Nets Home Arena
Newark, New Jersey
Cheap New Jersey Nets Basketball Tickets?
Opened: October 2007
Capacity: 18,500 seats
Mascot: Sly the Silver Fox
Dance Team: Power N' Motion
Draft Beer: $
Hot Dog: $
165 Mulberry Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Arena Parking: $
NBA Basketball Arena Review - The Prudential Center
Ground broke on the Prudential Center, aka The Rock, in October 2005 and it opened two years later in October 2007. The NHLís New Jersey Devils and the NCAAís Seton Hall Pirates were the first tenants. The next notable addition was the New Jersey Nets in 2010. The Rock, seats 18,500 during a basketball game and 17,625 during a hockey game. Estimates have the total construction costs at $375 million dollars.
The New Jersey Nets moved into their new home, located in Newark, New Jersey, for the 2010 NBA season. Often when a team moves into a new home, the fan base experiences mixed emotions. However, one doesnít get that sense from Nets fans. This is largely because the old arena had all of the personality of the bland Meadowlands Sports Complex to which it belonged. The Prudential Center, on the other hand, is distinct and exciting and, during the basketball season at least, feels like ďthis is our houseĒ.
Upon entering the Rock, the spacious concourses are the feature that most visitors will notice first. It is a stark contrast from the tight concourses in many NBA arenas and yet the Rock manages to pack in all of the beer, food and merchandise vendors fans expect. Even during packed house events, the Rock is one of the most comfortable arenas to walk around. A highlight of these concourses is the open view that exists on one end of the mezzanine level. This provides an amazing sight that is truly unique among basketball and hockey arenas, and it gives the Rock a baseball park-style flavor.
During both basketball and hockey events, the Rock doesnít seem to have a bad seat in the house. However, for those who can afford them, the Fire Lounge and the Ice Lounger offer amazing site lines and comfort while including food in the ticket price. Beer selection is par for the course in NBA and NHL arenas and nothing about it is particularly noteworthy. The food selection, on the other hand, is where the Rock really shines, and it offers everything you would expect from a New York establishment, even though itís not actually in New York.
The local area surrounding the Prudential Center is a mixed bag but that comes with a caveat. Due to the convenience of mass transit, you can be in the center of Manhattan within several minutes. Thanks to Manhattan, thereís no limit to the activities, bars and restaurants at your disposal. As for Newark, New Jersey is putting forth a lot of effort to improve it, and it has some great options already in place.
One of the nicest locations, the Brick City Bar and Grill, is right across the street for the Prudential Center, and is extremely easy to access both before and after the game. This place is large so you wonít experience long wait times even on game nights, and it has an eclectic menu that caters to all tastes. If you want to eat prior to going into the arena, this is the spot for you.
Another notable location is the Arena Lounge, which is in walking distance, two blocks, from the Prudential Centerís Verizon Tower. This is a full-fledge bar and restaurant that provides a great experience in terms of game day atmosphere. However, itís small and very crowded. Eating there prior to a game is not usually practical. However, itís perfect if you just want to get a few drinks and take in the local pre-game culture.
In terms of access, you have the Prudential Station right across the street and you Newark Penn Station, which connects to Penn Station in New York, two blocks away. This means that coming by bus, taxi or train, access is super convenient. If you have to come in through Penn Station, the walk to the arena is simple, populated and safe. Driving is always an option, and there are parking centers nearby. However, this is not nearly as convenient as taking advantage of the many mass transit options.
The fans at The Rock are tough to peg. The reason for this is that while Nets fans are knowledgeable and hospitable, they have a limited presence at times. This leaves the door open for large visiting crowds. These crowds make the experience a bit unpredictable. However, at Knicks and 76ers, I have never noticed a hostile environment even though Nets fan can feel like an outsider at one of these outings..