Sunday, June 01, 2014

As Barclays Center rises, isolated Izod Center in New Jersey faces questionable future

The Star-Ledger has an interesting story today about the fate of the former home of the New Jersey Nets, No longer the hot ticket, Izod Center faces the music, as NJ looks to get out of show business. The state-owned Izod Center may be transferred to another operator by lease, sold, or demolished.

The Izod, which lost the hockey Devils to the Prudential Center in Newark and the Nets of course to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, is still on the cusp:
While Izod lost money last year, financial figures released by the state Sports and Exposition Authority do not show heavy losses. The arena last year generated $12.2 million in event revenue and another $6.7 million in income from advertising, suite revenue and property lease payments.
It has 131 events scheduled this year, up from 109 last year, despite the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, which shut down the Meadowlands complex for about a month leading into the February game. Still, after administration and event expenses, Izod reported a $45,800 loss.
Izod five years ago was 21st in the world in concert tickets sold, according to the trade publication Pollstar, but last year was 59, while Barclays was third.

Wayne Hasenbalg, the authority's CEO, suggested that Barclays Center has operated as a loss leader, aiming to make a splash in the concert world. "We’ve all lost business to Barclays. They’re getting all that stuff because they’re making deals," he said. (He's not the first to make that hint.)

One problem for Izod: it has no walkable dinner/entertainment options nearby, unlike venues in New York City or Newark. However, if and when the suspended American Dream (formerly Xanadu) shopping mall/entertainment complex is finished nearby, it would benefit Izod.

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