Devils Ink New Lease Agreement With Newark, Ending Longtime Dispute
Newark officials on Thursday said that the city, the Devils and the Newark Housing Authority "signed off on a lease agreement" for Prudential Center, potentially "ending years of acrimony between the parties," according to David Giambusso of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. One of the "last stumbling blocks in the deal" was roughly $4M in legal fees owed to the housing authority from the city, "after the city unsuccessfully fought the revenue sharing deal in court." Officials said that the Newark City Council "approved that money last week." However, one "caveat remains." The Newark Housing Authority has to "negotiate with the city to relieve itself of its responsibilities and allow the city's parking authority to take over as the arena landlord -- a role held by the housing authority" since the arena began constriction in '05. As part of the deal, Newark will build a "parking deck next to the municipal courthouse on Green Street and the Devils will rent a significant number of spaces, guaranteeing income for the city." Newark also will pay the Devils $2.7M per year "in parking revenue for other lots surrounding the arena, as mandated by arbitrators last year." Meanwhile, the city will impose a 1.37% tax "on all tickets" to Devils, WNBA Liberty and Seton Hall Univ. basketball games. For other events, "like concerts and conventions, the city and the Devils will share a $1.25 facility fee per ticket that will increase after five years" (NJ.com, 6/13). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Heather Haddon cites data from Pollstar as showing that Prudential Center did $23.7M in "ticket sales last year." The fees are "expected to generate" an estimated $2M a year for the city, "even with the loss" of the Nets (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/14).