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Nets, Devils Spend $500K To Upgrade Pru

Sports Business Journal reports that the Devils are upgrading the Prudential Center with the aim of giving the Newark arena a more Net-centric feel for NBA games. Most notable is the development of a new premium club reserved for the Nets’ 250 courtside-seat holders, being built in an arena storage space. There's a new court, new signage and a new NBA-regulation locker room. The improvements cost $500,000, part of which the Nets paid.

Even the Suss Seems Surprised

It's Gary Sussman's job to portray the Nets as going places, making changes, coming BAAAACK!!!!!!!, as he puts it. But as he writes about the reception Avery Johnson got at Yankee Stadium last week--the second time in two weeks he's been there--you get the sense that even he is surprised by the level of the buzz--and we don't mean the vuvuzelas (which no doubt will be available at "The Rock" next season along with official borscht and vodka). The Suss lays it all out, naming names, even dropping a few, to support his case that the buzz is the result of the vibe. We cannot disagree.

Will Liberty Join Nets in Newark?

The Nets aren't getting a WNBA team, but Newark might. The Times is reporting that the New York Liberty is considering a temporary move to Newark's Prudential Center next summer. Madison Square Garden, home of the Cablevision-owned Liberty, is being renovated and the Liberty will need to find new digs starting in 2011 and perhaps extending through 2014. The 18,000-seat Rock is a leading candidate.

"The Rock" Adding Nets Jobs

The Devils say they will be hiring 200 new employees to accommodate the Nets' arrival. The usher and ticket-taker staff will jump later this summer. Centerplate, the arena’s concessionaire, also plans to add 150 employees in anticipation of the move. Prudential Center currently employs more than 1,200 people, full and part time.

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