The Liberty will make Prudential Center its home for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Planned Move Expected to be for Three Seasons
Newark, N.J. (Tuesday, September 7, 2010) – With planned renovations scheduled for Madison Square Garden over the next three summers, the New York Liberty of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will be temporarily moving to Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, for the next three seasons. The Liberty will join the NBA’s New Jersey Nets as new residents at Prudential Center, which has been home to the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and Seton Hall University’s men’s basketball program since opening its doors in 2007.
“We are excited to embrace the Newark community during our next three seasons at the Prudential Center,” said Carol Blazejowski, who is the President and General Manager of the New York Liberty. “The Liberty will continue to provide a fun, affordable and interactive game day experience for our loyal and passionate fans as we compete for the WNBA Championship. We look forward to welcoming our great fans back to The Garden when the transformation is complete.”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who has actively pursued professional basketball at Prudential Center long before the arena was even completed, voiced similar excitement to that of Blazejowski.
“The entire City of Newark is excited about the news that the WNBA’S New York Liberty will be playing its next three seasons at the state-of-the-art Prudential Center,” Mayor Booker stated. “From the WNBA to the NBA to the New Jersey Devils and the NFL Alumni Association, Newark, New Jersey, is emerging as one of our country’s biggest sports towns. This is another slam dunk for the Brick City.”
Madison Square Garden, which last underwent major renovations in 1991, is scheduled to receive a transformation that is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $775M to $850M during the three-year job. The Garden will be closed during the upcoming three summers in order to undergo the renovations, which immediately meant that the Liberty would need a temporary relocation through the 2013 season. When discussions started about where the team would play, MSG Sports President Scott O’Neil and his representatives did not need to look that far.
“The Rock is the best possible location for the Liberty to play during the next three summers of MSG transformation,” O’Neil remarked. “The venue will allow our fans and partners the opportunity to continue to support the team at an arena that is a short 15-minute train ride from The Garden. It isn't just a coincidence that New Jersey is called the Garden State, and we are fortunate to have a strong fan base there for the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty. We see this as an exciting opportunity to broaden the Liberty’s New York metropolitan presence.”
At the moment, the Liberty is in the midst of a playoff run, battling the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA Eastern Conference Championship. New York currently trails Atlanta, one game to none, in the best-of-three series. If the Liberty was to win its game two road pairing tonight, the deciding game of the series would occur at The Garden on Thursday.
For more information on the Liberty, visit www.nyliberty.com or follow the team on Twitter @nyliberty.