to keep it quiet, but [at the same time] are looking forward to a lot more leaks."

A move to Newark would effectively end Ratner's efforts to move the Nets to a proposed $950 million Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn, which was to serve as the centerpiece of his controversial $4 billion Atlantic Yards complex and would be the most expensive basketball arena in the country. Nets officials denied there have been any plans to move to Newark and have insisted they are moving forward with the Brooklyn arena.

"The Nets are moving to Brooklyn, period," said Barry Baum, a spokesman for Forest City Ratner who handles the Nets.

Still, sources say the discussions have life.

Since the October opening of the Prudential Center, Newark officials have urged New Jersey Governor, Jon Corzine, to shut down the Izod Center in East Rutherford, where the Nets have played since 1981.

After failing to make the playoffs and trading its star player, Jason Kidd, the Nets are expected to lose more than $40 million for the 2007-2008 season. They currently plan to stay at the Izod Center for at least another two seasons.

"If they don't get that arena built in Brooklyn in the next couple of years, I'm doubtful that Ratner would want to keep paying for losses for the Nets," said Michael Cramer, professor of sports management at New York University. "It would have been good to get the Nets and Devils in the same arena."

Baum said, however, that the Nets are set to announce new corporate partners in May for luxury suites at the proposed Barclays arena, and are working to sell season tickets and corporate sponsors at the Izod Center for the remaining two years at that site.

New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Van der Beek declined to comment on the Nets. But, he said, the arena is doing much better than "our wildest expectations." He said the Devils were averaging about 16,000 fans a game and that the arena would average about 175 event nights in its first year. He said he hoped that the number of events would climb to 225 per year in the future.

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo wants the Nets to join the Devils in Newark, and has publicly questioned claims by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority that the arena can turn a profit with no hockey team and limited public transportation.

"We would welcome the Nets with open arms," DiVincenzo told The Real Deal. "If anything could be negotiated I think it would be great." A provision in the Nets lease with the NJSEA calls for a $12 million penalty if the Nets move to another arena outside of Brooklyn or Queens, however the Star Ledger reported earlier this week that officials might be willing to waive the penalty.

Ratner told the New York Times in March that he would not be able to finance the full 16 building Atlantic Yards project for several years due to a weak financing environment and the inability to find an anchor tenant for the Miss Brooklyn office tower. However, he said, that he would move ahead with the arena by the end of 2008.

Atlantic Yards opponents have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case and officials from Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn said they expect the court make a decision on whether to hear it by June.

http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/investors-urge-ratner-to-ditch-brooklyn-for-newark-arena

kliq6
April 29th, 2008, 11:06 AM
Im all in favor of this, anything to stop the AY project from going forward

scrollhectic
April 30th, 2008, 02:46 AM
"They're being wooed politically as well as by the private sector," said Ken Baris, a West Orange, New Jersey-based realtor, who is familiar with some of the investors who have approached Ratner. "There's a lot of people that kind of want to keep it quiet, but [at the same time] are looking forward to a lot more leaks."

... Since the October opening of the Prudential Center, Newark officials have urged New Jersey Governor, Jon Corzine, to shut down the Izod Center in East Rutherford, where the Nets have played since 1981.



This would be great for Newark and the rock, but it just strikes me as late. All the wooing and urging from the private and political sector should have kept the Nets from being sold in the first place. I don't know the intricacies of the deal, but I'd imagine it's more difficult to convince the Nets to move to Newark now that they're committed to moving to Brooklyn. But again, better late than never... at least some effort is being made now that faith in Newark is building.

JCMAN320
May 1st, 2008, 01:20 PM
NJ group explores bringing Nets to Newark

by Ian T. Shearn/The Star-Ledger Thursday May 01, 2008, 12:05 AM

The owner of the Devils hockey team and Newark Mayor Cory Booker are seeking to assemble a group of investors to buy the Nets and move the basketball team to Newark, according to people familiar with the effort.

In recent weeks, Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek has met with Nets owner Bruce Ratner, while Booker has spoken to an official at Ratner's development company, Forest City Ratner Cos., according to three sources with direct knowledge of the discussions. The outcome of each talk was characterized as "open-ended." The parties spoke on the condition they not be identified.

The effort to bring the Nets to Newark, where they would play in the Prudential Center along with the Devils, comes amid growing speculation on whether Ratner can complete a $4 billion retail and residential development in Brooklyn, given the deepening crisis in the credit markets. To date, there is no indication the Nets are for sale, and Ratner repeatedly has said he is happy owning the team and looks forward to moving to a new arena in Brooklyn.

"The team is absolutely not for sale," Ratner said through his spokesman, Howard Rubenstein. "We're inches away from completing the deal in Brooklyn."

At the same time, one of the sources said Vanderbeek has been approached over the past two years by a half-dozen people who have expressed interest in investing in a Nets purchase. It was unclear whom Vanderbeek and Booker have spoken to about a potential purchase. But two of the sources said Booker also has tried to entice Ratner by offering him development possibilities in Newark.

Asked this week about his interest in the Nets, Vanderbeek would say only: "The Nets have stated they are going Brooklyn. We wish them all the luck in the world."

Booker's office declined comment.

Officials who follow sports and development in the region said Ratner still faces challenges in moving the Nets to Brooklyn from their current home in the Meadowlands.

"This is like a death watch," Senate President Richard Codey said of the delays in the project. "Not a single piling has gone in the ground."

Carl Goldberg, chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, said he believes the Nets could remain where they are.

"The likelihood of the Nets actually building a new facility in Brooklyn and leaving our facility at the Izod Center is diminishing by the moment," Goldberg told a group of Star-Ledger editors in February. "The cost of steel and concrete and the challenges of building a facility of that nature over the railyards are becoming more difficult."

The Nets were supposed to move from the Izod Center in East Rutherford to the new Barclays Center for the 2008 season, but that date recently was pushed back to 2010.

That delay is the latest setback for the project, one of many large-scale private/public efforts being delayed or scaled back across the nation. Finance experts say the sub-prime mortgage crisis that has paralyzed financial institutions is making banks close their lending windows for projects of this magnitude.

Even Ratner's executives have conceded the uncertainty of obtaining money for a $950 million arena, as reflected in a January court filing by Andrew Silberfein, Forest City's director of finance:

"The credit markets are in turmoil at this time. Many lenders and bond insurers are facing financial difficulties, and are becoming much more cautious. ... There is a serious question as to whether, given the current state of the debt market, the underwriters will be able to proceed with the financing for the arena."

Wednesday, Ratner, through Rubentein, said the affidavit is no longer accurate. "We are very confident we will get the funds necessary for the arena. During the past year, we closed on two of the largest construction deals in our company's history, totaling more than $1.3 billion, and we expect to do the same here."

Lawrence Swift, a partner at Troutman Sanders, a Manhattan law firm that specializes in sports facility financing and other large transactions, said major investment banks have hiked interest rates and fees, which dramatically raises the cost of bond deals to their sponsors.

"All of the things being sold in the market are being pulled back," Swift said. "People don't want to pay the price to market things for any long-term paper."

This week the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, which was hired to lead the financing for the arena, reaffirmed its commitment. Michael DuVally, a spokesman, said in an e-mail Goldman Sachs is "confident we will close on the financing for the project by the third quarter."

The Nets team, which Ratner bought for $300 million in November 2005, is now worth an estimated $338 million. It is losing $40 million annually, team officials recently announced.

But Nets chief executive Brett Yormark brushed aside any financing concerns, noting Ratner just got a $680 million construction loan to build a separate 900-unit luxury rental tower in Lower Manhattan, to be designed by Frank Gehry.

"When you have a great project and you have people that want to be involved in the project, you can get financing," Yormark said.

On a recent trip to Europe, Yormark said he met with 10 potential Barclays Center "founding partners" that would get exclusive advertising rights in their category at the Brooklyn arena.

"We've got incredible interest," he said.

But George Zoffinger, former chief executive of the New Jersey Sports Authority, said a billion-dollar arena would make it impossible to turn a profit.

"When you start to spend north of $500 million for an arena, you can't generate the cash flow necessary to generate a decent return on the investment," Zoffinger said. "If the number is $900 million, it's absolutely, positively not viable from an economic standpoint."

If the Nets continued to face delays in Brooklyn, the arenas in Newark and East Rutherford could find themselves in another battle for the team. Last year, the Devils moved from the Meadowlands to Newark.

Bringing the Nets to Newark would be another a boon to the Prudential Center, said T.J. Nelligan, a sports marketing expert. Most successful arenas book at least 200 dates a year, and if the Prudential Center had a professional basketball team to go alongside the Devils, it would be halfway to meeting that goal before booking a single concert or family show, he said.

"You really need more people fighting for those dates to make it more profitable," he said. Plus, "it would help the value of your sponsorships, it would help drive traffic to the arena, it would help sell food, merchandise, everything."

Perhaps the most significant factor is that the Prudential Center would have one fewer competitor to worry about if the Brooklyn plans fell through, said Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief of Pollstar, a concert industry magazine.

"It may well be that the biggest boon would be not so much that the Nets moved but that the competing arena went away," he said. "The Nets could move to Vermont and Prudential would be happy."

As for the Newark rumors, Yormark said: "I take it as a complete compliment that the Prudential Center would like us to call them our home. Unfortunately that's not going to happen, but I view it as a complete compliment."

Staff writers Maura McDermott, George E. Jordan and Josh Margolin contributed to this report.

JCMAN320
May 2nd, 2008, 01:14 PM
Booker to Brooklyn: Let's settle Nets matter on basketball court

by Jeffery C. Mays/The Star-Ledger Thursday May 01, 2008, 7:25 PM

If left up to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the battle over the Nets won't be decided by the credit markets or zoning boards, but rather on the basketball court.

Booker challeged Markowitz to a one-on-one game of hoops for the Nets after the borough president released a statement today calling Newark, Brooklyn's 'western suburb" and insiting New Jersey's largest city will never steal Nets from Brooklyn.

The trash talk came in response to a story that ran in The Star-Ledger today that reported New Jersey Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek and Booker are quietly trying to assemble an investment team should plans to build a new arena in Brooklyn go asunder.

Nets owner Bruce Ratner has said the team is not for sale. But that wasn't enough for Markowitz.

"After years of obscurity mired in the Meadowlands, the Nets are ready for a slam dunk in the Brooklyn big leagues. Who knows, maybe the Devils want to lace up and come here too! If my esteemed colleague Cory Booker in Brooklyn's 'western suburb,' a.k.a. Newark, New Jersey, is looking for a professional basketball team, maybe he should ask the Knicks," Markowitz said in a statement.

Booker responded by saying he would continue to pursue his "personal dream" of bringing the Nets to the $375 million Prudential Center "no matter how unrealistic."

"I yield to...Marty Markowitz, my esteemed colleague in the "eastern suburb" of Newark a.k.a Brooklyn, and would like to officially challenge him with the remaining shreds of my athletic pride to a one and one basketball game to battle for the Nets!"

Markowitz' website said one of his campaign promises was to bring the first national sports team back to Brooklyn since the Dodgers left.

"I accept Mayor Booker's challenge and must remind him that I am only 5-foot-5," said Markowitz. "I'll accept the challenge only if I can have a ringer play against him."

JCMAN320
May 2nd, 2008, 02:11 PM
It's time to bring the Nets to Newark
Team moving to Brooklyn just doesn't make sense

by Steve Politi/Star-Ledger Columnist Friday May 02, 2008, 3:01 AM


NEW YORK -- The woman waiting at the Flatbush Avenue bus stop closes her novel and gestures with her hand, as if showing this out-of-town visitor the big attraction in Brooklyn. Except the attraction is ... nothing?

"Well, here it is," Julie Bleha says.

Where?

"Over there somewhere."

There?

"That's it."

Bleha, who lives a few blocks away, points across the busy street to a scene that includes many things. A busy rail yard. An abandoned house. Several empty lots. Oh, and traffic. Lots of that.

What's missing from this scene, however is much more telling. No cranes lifting steel girders. No bulldozers moving dirt piles. No construction foremen barking orders.

No signs of the swank $950 million arena that Nets owner Bruce Ratner has planned for his team or the accompanying housing project that his Web site promises will create "a new vision for downtown Brooklyn" -- and no signs anything will happen soon.

Well, that isn't entirely accurate. There is one sign, attached to a chain-link fence, that directs people to an office a few blocks if they have questions about the Atlantic Yards project or the arena.

One jumps to mind: Where the heck is it?

Nets officials insist they still are targeting the 2010-11 season as their first in their new home, but even they have to know that's silly talk. Ratner, who loved to glad-hand reporters after games when his project was on track, turned down multiple interview requests over the past month.

"We are going to Brooklyn," his CEO Brett Yormark said. He has bragged in recent interviews about a recent trip to Europe to meet with eager corporate investors about the project.

The Nets can't sell tickets in Paramus, but now they're going to sell sponsorships in Paris?

The truth is, this franchise is closer to winning an NBA championship than to playing games near the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush in Brooklyn. And, as any Nets fan who saw a game last season can tell you, there is no rush to clear room in the rafters for a banner.

Most troubling for the team? You can't find many people outside of Ratner and his minions who think the arena in Brooklyn makes any sense now. The cost for the arena alone is quickly approaching $1 billion, which would make it twice as expensive as any in U.S. history.

The financial markets have stalled. The neighbor opposition is still strong -- residents filed yet another lawsuit this week. The team is already hemorrhaging money and writing its owners love letters requesting checks to cover those losses. And the best acts always will prefer to play at Madison Square Garden, no matter how nice a place Ratner manages to build for this often-overlooked borough.

Ratner needs to come to grips with this: His team is heading in the wrong direction, and it has nothing to do with missing the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. Too much stands in the way of the ambitious Brooklyn move to think it will ever become a reality.

Staying put is not an option, either.The Izod Center -- eaten alive by the Xanadu mess at the Meadowlands -- needs millions in long-overdo improvements for it to continue as a viable home, and even then, it would never become a profitable one for the Nets.

That leaves one destination. Moving the team to Newark makes sense on so many levels, which is probably why it hasn't happened. The Prudential Center has oodles of open dates to fill, and unless Ratner has forgotten, this is the state that has supported his sorry franchise for the past 40 years.

The Nets are lost, and somebody needs to point them down Route 21. Ratner needs to strike a deal with Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek in the short term to get the Nets out of the Meadowlands, a situation that would be mutually beneficial for both owners. And if the struggles continue across the Hudson, Ratner should sell the team to New Jersey investors to keep it where it belongs.

That would make Bleha and others in her neighborhood happy. The mood here about Atlantic Yards ranges from outrage to skepticism to apathy. Another rally against the project, billed as the biggest one yet, is planned for Saturday afternoon. A concert series featuring local musicians and the release of a documentary against the project will follow later in May.

"It's a complete and utter sellout," Bleha said from the bus stop. "Look at this traffic. This is the middle of the day on a weekday. All the housing that's supposed to be part of it? Well, where are the schools?"

The schools are only part of what's missing. Where are the condos? The affordable housing? The office space? The bulk of the project is stalled as Ratner struggles to find financing or an anchor tenant for its office building, with the arena remaining the priority.

What, if anything, that eventually will sprout up over the rail yard is a mystery to residents. Pat Cabbagestalk was sitting at a patio table outside of the Atlantic Terminal Mall -- the other Ratner creation in this neighborhood that is either an economic benefit or an unnecessary eyesore, depending on your perspective.

"My major concern is, what does it mean for the people who are being pushed out?" Cabbagestalk said. "The original concept was to build a stadium and housing. Now, the whole concept has changed. They're building the stadium first but not the affordable housing? I find that highly suspect.

"I don't think they're going to fulfill the promises," she said. "I think they just said all that to get it going."

From her seat, the progress -- a Chuck E. Cheese and a Target, among other typical chain stores -- was behind here, while the 22 acres that would become Atlantic Yards were in her line of sight.

She could see the rail yard, the chain link fence with that sign, the empty lots and buildings slated for demolition. But no signs of an arena for a lost basketball franchise that doesn't belong here. And none coming soon.

JCMAN320
May 3rd, 2008, 07:44 PM
Also let us not forget that before Corzine was Gov, he bid for the Nets, but was out-bid by Ratner!

Corzine wants Nets to stay in New Jersey

Friday, May 02, 2008
BY IAN T. SHEARN
Star-Ledger Staff

Gov. Jon Corzine said yesterday he would like the Nets to stay in New Jersey, be it Newark or East Rutherford, but sees no need for his involvement at this point.

"It would be encouraging to have the Nets stay here, whichever venue," Corzine said. "I would very much prefer they be in New Jersey as opposed to Brooklyn, and we will wait to hear whether there are propositions that the state has a role to play in," the governor told reporters following an appearance in Piscataway.

The governor's remarks came in response to a story in The Star-Ledger that ran yesterday. That story reported that Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek and Newark Mayor Cory Booker are quietly trying to assemble an investment team should plans to build a new arena in Brooklyn go asunder.

"There have been no discussions with any elected officials or business executives about buying the team or moving to Newark," Nets owner Bruce Ratner said in a statement released yesterday. "The team is very simply not for sale and any stories that suggest or insinuate that we would be interested in listening to those conversations are flat-out false."

Nets president Rod Thorn yesterday underscored Ratner's assertions: "All the indications that I've been given are that we are going to Brooklyn, and that they expect us to be there in 2010. ... And yes, I've asked. I feel confident that it's going to happen, because that's what ownership says is going to happen."

But a statement filed by the team with the SEC a month ago lays out the risks related to the Brooklyn development.

"Our investment in the Nets is subject to a number of operational risks. .... There is also the potential for increased costs and delays to the project as a result of increasing construction costs, scarcity of labor and supplies, our inability to obtain tax-exempt financing or the availability of financing or public subsidies, increasing rates for financings, and other potential litigation seeking to enjoin or prevent the project for which there may not be insurance coverage."

Then, the report states, "If any of the foregoing risks were to occur, we may not be able to develop Brooklyn Atlantic Yards to the extent intended or at all."


Staff writers Claire Heininger and Dave D'Alessandro contributed to this report.

kevin
July 11th, 2008, 01:44 AM
I took the dog for a walk around 12:30am. I generally walk down to the Prudential Center and back, since it's a nice low-traffic walk. When I got to the arena, every entrance, except for the shop, had a sign that said that occupation was prohibited as of 7/11/08. I also noticed that one of the windows on the round foyers (on the south-west side) was covered. Is something going on? Did they have a temporary permit revoked or expire or something? Very bizarre. I know there's supposed to be an event in five days or so, this ought to be interesting

Marv95
July 11th, 2008, 09:15 AM
Newark orders Pru Center off-limits due to code violation
by Joe Ryan and Jeffery C. Mays/The Star-Ledger
Friday July 11, 2008, 7:26 AM

Signs taped to the entrances of Newark's Prudential Center this morning order the arena to be vacated until it can be "rendered safe and secure."

The notices, signed by Newark construction official Niel Midtgard, read: "You are hereby ordered to vacate said premises. As of 7/11/2008, no individual is to occupy this building until the structure is rendered safe & secure."
Prudential Center

Around 7:30 a.m., a group of people walked in to the building, including New Jersey Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek. Asked what was going on, Vanderbeek said: "I don't know, I'm here to find out."
Jeff Vanderbeek

The next scheduled event at the Prudential Center is Wednesday, July 16, "The Comedy Cures Comedy and Casino Night."

Newark Mayor Cory Booker arrived at the arena at approximately 7:45 a.m., and said: "I'll talk to you when I know more about it."

Esmeralda Diaz Cameron, a spokeswoman for Booker, said he made the decision at midnight to shutter the arena.

William Crawley, head of the Newark Downtown Core Redevelopment Corp., the agency hired to oversee the arena, said the arena was shut down due to a code compliance issue.

"We are greatly concerned about what appears to be an arena shutdown because of code enforcement issue," said Crawley. "As the asset manager we will make inquiries with the city administration to find out the next step."

The arena is still operating under a temporary certificate of occupancy that has been in place since it opened in October. One of the issues keeping it from gaining a final certificate of occupancy has been the stairwell smoke evacuation system. As a result, the Prudential Center has had to pay for city firefighters to stand at stairwells during events.


That's what happens when a)you rush things and b)don't start the actual construction on time.

JCMAN320
November 11th, 2008, 07:54 PM
Pro lacrosse team plans to play at Pru Center in Newark

by The Associated Press
Tuesday November 11, 2008, 11:31 AM

Professional lacrosse is coming to Newark.

The New York Titans will play five of their seven home games at the Prudential Center this season.

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2008/11/large_buffalo%20at%20tians%20casey%20powell.JPG
New York Titans
Casey Powell of the New York Titans

The Titans play in the 13-team National Lacrosse League and normally play their home games at Madison Square Garden. Last season the team reached the league semifinals.

The team is led by Casey Powell, a former three-time All-America for Syracuse University.

The Titans are scheduled to play at the Prudential Center on Jan. 10 against Boston; Feb. 8 against Chicago; March 14 against Calgary; April 4 against Philadelphia and April 11 against Buffalo.

The team also plans to provide instruction and equipment to local schools as part of a community outreach project.

ZenSteelDude
January 25th, 2009, 03:38 PM
Not to toot my own horn but.

Newark’s Prudential Center Voted Region’s Best

http://newyork.construction.com/features/archive/2008/12_cover.asp

The company I work for built the "entrance cylinders"

66nexus
January 31st, 2009, 02:21 AM
New Home Radiates More Energy for Seton Hall

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/01/29/sports/29seton.1.600.jpg Aaron Houston for The New York Times
The Prudential Center in Newark has given the Pirates a home-court advantage. Seton Hall is 10-2 at home.


By BILL FINLEY
Published: January 29, 2008
NEWARK — The Seton Hall (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/seton_hall_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org) men’s basketball team is better than it was last season, which has something to do with the hot shooting of Brian Laing, the veteran leadership of Jamar Nutter and the energetic play of the freshman Jeremy Hazell. It also has something to do with a building.

Having left the cavernous and, at least when Seton Hall played, empty Continental Arena in East Rutherford, the Pirates are flourishing here in their new home, the Prudential Center. “I really like it here,” Laing said Sunday after the Pirates’ 10th victory in 12 home games this season, 64-61 over Cincinnati. “It feels more like a college basketball atmosphere. At times, it gets really loud in here. Now, it really does feel like we have a homecourt advantage.”

That was not always the case at the Meadowlands, where Seton Hall played from 1985 through last season. During recent seasons, the Pirates often attracted crowds of fewer than 5,000. In a building that can hold 20,029 for basketball, the arena seemed empty and dreary, lacking not only people but energy most nights Seton Hall played. The Pirates were 11-5 last season at Continental Arena, which has since been renamed the Izod Center, and 13-16 over all.

“The problem with the Meadowlands, it was like a neutral site for us,” said Seton Hall Coach Bobby Gonzalez, whose team is 14-6 over all this season.
When the option of playing at the Prudential Center arose, Seton Hall, like the Devils (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/hockey/nationalhockeyleague/newjerseydevils/index.html?inline=nyt-org), decided to make the move. Another key move was the decision to cordon off the upper bowl of the new arena. For Seton Hall games, a black curtain is lowered to cover the entire top deck, limiting the arena’s capacity to 9,800, or about 9,000 fewer than the building could hold if all areas were open.

The result is that, even with 6,000 or 7,000 people in the building, the Prudential Center feels packed. And the crowd, no longer spread about the arena, is closer to the action. That is good for the fans and the players, who seem to feed off the atmosphere. “It can get crazy in here,” Seton Hall guard Eugene Harvey said. “Now, you can tell when people are into the game. At the Meadowlands, it was so spread out it never seemed like there was a big crowd.”

Seton Hall averaged 6,636 fans for 16 games last season at Continental Arena. This season, the Pirates have drawn an average of 6,488 over 12 games, but with coming games against Notre Dame (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/university_of_notre_dame/index.html?inline=nyt-org), Syracuse and Rutgers, that number is expected to increase significantly.

Despite the problems with the Meadowlands, some felt Seton Hall should have stayed there. Would Pirates fans trek from the suburbs into Newark, where fear of crime and a lack of parking might become issues? “I was a big detractor of the move,” said Steve Ritardi, a season-ticket holder from Mendham. “I thought it was going to be a complete disaster. I didn’t think the infrastructure was going to be good enough, and I never thought they’d be able to draw the type of crowds that they’re drawing to this place.” But Ritardi has been converted. “The Meadowlands was like a morgue,” he said. “Here you walk in through restaurants and bars, and there’s some life here. Especially for college basketball, it’s a much more intimate setting.”

The new arena is also popular with students. “One of the highlights of this season is our student numbers, which are up significantly,” said Seton Hall’s athletic director, Joe Quinlan Jr. “I’m not sure what the answer is. We’ve done a lot of outreaching to them, but I think it’s also a case of it being easier for them to get here.” The Seton Hall campus is four miles from the Prudential Center and about 15 miles from the Meadowlands. The arena is also only a few blocks from Pennsylvania Station here, making it accessible by public transportation. Seton Hall has sold out two games and, with the team on a four-game winning streak entering Wednesday’s game at Rutgers, demand for tickets is on the rise. Quinlan’s hope is that Seton Hall will continue to improve under Gonzalez and that in future seasons, ticket demand will necessitate opening the entire facility. For now, Seton Hall will stick with what has been working.

“We’ve had three overtime wins in this building,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve come back from being down 23. We’ve came back from being down 19; back from being down 14 to Louisville in the last six minutes of the game. What’s happening is the kids are feeding off the crowd. They almost don’t believe we’re going to lose here.”

taken from nytimes.com