The IZOD Center closed on March 22, 2015 after hosting the Ringley Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the end of a 34 year legacy.
The decision to close the center began seven years ago when the Prudential Center opened its doors and the New Jersey Nets and Devils went to play in Newark (before the Nets moved to Brooklyn).
New Jersey’s Sports and Exposition Authority estimates that the arena was going to lose eight million dollars in 2015. This mass closure of the arena affected almost 1,700 workers ranging from park attendants to ticket collectors.
“It’s a shame the IZOD Center had to close. I remember watching Nets games at the IZOD before they moved to the Prudential,” said freshman Akhilesh Reddy.
What’s going to happen with the IZOD Center is still to be determined. Whether it will be demolished into a pile of debris, sold to the highest bidder, or re-opened if alternate uses are found remains to be seen. The authority says it will remain dark for at least two years.
The IZOD Center opened in July 1981 with six sold-out shows by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. It was a major venue for sports and entertainment alike.
Many famous artists have had the chance to perform concerts at IZOD including Madonna, Eminem, Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Bon Jovi, Beyonce, the Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5, and many more.
American Idol also held numerous auditions there in 2006, 2008, and 2010, and also hosted Z100’s Zootopia in 2005, 2008, 2009.
Apart from entertainment, the IZOD Center had been the home for two major league sports teams – the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets) and the New Jersey Devils.
“2003 must have been a big year for the IZOD as both teams went on to the finals in their respective sports,” said freshman Nikkhil Sankar.
The arena also hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1982, the NHL All-Star Game in 1984, and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 1996.
The arena had had its fair share of awards as well. It won Arena of the Year by Performance Magazine eight times. It has also been ranked top 10 worldwide and top five nationwide for large arenas by Billboard Magazine (2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2008). In 2009, the IZOD Center was ranked 12th worldwide and seventh nationwide for large arenas by Venues Today. It also achieved the highest gross in Harlem Globetrotter history and was a six-time winner for the Globetrotter Slam Dunk Award.
The IZOD Center has also hosted many family shows and corporate events, including Disney on Ice, Disney Live, Harlem Globetrotters, the Wiggles, Sesame Street Live, Monster Jam, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.
More than 58 million people have had the pleasure of attending over 5,000 events at the IZOD since July 1981.
Do you the Arena should be re-opened or demolished? Why or why not?