A New And Different Life For New Jersey’s Meadowlands Arena

The old building has one more chance at life.   

At one time, the New Jersey Meadowlands Arena was not only one of the biggest money grossing venues in the United States but it was also a regular host of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Men’s College Basketball Tournament. The Meadowlands Arena opened in 1981 but was finished as a venue by 2015. At the age of 34 it was too old, didn’t have enough revenue streams and lost two major tenants. The National Basketball Association’s Nets whose owner Bruce Ratner took the business to Brooklyn and the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils whose owner relocated the franchise to Newark about 10-miles south of the sports complex. When the Meadowlands’ building closed its doors to events, it was losing about $8 million a year. The building was dormant but the state of New Jersey still had to pay bills. Giants Stadium which lasted from 1976 through 2009 also carried a lasting debt. In 2010, New Jersey had a $110 million bill of stadium debt when the wrecking ball came. The New York Giants and New York Jets opened a new stadium that offered more revenue streams. New Jersey spent more than $250 million on the new stadium’s related infrastructure. New Jersey is spending millions covering retired venue bills.

The arena is a working venue again. Comcast/NBC was looking for a place and New Jersey officials said check out the Meadowlands arena. The Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, would make Comcast/NBC eligible for a tax credit using the empty building. Comcast’s NBC television division built a sound stage and rehearsal hall in the place.  The building is generating some money but it could be razed.  Meanwhile, NBC Universal is paying the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority about two million dollars a year to use the arena which is better than nothing.