The Izod Center, the New Jersey arena formerly home to the Nets and Devils and more recently home to not a whole hell of a lot, could be shuttered after March in a plan to be voted on today by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. According to NJ.com, the deal includes granting Newark’s Prudential Center the rights to host future events scheduled for the Meadowlands arena, but it’s not clear whether the operators of the Newark arena would be paying anything to make their competitor go away or just having it dropped in their lap.
The ultimate goal here, or at least the rationalization, appears to be two-fold: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to stop paying for losses at the arena that were projected for $8.5 million this year; and to clear the way for the area around the arena site to be used for staging construction of American Dream, the mall-and-amusement-park project being planned after Xanadu, an amusement-park-and-mall project, went bankrupt as part of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2009.
Everyone involved is saying the closure would only last through 2017, and the arena could then be reused for something else — though presumably not as an arena, since the New York City metro area is already facing a glut of those. It’s in a terrible location for transit, and the East Coast isn’t real big on megachurches or Bass Pro shops, so … super-Ikea? World’s largest Apple Store? If you have an idea, contact the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority — after today they won’t have much to do the next couple of years except take your calls.