Prudential Center - Seton Hall Pirates
Photos by Jon Hart & Matt Fiedler, Stadium Journey
Prudential Center FANFARE Score: 3.00
Prudential Center 25 Lafayette St Newark, NJ 07102
Year Opened: 2007 Capacity: 18,500
Seton Hall – or The Hall as many refer to it – plays in The Big East and is gunning for its fourth consecutive NCAA tournament bid. They have an elite player in junior guard Myles Powell. When Powell takes over, The Hall can beat anyone. And they already did just that, beating Kentucky earlier this 2018-19 season.
New Jersey’s premier team plays in a first-rate arena. The Prudential Center, also home to the New Jersey Devils, is a relatively new, modern multi-purpose arena, which seats about 19,000. For most of The Hall’s home games, Prudential closes off its upper tier, hiding it with curtains. Meanwhile, fans fill up the lower bowl. Consequently, this gives the palatial Prudential a more intimate feel.
Food & Beverage 3
All the usual suspects are present: Chicken tenders and fries, burgers, popcorn, Mrs. Fields, and so forth. They also have a very extensive selection of beer. Be warned: Prices are not on the low end. For instance, a hearty burger and fries will run you $15. A cool, tall boy Corona goes for $14. For a full list of concessions, go to Concession Guide. Be warned: If it’s not a huge game, the venue might not be offering this entire menu. Worth noting: Prudential’s main corridor is quite wide and easy to navigate.
Right outside the arena, you can’t miss the cozy, always reliable Dinosaur Barbeque. There’s also a Chipotle, a noodle shop, as well as a few stylish pubs and beer gardens. A bit further away, there are plenty of excellent dining and drinking options.
The Hall has a diehard fan base, and they show up in Seton Hall blue. It’s not unusual for The Hall to draw over 10,000, no easy feat in the internet age. For rivals Villanova and Rutgers, that attendance number goes much higher. The Hall puts on a show. They have a mascot, a Pirate, loads of enthusiastic cheerleaders and dancers, and The Hall’s pep band is solid with a great horn section. Behind one of the baskets, students stand for the entirety of the game. In short, The Hall at Prudential doesn’t feel like an NBA game, a good thing.
Prudential is two long blocks from Newark Penn Station, a major transportation hub. In between, there are lots of dark, corporate buildings and parking lots. If you’re a foodie or just a little adventurous, the Ironbound District, about a mile away from Prudential, is a must-visit.
The Ironbound offers an array of authentic Portuguese, Brazilian and Spanish options. Here’s a quick but copious guide: Newark's Culinary Gem. For something more conventional, one of America’s most well-known diners, the Tops Diner, is about a mile and a half away from Prudential. If you’re not driving, Newark has a healthy bus system. Of course, you might opt for a car service option.
They’re dedicated and enthusiastic. When The Hall is on a roll, there’s a lot of dancing, or swaying and hand moving. When the pep band is not rockin’ out, the Prudential cranks out upbeat tunes. If the team can attain the success of Big East conference rival Villanova, Prudential will be forced to open its upper-tier seating area.
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. An 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.
Prudential has the world at its fingertips, easily accessible by car or public transportation. It’s a short walk from the major train station Newark Penn, which is less than a 20-minute ride from midtown Manhattan’s New York Penn Station, located right next to Madison Square Garden. The Newark International Airport is about three miles away from Prudential.
No surprise, there’s no shortage of lodging options and parking lots in Prudential’s vicinity. See here for a quick guide. If you’re looking to not pay for space, it’s certainly doable, but you’ll probably have to drive a few blocks away from the arena congestion. When entering the arena, fans can expect to go through a security gate, par for the course at a major arena.
Return on Investment 3
The Hall is a big-time college basketball program, and their ticket prices reflect that, ranging in price from $30 to $75, depending on the game. Still, this is a more reasonable option than the nearby Knicks or Nets and very competitive with its Big East rivals.
The Hall has plenty of promotions. Yes, they shoot t-shirts into the crowd. More memorably, two costumed dinosaurs raced one another during a break in the action. At the top of the lower tier seats on both sides of half court, there are wonderful eating and drinking areas where fans can watch the action.
It’s open to everyone. Lastly, Prudential’s half-court, the multi-sided video screen is enormous, visible from every seat in the arena, a real game changer. For a pre or post-game activity option, Prudential has the Grammy Museum Experience, an interactive experience, under its very roof.
In an area where professional sports are king, Seton Hall is a major player. They’re already New Jersey’s team. With their proximity, they just could be New York’s team as well... that is if a few more pieces fall into place. Stay tuned. Prudential is an arena befitting a team of this high caliber.
You can follow Jon Hart @ManVersusBall.