The Star-Ledger announces today that Prudential and the Devils are finalizing an agreement to dub the new Newark Arena The Prudential Arena, possibly nicknamed “The Rock.”
The most likely figure for the naming rights is $5 million a year.
In my opinion, this is a good deal for Newark, the Devils, and Prudential. Newark is getting an arena with a respectable corporate name. Prudential is not a controversial corporation, nor is “Prudential” a somewhat silly name like Tropicana, Petco, or Gaylord Entertainment. “Prudential” isn’t a long name like TD Waterhouse. The Prudential Insurance Company isn’t likely to change its name anytime soon or be taken over by another corporation. Thus, Newark isn’t going to go through a series of different arena names like San Francisco has gone through with SBC Park/Pacific Bell Park/AT&T Park.
The Prudential has a long history in Newark. Founded in 1875 as the Prudential Friendly Society by John Fairfield Dryden, the Pru has been a loyal citizen of Newark despite all the pressures to leave. The Prudential Arena is going to be located a few blocks south of the Prudential’s world headquarters on Broad Street and a few blocks north of John Fairfield Dryden’s mansion on Lincoln Park.
The best names for the arena would have been the Newark Arena or Broad Street Arena, but those kind of names have gone out of style.
In other area arena news, the New York State Public Authorities Control Board voted to approve the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn. This massive 8 million sq ft project will include office space, housing, and an arena for the New Jersey Brooklyn Nets. This was the Atlantic Yards project’s last regulatory hurdle to clear. Up until now I had some hope that Newark might get the Nets after all.