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Prudential Center rep.: NBA lockout, N.J. Nets sales will not hurt venue

prudentialcenter030211_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The Prudential Center has been open since 2007, and is the first new multi-purpose professional sports and entertainment arena to be built in the New York / New Jersey area in 25 years. The building currently hosts the New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall basketball, the New York Liberty, and hopes to see the New Jersey Nets playing there again very soon.

Bob Sommer, President of Rock Entertainment Management, says the venue will be able to fill its dates whether the Nets play this season or not.

“It is not a great day for the restaurants around the building. But if those dates are not going to be fulfilled with Nets games, we’ll be able to fill enough of them,” said Sommer. “We won’t be financially disabled, perhaps we’ll even be better off.”

The New Jersey Nets were supposed to be playing in the Prudential Center this year before moving to Brooklyn for the 2012-2013 season. “They don’t draw especially well, but they drew better in our building than in Izod the year before,” said Sommer.

Sommer mentioned that it becomes harder for the Center to fill dates because the NBA has been canceling their games in two-week increments. “It’s very hard to fill in dates on two weeks notice,” he explained. “We, along with the other NBA arenas, are making the assumption that somewhere around Thanksgiving a shortened season is going to be announced, or else it’s going to be canceled. We’ll plan accordingly when we get a definitive answer in a couple of weeks. Then we’ve got four months to fill in dates. We’ll either fill those dates with concerts or NBA games, and we’ll be good.”

Sommer said the Prudential Center is the third largest non-sports building in the country, adding, “If they play a season, we’ll be immensely happy. If they don’t, we’ll be able to fill some of those dates with very lucrative shows. We are a big draw.”

The Foo Fighters are in concert at the Prudential Center Monday night at 7:00 p.m., and Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream begins Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

 
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