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  • Richard Smith

Prudential Center - Seton Hall Pirates

Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Prudential Center FANFARE Score: 4.00

Prudential Center 25 Lafayette St Newark, NJ 07102

Year Opened: 2007 Capacity: 18,500


The Hall or The Rock

Seton Hall – or The Hall as many refer to it – is a private Catholic research university in South Orange, New Jersey. It is named Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Many people know more about the basketball program than the university itself. The men's basketball team has appeared in many NCAA Division I men's basketball tournaments and achieved national renown after making it to the final of the 1989 tournament and losing in overtime to the Michigan Wolverines. The school's athletic teams are known as the Pirates.

The Prudential Center replaced the Meadowlands Arena (and its various names) as the home to both the Pirates and the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. The arena is also a popular concert and event venue.

Food & Beverage 4

The Prudential Center's food offerings are varied. There is also a nice emphasis on local New Jersey food offerings. Try something with Taylor Ham on it, it will be worth it. The prices are high. Very high, but that can somewhat be expected for a venue of this high caliber.

Atmosphere 5

The arena blocks off the upper level of seats for Hall games. I was expecting this to be a bad idea and to limit the atmosphere, but it does not. It does make the lower bowl seem much more intimate than one would expect.

The cheerleaders and dance teams, along with the mascot, known as "The Pirate", create that great game feeling one expects for a Big East team. It almost feels like an on-campus venue.

There is a very large scoreboard that offers great information and viewing. There are even smaller screens underneath so everyone should have a good view.

Prudential Center Scoreboard, Photo by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Neighborhood 3

Newark is a very urban environment where one should use caution when not in the larger crowds before or after the game. It is a short walk to many parking options or the nearby Penn Station, but if there is no crowd around, it may feel a bit lonely. Use caution and you should be fine.

There are some good restaurants near the venue. We recommend American Whiskey Newark and Redd's Biergarten. The Ironbound neighborhood past the train station offers many great food and drink options. One should look into parking at Iberia Tavern & Restaurant, that way you get good value parking as well as a great pre-game meal.

Fans 5

It is not an on-campus arena, but the crowd is great and makes the venue a much more intimate and enjoyable feel than one may expect.

Access 4

There are many train options to both Newark Penn Station as well as to Newark Broad Street Station. Penn is within a nice walking distance, but Broad Street Station is further away and you may need to grab a light rail trip to cut down that distance.

There are also many parking lots around the arena with prices that start at around $10. The closer you park, expect more traffic after the game.

Return on Investment 3

The prices of food are not the only thing that is not very cheap, as tickets, especially for Big East rivalry games, can be quite expensive. Expect to pay different prices depending on the opponent.

Extras 4

The cheer squad and The Pirate will do things such as throwing t-shirts into the squad, as well as mingling with fans. The video screen may be one of the largest seen at an arena and is an extra all of its own.

Prudential has an attached Grammy Museum Experience, an interactive experience, which could make a great visit before or after a game. Check out some of the high school hockey sweaters as part of the enormous display inside the main entrance.

Final Thoughts

Seton Hall and the Prudential Center belong in the discussion for best New York City area sports venues to attend. It has as close to an on-campus environment as one will get to an off-campus venue.

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