In a further move in the ongoing venue battle between James Dolan’s Madison Square Garden Company and AEG Live, MSG has announced a booking and marketing partnership with the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, which is effectively a New York area venue.
The move is the latest in a faceoff between the two companies that spans from Los Angeles to New York to London. Late last year sources reported that MSG, which also operates the L.A. Forum, begin instituting a policy whereby acts that played the AEG-operated Staples Center instead of the Forum could not perform at Madison Square Garden. Early this month AEG responded with a policy of its own, whereby acts that played the Forum instead of Staples could not perform at London’s O2 Arena, effectively raising the stakes since, unlike New York and L.A., London has no other venue of comparable size.
While the move effectively puts the Prudential Center into the MSG orbit, a source close to the situation stressed to Variety that the venue is eager to work with all acts and promoters.
“MSG owns some of the world’s most celebrated venues,” said Darren Pfeffer, Executive Vice President of MSG Live. “We look forward to leveraging MSG’s unique stature and strong, long-standing relationships with industry leaders, along with a common membership with the Prudential Center in Oak View Group’s Arena Alliance, to help bring an exciting array of events to the Prudential Center, while also serving the market with more options.”
“New Jersey has an incredible, rich history in entertainment and is home to some of the greatest performers and artists to ever live,” said Scott O’Neil, Chief Executive Officer at Prudential Center. “It is our mission, responsibility and priority to celebrate that history and further the legacy of this state by bringing the world’s top entertainers and attractions to Prudential Center.”