In last week’s Funnel Cast, I wrote about the “good news” we received last week regarding the joint venture between Hackensack University Medical Center and Seton Hall University for a new medical school on the Roche campus on Route 3.
But the bad news is just a few miles down the road. The Izod Center, formerly the Continental Airlines Arena and Brendan Byrne Arena, is being shut down and all of the scheduled events will be moved to The Prudential Center in Newark.
It was just a matter of time once the Nets and Devils moved out. The arena couldn’t sustain itself with concerts and kids shows, especially when you consider the competing venues in the area. The Prudential Center opened in 2007, Barclays Center in 2012, and Madison Square Garden recently completed a $1billion renovation. The Izod Center opened in 1981.
If real estate is based on location, this is surely a great one. Located at the junction of Route 3 and The New Jersey Turnpike, the site also features recently added rail access.
The big question mark for many is the development next store. Formerly known as Xanadu, American Dream Meadowlands is now scheduled to open in late-2016. Will it finally happen? Will Triple Five, the developer, deliver on the promise to bring major retailers, an indoor amusement park, and replace the hideous exterior facing The Turnpike?
If so, then maybe they have the answer to what happens to the Izod Center. Perhaps once they are done with the project at hand, Triple Five might be ready for their next major development. But if they aren’t as successful as they plan to be, then what happens? And should we wait to find out?
In my opinion, we need someone with vision to develop a plan that will tie into The American Dream Meadowlands, but not be completely reliant upon it.
A hotel/casino with a conference center, small arena, and sports gambling would be its own draw. While likely putting the final nail in the coffin of Atlantic City, a casino that’s a short train ride from New York City seems like a no-brainer to me.
Maybe Donald Trump is the answer. You can’t tell me that having a hotel/casino with the Trump name on top of it, facing New York City, wouldn’t get Donald’s juices flowing.
I’ve seen countless events at The Izod Center, including many Bruce Springsteen concerts, Nets games, Devils game, and most recently, Disney on Ice with my kids. It holds a lot of memories for many of my friends as well. But it’s ready for its next chapter. The author of which will dictate whether or not I someday write a post regarding the good news.
For now, it will sit vacant and that is truly bad news.