Barry Melrose, perhaps regrettably, made this observation about the Prudential Center in beautiful downtown Newark last fall: "It looks great on the inside, but don’t go outside, especially if you got a wallet or anything else, because the area around the building is awful."
As an early Valentine's Day gift, I took Ariel to the arena for something-I-care-not-to-admit-I-was-actually-at. (Let's just say I'm a great husband and it had to do with her reality TV fetish.)
To address Melrose's argument, I was, initially skeptical. But the trip up was a cinch, albeit stinky, via NJ Transit, and I never once felt unsafe walking to the nearby arena. Police presence was abundant, so much so that I didn't feel I would be the sole protector of the 10,000 women and gay men I was walking with.
Anyway - the reason of this post isn't to address the event itself, but rather the arena. I grew up thinking every place was like the Spectrum or the Vet. How far sports and entertainment venues have come.
The Prudential Center is downright incredible (granted, we had luxury box seats - but that's how I roll), both inside and out.
Even the pissers are customized.
Barry, while I shared your skepticism, I liked the place so much, I'm not only willing to go back, but to give your dying sport a chance in the process. I would even take in Nets games if they moved there, rather than the inconvenient swamps of the Meadowlands.