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Official Review by Matt Fiedler, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey is home to the Seton Hall University men's basketball team. Nicknamed "The Rock" after the Prudential logo, the facility is also home to the New Jersey Devils. It was also home to the New Jersey Nets until they moved to Brooklyn in 2012.
The arena opened in 2007 and has been the home of the Pirates ever since. The attendance has gone up since Seton Hall had a great recruiting class in 2014 and injected life into the program once again. The Pirates play in the Big East conference and face stiff competition every year. It may not have that intimate feel, but the Prudential Center has plenty of positives.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The Prudential Center has all of the stadium essentials and much more. You can find hot dogs, chicken tenders, pretzels, and peanuts at the Prudential Center. Not only are these present in large quantities, but there are also other unique options. Some interesting options include gourmet fries, BBQ nachos, and chicken parmesan sandwiches. There is also Mrs. Fields cookies and Auntie Anne's pretzels. The food is a tad pricey since this is a professional sports venue, but the quality definitely is superior to most college venues.
The Prudential Center also has a large variety of beverages. The arena is off campus so alcohol is sold here. There are a few varieties that can be found in the arena. Molson's, Beck's and Stella Artois are there to name a few.
Seton Hall plays in an arena that is rather large for the amount of fans that it brings in. The top portion of the arena is blocked off and fans can only sit in the lower bowl. The seats are very comfortable and offer a good view of the action. The video board at the Prudential Center is top notch. It has all the relevant info and stats that you need to know. Also, the announcer does a great job in firing up the crowd and there are many promotions and giveaways.
The city of Newark has a reputation for being a rough area. There are still spots that you should avoid in the city, but the immediate area around the Prudential Center isn't bad. A lot of resources have been poured into making this area look nice and it shows. There are restaurants and businesses in the immediate vicinity of the Prudential Center. There are also many parking lots close by and other transportation options that will allow you to avoid the bad parts of the city.
The Seton Hall fan base has had a renewal of sorts in recent years. The team was given a big boost in the form of Isaiah Whitehead and other recruits from 2014. The Pirates won the Big East tournament in 2016 and got themselves an NCAA tournament bid. Whitehead has since left for the NBA but the team still remains very competitive. The fans have continued to show up and give support to the team. At a typical game you will see a lot of alumni and students as well as some support for the opposition.
The Seton Hall fans are generally respectful and kind towards visiting fans. You may face some light hearted heckling if you wear a Villanova or Rutgers shirt though.
The Prudential Center is very easy to get to. If you are coming from out of town you can take a train to Newark Penn Station. A NJ transit train can take you to Newark Broad Street and then a light rail train can get you to Newark Penn Station. From there it is a 2 minute walk to get to the Prudential Center. There are also many parking lots around the stadium for those who opt to drive to the game. Parking will generally run you between $10-$20. When walking around the arena, fans will find it very easy to navigate and the bathrooms are also large.
The price of Seton Hall tickets is low compared to other college programs. You can usually get a ticket for around $20. Every seat has a good view so there isn't too much of a reason to sit close to the court. The price of concessions can be a bit high but the quality makes it worth the cost. The quality of Big East basketball makes tickets to a Seton Hall game worth the price.
One star goes to the great cheerleaders and dance team of the Seton Hall Pirates. They do a great job and they help to get the crowd involved in the game.
A second star goes to the PA announcer of the Pirates. The PA announcer has a lot of energy and has a good sense of humor as well. His interactions with fans really help to make the atmosphere shine.
Seton Hall isn't a blue blood program but it has been revitalized in recent years. If you make a trip to the Prudential Center you will get good quality basketball at a pretty affordable price. The Pirates play very good competition and you will certainly get your money's worth. If you are in the area, it is worth a stop.
Member Review by samanthabunten
The Seton Hall Pirates' home court is Newark, New Jersey's Prudential Center, a venue they share with the NHL's New Jersey Devils and the NBA's New Jersey Nets.
The $400 million venue was built in 2007 as part of the "Newark Renaissance", a city-wide project seeking to revive the downtrodden city and turn it into a safe, clean, and vibrant destination which is conveniently located in the New York City area, but boasts a personality all its own.
The realization of the project as a whole may take as long as another decade to complete, but the city took a step in the right direction with, among other things, the Prudential Center.
With their campus being nearby, the Seton Hall Pirates have the somewhat unique opportunity to play in a pro-style arena and give their fans all the amenities that come with that, but still host their home games very close to the school itself.
Like the Newark Renaissance project that it is part of, the Prudential Center's offerings have not yet fully meshed with its tenant. There are some problems with a college team playing in a pro venue that become apparent here, but there are also some significant benefits which in time will hopefully outweigh the drawbacks.
Member Review by sportsroadtrips on Feb 26, 2013
The review is still spot on two years later. This place is too big for this school, but it still made lots of noise when the Pirates made a last second comeback from 4 points down. Advantages are that you have lots of space to yourself and you can get inside for $10. The upper deck is closed off though and having so few fans does hurt the atmosphere.
Member Review by Nomarfan555 on Jan 31, 2015
The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey is home to the Seton Hall University men’s basketball team. Nicknamed “the Rock” after the Prudential logo, the facility is also home to the New Jersey Devils. It was also home to the New Jersey Nets until they moved to Brooklyn in 2012.
The arena opened in 2007 and has been the home of the Pirates ever since. The attendance has gone up since Seton Hall had a great recruiting class in 2014 and returned to the top 25.
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