Prudential Center to Serve as Site for Sweet 16 and Elite Eight Rounds
Newark, N.J. (Thursday, September 24, 2009) – Prudential Center in Newark received some good news this week when the NCAA announced that it had awarded the East Regional of the 2011 College Basketball Tournament to Seton Hall University. The arena, which is approaching its two-year anniversary next month, will begin its third season of Big East basketball when the Pirates tip off there later this fall.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to showcase our university and the state-of-the-art Prudential Center to a national audience," Seton Hall athletic director Joe Quinlan said. "A great deal of hard work went into the bid process, and we look forward to playing a role in what has become one of the preeminent events in all of sports."
Two of the competitors for Prudential Center when it submitted bids for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 East Regional were the Izod Center in East Rutherford along with Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Izod Center was unable to secure a bid to host, but it is believed that the $500 million renovations planned for Madison Square Garden will get them the rights to be the venue in 2013.
“The men's basketball committee is always looking for new cities and new buildings, regardless of where they are located," NCAA spokesman David Worlock stated about the decision to play in Newark. “We've recently been to Omaha and Little Rock. Newark would fit in that mold. It's a new building, a new place.”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker also agreed that his city deserved a shot to host the NCAA Tournament.
"Newark is a great American city for big-time basketball, and I'm delighted the NCAA agrees," he remarked after Prudential Center was selected.
The other three hosts for the Regional Round of the 2011 tournament are New Orleans, San Antonio and Anaheim. The Final Four that year will be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston.