PRU-DENT: A new Prudential Lounge serves as an event-level flexible hospitality space, with access provided to premium ticket members. (Courtesy Venue)
Levy Ups the concessions and catering game at Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center
The dawning of a new NHL season is often a time for excitement and, for the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, this season has a few extras for fans to get pumped up about.
The New Jersey Devils and owner Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment’s Devils Arena Entertainment subsidiary have upped the food and beverage experiences, and improved hospitality spaces and technology. The enhancements are part of a multiyear rollout, with further updates to be announced soon.
“It’s an incredible time for us, when you start to look at everything that’s happening,” said Jake Reynolds, president at New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center.
“We’re a top-five building in the world, which is pretty incredible. You peel that back and look at everything that’s going on—we have the hottest hockey team, a great concert lineup and the investment and enhancements we made to elevate the fan experience.”
Levy has teamed with the Prudential Center and the Devils to elevate the concessions, clubs, suites and catering for events at the venue, focusing on local food sourcing and enhanced technology at concession stands. Legends previously was food service provider at the arena.
“Whether it’s a Devils game, a K-pop show or the Eagles — who we just had here a couple weeks ago — we want to make sure that experience is an incredible one,” Reynolds said.
“Through that lens, we looked at different opportunities to take this experience to the next level. The core improved elements were around the F&B experience fans have in the building. We brought Levy in, set up long-term partnerships and reimagined the food and beverage.
“They’re a world-class leader in the space and they’re iconic in terms of the different venues they operate. We’re excited to bring them in.”
The new Prudential Lounge serves as an event-level elevated, flexible hospitality space adjacent to Mulberry Street, with access provided to assigned premium ticket members.
In the space, sponsored by Prudential Financial, guests can see a carving station, live cooking and desserts.
“The Prudential Lounge design is inspired by the Red Oak tree, which is New Jersey’s official tree,” he said. “We have unique, themed elements from the ceilings to the flooring that bring that to life.”
The Prudential Lounge will also serve as a ticket entrance.
The M Lounge by BMW underwent a facelift, and The Fanatics Team Store on the east concourse was expanded atop the M&M’s Tower staircase. The nearby bar, The Foundry, is a nod to New Jersey’s industrial history. Grab-and-go stations round out the F&B changes.
The arena also upgraded its technological infrastructure, supported by new 5G internet, in partnership with Verizon, and the installation of Lightpath’s all-fiber products and services.
“Relationships matter in this business,” Reynolds said. “We’re fortunate to have some of the best partners across the board.
Culinary highlights include “Jersey Signature dishes” like hand-breaded and tossed chicken tenders (sections 16 and 130), Disco Fries (section 1), the honey hen hot chicken sandwich (sections 16 and 130) and “The Jersey Ripper” hot dog, a footlong deep-fried all-beef hot dog topped with secret slaw, grilled peppers and onions, and Jersey Jerk relish (section 126). New automated self-checkout technology is available on the main concourse.
“We wanted to bring a local New Jersey flavor to this arena,” Reynolds said. “It can come through in F&B or it can come through design.”
“We celebrated our 15th anniversary last year,” Reynolds added. “How we set up for the next 20 years-plus remains to be seen, but we strive to live up to being a world-class facility.”