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New Jersey Arena Fight Heats Up

NEWARK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — With the recently sworn-in Newark Mayor Cory Booker suggestion that the Continental Airlines Arena be shut down if the New Jersey Devils NHL team moves to a new facility in downtown Newark next year, the fight between the two venues has been reignited.

East Rutherford Councilman Joel Brizzi told the Herald News that closing the 25-year-old arena would severely hurt the local economy.

“I am concerned about the local restaurant and tavern owners, the people who work part-time jobs at the arena,” he said.

New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine, who ultimately has the authority on whether or not the arena will stay open, is in the process of evaluating East Rutherford’s entire Meadowlands Sports Complex, which includes the arena.

Booker’s predecessor, Mayor Sharpe James, insisted that the two arenas should not compete, prompting Bergen County officials to pressure Corzine to save the Continental Arena, arguing that it is a boon to the local economy.

The Devils have pledged to move the hockey team to Newark, and provided the city with a $100 million letter of credit towards construction in January. Meanwhile, the Nets NBA team, who also play at the Continental Airlines Arena, have announced plans to move to Brooklyn by 2009. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers