Star Ledger: Essex exec wants to shut arena in the Meadowlands

Star Ledger: Essex exec wants to shut arena in the Meadowlands

The way Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo sees it, the $375 million Prudential Center has proved it can be a success. Since opening in October, the venue has attracted crowds to sporting events and concerts.

But there is one thing standing in the way of the Newark arena achieving its full potential: The Izod Center.

“The Meadowlands should have been closed as soon as this arena opened up,” said DiVincenzo. “Saying two arenas can make it is absolutely not true. Every day the Izod Center stays open, it hurts our arena and hurts what we are trying to do by redeveloping Newark.”

DiVincenzo thinks one of the reasons Gov. Jon Corzine has not closed the Izod Center is pressure from an organized group of Bergen County politicians. Now he’s called together a coalition of Essex County politicians to fight for “The Rock.”

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

5 thoughts on “Star Ledger: Essex exec wants to shut arena in the Meadowlands”

  1. This should have been done at the very start. Why is it that ever time that Newark has made a step forward, the state of NJ has tried to push it back five.

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  2. Dan,
    I’m honestly not sure what should be done here. Obviously, these deals could have been made in concert as a part of a state-wide initiative to draw tourism and events, but I wonder if that’s pie-in-the-sky thinking.
    The economic conservative in me says both venues should stay open and let the best one win, but part of me also agrees with you that NJ needs to take special interest in reviving Newark — a languishing asset to the state that could repay the state in tax revenues and mindshare several times over.
    Is closing the Meadowlands Arena a good strategy? I’m not sure — I tend to think cross-promotion is a better approach (getting bands/events to come to both arenas), given that the Rock could really prosper from the Meadowlands’ relationships and deals.
    And maybe this is DiVincenzo’s approach: be a hard-charger about tearing down the Meadowlands Arena as leverage to strike up a win-win equitable deal. We’ll see whether that’s the case, and if it’s successful.

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  3. KenI do see your point of view. Meadowlands has never done well, it hard to get and it was badly plan.
    The Rock has moving towards the black since day one. What NJ needs to do is market the state as a whole.
    When Newark does, so does the entire NJ.

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  4. The state owns the Meadowlands. As long as it is profitable, it will never close, because of the many, many budget shortfalls we enjoy. And since the arenas are managed by competitors (AEG and Live Nation, I believe), extensive cross-promotion is unlikely. Izod’s uselessness will become even more apparent when the Nets leave next year. If you want a symbol for New Jersey — bloated, duplicative, mismanaged and unnecessary — look no further than the Meadowlands arena. The Rock is in direct competition with the state, which is angry that it can’t get a piece of it (hence the coming taxes on parking and ticket sales), so Newark will always come after the rest of the state (again, highly symbolic, no?).

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  5. Trust me the tide will turn and there’s nothing the state can do about it. Taxes are running the middle class out of NJ while high rents are pushing people out of New York. This is going to created a interesting situation.

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