Izod Center expected to close, move events to Prudential Center, but may be revamped at a later date
From NJ.com, Deal closing Izod Center expected to be announced Thursday
TRENTON — The Izod Center — the arena that has been part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford for more than three decades and was once the home to the New Jersey Devils and Nets — is expected to close its doors by the end of the month.
Under an agreement that will be announced Thursday, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority — which oversees the 34-year-old, state-owned venue — has reached an agreement with the Prudential Center that grants the arena in Newark official hosting rights to the events calendar of the Izod Center, according to a source familiar with the agreement who asked not to be identified because the source was not authorized to publicly discuss it.
The two-year deal called for all future events currently scheduled for the Izod Center to be moved to the Prudential Center, effective Jan. 31. According to the Izod calendar, those upcoming events include concerts by Chris Brown and Maroon 5, a Ringling Bros. circus, and a Disney event.
The source said as part of the agreement, the Izod Center will remain dark for the two-year duration of the contract.
Only a handful of concerts have been held at the arena in the past two years, although three dozen schools held graduation ceremonies there last spring and the arena still attracts family-oriented holiday shows.
Wayne Hasenbalg, the president of the sports authority, said the decision, though difficult, was a matter of economics and a component of the ongoing transformation of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, highlighted by the American Dream entertainment and retail project.There will be major construction in the next 18 months, until the project opens.
State Sen. Paul Sarlo, whose district includes the Sports Complex, criticized the move.
“This is only devaluing the facility and any potential for being taken over by a new operator in the future,” Sarlo told the Record. "The rational way of doing things would be to keep the arena open and allow entities such as Triple Five, Barclays Center, or Prudential Center to bid." It's not clear if that was viable.