Seton Hall agrees to five-year deal with Prudential Center



has the RAC. Seton Hall will have the “The

from Seton Hall and the New Jersey Devils announced an agreement to move Seton
Hall’s basketball games to the new


Center in downtown

Newark beginning this year.

five-year deal, which contains an option to renew for another five years, came
nearly a year after talks began between the school and the Devils. The Devils
are sharing the cost of constructing the $370 million arena with the city and
are responsible for leasing and operating the building.

“The Rock” after Prudential bought naming rights earlier this year,
the arena will serve as a recruiting tool for Pirates coach Bobby Gonzalez, who
was 13-16 last season, his first at the school.

chance to come into a new stadium that is closer to the campus puts us on a
more even keel with some of the other Big East programs that have that type of
situation,” he said.

For the
past 26 years, Seton Hall played at Continental Airlines Arena in East
Rutherford, about 15 miles from the school’s campus in South Orange. The new
arena is about four miles away and is the centerpiece of a redevelopment plan
that includes office and retail space and a downtown hotel.

critical to Seton Hall playing in its backyard instead of moving someplace else
is the message it sends to anyone else who’s thinking about what the
opportunities are here in the city of Newark,” said city business
administrator Bo Kemp.

president Jeffrey Vanderbeek said months of negotiations between the team and
school culminated in an agreement about a month ago at the home of Pat Hobbs,
the dean of




School who had been
peripherally involved in the discussions to that point.

day was when we all got together and said, ‘Listen, we’re not going to leave
this room until we’ve got a deal,'” Vanderbeek said. “And we did. I
think we both were surprised at how quickly it came to fruition.”

The arena
will seat 17,625 people for hockey games, 18,500 for basketball and 19,500 for

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