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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 returned to the top 25.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
All of your standard fare is here at the Prudential Center. Hot dogs, sausage, fries, chicken tenders, are all available. The Prudential Center serves Pepsi products. In addition to the normal stadium food, you can get some Italian cuisine, as well as Mrs. Fields cookies. The food is of a higher quality than most college arenas, since the Prudential Center is home to a professional team as well. Prices are also higher though, but in general the quality is worth the slight uptick in price.
Since this arena is not on a college campus, alcohol is sold at the games. As far as beer goes, the Prudential Center has a wide variety of choices. Stella Artois, Beck's, and a large selection of craft beer are all available.
It's tough to recreate the small gym atmosphere of a college basketball game when the Pirates play at Prudential, but they do their best.
The concourse is built to handle a large crowd at a professional event, so it is very easy to navigate with a college sized crowd. The seats are comfortable and each has a cup holder. Only the seats in the lower bowl are available, the upper levels are blocked off for Seton Hall games except for the suites. Every seat offers a good view of the court.
There are frequent promotions and giveaways at the Seton Hall games. The atmosphere when one of Seton Hall's rivals is in the building is electric. The large HD screen at center court is top notch, and you will not be disappointed by the in arena announcer .
The city of Newark isn't considered to be one of the nicer cities in the country, but the area around the Prudential Center is improving. While driving into Newark there are plenty of small shops that are in disarray and in need of repair. Once you get closer to the Prudential Center though, things improve. There are a few restaurants right around the corner. Dinosaur BBQ is a favorite as well as Chipotle. The Chipotle was packed before the game when I went in. I would recommend either of these places; if you want to sit down and have a meal though, go with Dinosaur BBQ. The parking lots are very close to the arena so you won't have to walk down the troubled areas of Newark.
On the court, Seton Hall has improved in the last year or so, and it has brought out more fans as a result. The students are your average college basketball fans. Along with the students, there is a mix of alumni and opposing fans. Visiting fans are treated well. Most are away from the student section and are behind the opposing team's bench. The only time opposing fans are given a hard time is when a traditional rival, such as Rutgers or Villanova is in town.
It is easy to get to the Prudential Center. If you take NJ Transit to Newark-Penn Station, you can hop on the light rail and get dropped off right near the Prudential Center. For students, Seton Hall offers a fan bus from campus right to the Prudential Center.
For those driving, there are plenty of lots close to the arena. Parking ranges from $10-$20 depending on which lot you use.
Tickets range from $20-$75 depending on where you want to sit. To give you a comparison, a seat in the lower corner at a Seton Hall game costs about $29. A similar seat at a New Jersey Devils game costs $83. You can check out the prices at Ticketmonster.com.
The quality of play is very high, and you will see great Big East basketball.
Seton Hall hands out programs to each person before the game for free. It usually includes the roster of both teams, as well as facts and the history of Seton Hall basketball.
There is a section in the arena with the retired numbers of past Seton Hall players. There is also a banner in the rafters for Seton Hall's lone national championship appearance in 1989.
In the end, Seton Hall is a solid college basketball team playing in an arena that is too large for them. Despite of this, the Prudential Center is a great facility and Seton Hall puts on a great event. The positives outweigh the negatives overall. It is worth a visit.
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.
150 Lafayette St
Newark, NJ 07105
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1048 Raymond Boulevard
Newark, NJ 07102
858 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102