Prudential Center could add as many as four more restaurants next season as the arena’s principals work together to improve the six-month-old arena in Newark.
The New Jersey Devils, arena manager AEG and concessionaire Centerplate are targeting 12,500 square feet of open space inside the building, a portion of which became available after general contractor Gilbane vacated the premises.
“We’re looking at a big build-out for hub-type eateries,” said Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek, estimating the cost at $1.6 million to create three more food and drink destinations.
One restaurant, in the northwest corner of the main concourse, could showcase a national chain that operates tropical-themed establishments, said Vanderbeek, who declined to identify the company in the early stages of negotiations.
In the upper deck, the idea is for Centerplate to develop another casual dining experience on the building’s east side in a space with a view of the New York City skyline, Vanderbeek said.
There are also two streetside locations available, one of which the Devils have been reserving for a steakhouse or a place serving Italian cuisine. The other should have more of a sports bar environment, Vanderbeek said.
Centerplate manages the existing premium restaurant on the first suite level and wants to reconfigure that space to reduce the number of patrons walking through to access their skyboxes, said Dale Adams, Prudential Center’s general manager.
“There are two entries to the restaurant, which drives the manager crazy,” Adams said.
AEG has an arena co-marketing deal with the Devils. Now that all three parties have a full season under their belts, they will focus on finding a sponsor for the suite-level dining space to create its own brand, Adams said. The menu also could be tweaked.
“The restaurant did well for hockey; for concerts, it’s backstage, so business was minimal for those events,” Adams said. The 166 ledge seats in front were in high demand for Devils games and the MISL Ironmen, he said.
Edited by oat77, 08 May 2008 - 05:05 PM.