Prudential reaches agreement on arena naming rights

Updated: December 21, 2006, 6:19 PM ET news services

Goodbye, Continental Airlines Arena. Hello, Prudential Center.

The owner of the New Jersey Devils said Wednesday that Prudentual Financial has reached an agreement in principle to pay $5 million per year for the naming rights to the team's new arena in downtown Newark.

The multi-year agreement, reported in Thursday's Newark Star-Ledger, could be for as long as 20 years and calls for the $365 million arena to be named the Prudential Center.

"We have been in discussions and we're very close," Devils principal owner Jeff Vanderbeek told the Star-Ledger.

Sports marketing consultants told the Star-Ledger that Prudential, the insurance and financial services company whose headquarters are just a few blocks away from the new arena, had been considered a strong contender for the 18,000-seat arena's naming rights from the beginning.

Frank Vuono, principal at the 16W Marketing sports marketing firm in Rutherford, told the Star-Ledger the deal was good for both the Devils and Prudential.

"It's smart for Prudential," Vuono told the paper. "The new arena will get a lot of publicity, so they'll get their share of exposure."