Sports in Newark, New Jersey

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Sports in Newark, New Jersey, the second largest city in New York metropolitan area, are part of the regional professional sports and media markets. The city has hosted many teams and events, though much of its history is without an MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL team in the city proper.[1][2][3] Two venues in the northeastern New Jersey metro region, Prudential Center and Riverfront Stadium, are in Downtown Newark. Red Bull Arena is just across the Passaic River in Harrison. The Meadowlands Sports Complex is less than 10 miles away from Downtown and reached with the Meadowlands Rail Line via Newark Penn Station or Broad Street Station.[4]

Professional sports[edit]

When built, the Prudential Center was the first new major sports venue to be built in the metro area in twenty five years.

Hockey[edit]

The New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League moved in 2007 from the Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands to the Prudential Center, an arena jointly financed by the team and the city.[5] Part of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals were played there.

The 2013 NHL Entry Draft (the 51st NHL Entry Draft) took place on June 30, 2013, at the Prudential Center[6][7][8]

Red Bull Arena is across the Passaic from Downtown Newark

Soccer[edit]

Newark is the transportation hub for the Red Bull Arena, home stadium of Major League Soccer's Red Bulls, across the Passaic River from Newark's Riverbank Park in Harrsion, with shuttle bus service running from downtown train stations.[9] PATH trains from Newark Penn Station are one stop to nearby Harrison station.[10]

Newark, particularly the Ironbound, and the adjacent West Hudson towns on the Passaic, Harrison and Kerany, have a long tradition of soccer.[11][12] Kearny's nickname, "Soccer Town USA" is inspired by the era that begin in the mid-1870s, when thousands of Scottish and Irish immigrants settled there after two Scottish companies, Clark Thread Company and Nairn Linoleum, opened.[13][14] The Newark Portuguese was one of many teams.[12]

Jersey Express S.C. plays at the NJIT. New Jersey Ironmen was an indoor soccer team of the Major Indoor Soccer League which played at Prudential Center from 2007 to 2009.

Baseball[edit]

Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium is named for the city's historic teams

The Newark Bears are a minor-league professional baseball franchise that are part of the independent Atlantic League (which also includes the Somerset Patriots and the Camden Riversharks.[15] They play at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, a 6,200-seat ballpark that is also home to local college baseball teams.[16][17] Both the stadium and team have struggled financially.[18] In November 2013, the future of the team became uncertain as they were unable to commit to a 2014 season.[19]

Baseball in Newark began in the 1850s. The Newark Peppers of the Federal League, played the 1915 season across the river at Harrison Park. The original Newark Bears, a farm team for the New York Yankees played in the International League until the 1949 season playing at Rupert Stadium.[20] They shared the stadium in the Ironbound with the Negro League's Newark Eagles, managed by Effa Manley. The Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium is named for the teams.[21][22][23] Newark had eight teams in the National Association of Base Ball Players, including the Newark Eurekas and the Newark Adriatics.[24] Newark was then home to the Newark Indians of the International League.

Basketball[edit]

A team in the American Basketball Association, the Newark Express was introduced to the city in 2005. The team formerly played their home at Essex County College and Drew University in Madison and now plays at East Orange Campus High School.[25]

The New Jersey Nets played two seasons (2010–2012) at the Prudential Center until moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.[26] New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) also played there for three seasons (2011–2013) during renovations of Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York.[27]

Both the 2011 NBA Draft[28] and 2012 NBA Draft were held at the arena.

Football[edit]

Newark was a host city for Super Bowl XLVIII to be played at Met Life Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex

The national headquarters of National Football League Alumni is located at One Washington Park in Downtown Newark.

Newark was a host city and its airport a gateway for Super Bowl XLVIII which was played on February 2, 2014.[29][30][31] The game took place at Met Life Stadium, home of the hosting teams New York Giants and New York Jets, at the nearby Meadowlands Sports Complex, accessible with the Meadowlands Rail Line via Newark Penn Station or Broad Street Station.[4] In anticipation of the convergence of thousands for the events, New Jersey Transit had created a weekly pass for travel throughout the region as well as game-day express bus from the airport.[32] Super Bowl Media Day, kicked off at the Prudential Center on January 28, 2014, with a series of events.[33][34] The original Vince Lombardi Trophy produced by Tiffany & Co. in Newark in 1967 is displaced at the Newark Museum.[35]

Newark had a team which competed in the first American Football League in 1926, the Newark Bears.[36] The Tornadoes were a long-lived professional American football franchise that existed in some form from 1887 to 1971, having played in the National Football League from 1929 to 1930, the American Association from 1936 to 1941, the Atlantic Coast Football League from 1963 to 1964 and 1970 to 1971, and the Continental Football League from 1965 to 1969. Established in 1946, the Newark Bombers in 1947 moved to Bloomfield and became the Bloomfield Cardinals.

The New Jersey Titans of the Women's Spring Football League Women's Spring Football League#11-woman division play at Belleville Municipal Stadium in adjacent Belleville.[37]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

EliteXC: Primetime was a mixed martial arts event promoted by Elite Xtreme Combat which took place on May 31, 2008, at the Prudential Center.[38] The main card aired live on CBS, marking the first time an MMA event aired in primetime on major American network television.[39]

The UFC held UFC 78 on November 17, 2007, one of the first events to take place at the new arena.[40] It also played host to UFC 111, which took place on March 27, 2010.[41] On March 19, 2011, it hosted UFC 128,[42] and hosted UFC 159 on April 27, 2013.

Ultimate Fighting Championship's UFC 169: Cruz vs. Barao, mixed martial arts event will also be in at the Prudential Center during Super Bowl week on February 1.[43][44]

Boxing and wrestling[edit]

Until the 1920s the Newark Armory was a major venue for boxing.[45][46][47] The Laurel Garden, in the Central Ward, operated as a sports venue from the 1920s until its closing, hosted numerous boxing and wrestling matches,[48] and was also important music venue.[49] Newark produced many fighters during the The Golden Age of the American Jewish Boxer.[50][51] In the 1930s many Jewish prizefighters once in the employ of crime boss Longie Zwillman became part of the Minuteman, a group dedicated to preventing Nazi activities in the city.[52] Day of the Fight, the first picture directed by Stanley Kubrick, shows Irish-American middleweight Walter Cartier during the height of his career, on the day of a fight with Bobby James, which took place on April 17, 1950, at Laurel Garden.[53] One of the last bouts in Laurel Garden-era was on May 30, 1953, in which Joey Giardello defeated middleweight Hurley Sandler in a nationally televised event.[54]

College sports[edit]

The Seton Hall Pirates men's basketball program is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate men's basketball program of Seton Hall University in South Orange. The team competes in the Big East Conference and plays their home games at the Prudential Center. In 2011, the GoNewarkHoopFest was hosted by Seton Hall University for the East Regional playoffs of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.[55][56][57][58]

Rutger's Golden Dome Athletic Center

The Rutgers–Newark Scarlet Raiders field teams for NCAA competition in 14 Division III sports (7 each for men and women): men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, men's and women's volleyball, baseball (men) and softball (women). The Scarlet Raiders are members of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. Built in 1977, the Golden Dome Athletic Center is the hub of Rutgers–Newark athletics, seating 2,000. Soccer and softball games are held on Alumni Field. Rutgers–Newark baseball team plays at Riverfront Stadium[59]

The New Jersey Institute of Technology's sports teams are called the NJIT Highlanders. NJIT's athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division I (full membership officially September 1, 2009[60]). The men's volleyball team plays in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) conference, the men's swimming team plays in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association, and the rest of the teams play as independents after the demise of the Great West Conference after the 2012–13 season. The club-level ice hockey team plays in the Great Northeast Collegiate Hockey Conference. The Fleisher Center is the school's athletic center.

Essex County College teams are represented in the Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and Region 19 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

High-school basketball and soccer[edit]

Saint Benedict's Preparatory School basketball team, coach by Dan Hurley between 2001 and 2010, consistently ranks as one the top high-school basketball teams in the United States among USA Today High School Boys Basketball Super 25.[61][62] and is part of the "NBA Pipeline".[63]

St. Benedict’s had the top-ranked high school soccer team in the nation by ESPN/Rise in 1990, 1997–98, 2001, 2005–06 and 2011.[64][65] Numerous alumni of the soccer program at St. Benedict's have become world-renowned players.[66]

Statues[edit]

Althea Gibson statue adjacent to courts named her honour

In 2009, a 22 ft (6.7 m) stainless steal sculpture of a hockey player, commonly called the Iron Man was installed at the plaza nearby Prudential Center.[67][68] A bronze statue, created by sculptor Thomas Jay Warren,[69] was dedicated to the memory of Althea Gibson in Branch Brook Park in March 2012[70][71] "I hope that I have accomplished just one thing," she once wrote, "that I have been a credit to tennis, and to my country."[72] "By all measures," reads the inscription "Althea Gibson certainly attained that goal."[73] In June 2012, a life-size bronze statue of Roberto Clemente was also unveiled.[74]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gale, Dennis E. (2006), Greater New Jersey Living in the Shadow of Gotham, University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 978-0-8122-1957-9 
  2. ^ "Super Bowl 2014: New Jersey out in the cold?". USA Today. December 7, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  3. ^ Tuttle, Brad R. (2009), How Newark Became Newark: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American City, Rutgers University Press 
  4. ^ a b "Meadowlands Sports Complex". New Jersey Transit. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  5. ^ McDermott, Maura P. (October 29, 2008). "Newark, Devils in dispute over Prudential Center rent". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ "New Jersey, Philadelphia to host next two Drafts". nhl.com. June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ "2013 NHL Draft Lottery and NHL Draft information". NHL.com. March 4, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ Brennan, John (June 28, 2013). "NHL 'draftniks' descending on The Rock". North Jersey.com. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  9. ^ "Red Bull Arena Transportation Hub". Red Bull. Retrieved 2014-09-04. 
  10. ^ "Red Bull Arena Travel Information". New jersey Transit. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  11. ^ Allaw, Allaw . (2005). "Rangers, Rovers, And Spindles: Soccer, Immigration, And Textiles in New England and New Jersey". St Johann's Press. 
  12. ^ a b Turnball, John (March 30, 2008). "Remembering New Jersey’s immigrant soccer past". The Global Game. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  13. ^ Hernandez, Raymond. "World Cup Hits Home In Soccer Town, U.S.A." The New York Times June 26, 1994. Accessed September 12, 2013. "In a nation that has not yet shared the world's enthusiasm for soccer, Kearny (pronounced CAR-nee) is certainly an anomaly. The town has two local soccer historians. On Kearny Avenue, the main strip, a sign proclaims: 'Welcome to Kearny. Soccer Town, U.S.A.'"
  14. ^ Allaway, Roger (March 6, 2001). "West Hudson: A Cradle of American Soccer". sover.net. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  15. ^ Home page, Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Accessed June 26, 2012.
  16. ^ Rutgers–Newark Athletic Facilities. Accessed 2009-08-14
  17. ^ "Baseball". NJIT. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  18. ^ Araton, Harvey (August 21, 2011). "Did Newark Bet on the Wrong Sport?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  19. ^ Giambusso, Elnardo (November 29, 2013). "Newark Bears' future in question as they exit league". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  20. ^ Mayer, Ronald A. (1994), The 1937 Newark Bears: A Baseball Legend, Rutgers University Press, "Jacob Ruppert, owner of the New York Yankees, purchased the team from the newspaper publisher Paul Block in 1931. Mayer traces the Bears' exciting first five seasons under Ruppert and the building of a farm system that eventually produced the great Yankee...sprinkled with some of the great names of the American pastime: Ed Barrow, Paul Kritchell, Al Mamaux, Red Rolfe, Babe Ruth, Shag Shaughnessey, Bob Shawkey, and George Weiss." 
  21. ^ "Baseball in New Jersey". njsportsheroes.com. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  22. ^ Cvornyek, Robert (2003), Baseball in Newark, Arcadia Publishing 
  23. ^ Crawford, Aimee. "The first lady of black baseball: Manley was an innovator in the Negro Leagues", Major League Baseball. Accessed June 28, 2012.
  24. ^ "History of the Eureka Base Ball Club of Newark", Riverbank Park, May 23, 2008. Accessed June 28, 2012.
  25. ^ Kitchin, Mark. "Express take root at Drew", Daily Record (Morristown), July 12, 2007. Accessed June 26, 2012.
  26. ^ Mazzeo, Mike. "Chris Christie: No love lost for Nets", ESPN New York, April 24, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2012. "The New Jersey Nets are playing their final game in New Jersey on Monday night and leaving for Brooklyn at the end of this season, but the governor of New Jersey isn't about to get all nostalgic over it."
  27. ^ "New York Liberty Return to Madison Square Garden for 2012 Home Opener", Prudential Center, May 14, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2012. "The Liberty's 2012 season will mark the second of three seasons the team will call Prudential Center home court while Madison Square Garden continues a historic, top-to-bottom Transformation."
  28. ^ "Prudential Center to Host 2011 NBA Draft". Prudential Center. October 28, 2010. Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  29. ^ Strunsky, Steve (October 11, 2013). "Newark airport gets upgrades for Super Bowl XLVIII". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  30. ^ "Super Bowl XLVIII To Create Traffic Jam At Newark, Teterboro Airports Port Authority Is Consulting With Airports In Cities That Hosted Previous Super Bowls". CBS New York. August 24, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  31. ^ Kell, John (March 29, 2011). "Newark Airport Gets Ready for 2014 Super Bowl". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  32. ^ Frassinelli, Mike (December 9, 2013). transport "Super Bowl travel options include 'Fan Express' bus, NJ Transit 'Super Pass'". Frasinelli. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  33. ^ media day "Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day" (Press release). Prudential Center. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  34. ^ Fensom, Micheal J. (January 24, 2013). "Gov. Christie, NFL announce Super Bowl events to be held in New Jersey". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  35. ^ NIx, Naomi (January 7, 2014). "Original Vince Lombardi trophy comes home to Newark". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  36. ^ Hogrogian, John (1985). "The Staten Island Stapletons". Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 7 (6): 1–9. 
  37. ^ "New Jersey Titans home filed". New Jwrsey Titans. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  38. ^ "EliteXC Mixed Martial Arts Schedules Stop At Prudential Center". Prudential Center. May 25, 2008. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  39. ^ "UFC Not the First on Network TV, but Can It Learn From Others' Mistakes?". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  40. ^ "Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Organization Returns to New Jersey". Prudential Center. October 7, 2007. Archived from the original on October 31, 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  41. ^ Giri, Raj (January 12, 2010). "Dana White Calls UFC 111 Co-Main Events "Can't Miss Fights"". Fight Line. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  42. ^ "UFC Returns to NJ on March 19 for UFC 128". Prudential Center. January 5, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  43. ^ Lee, Eunice (July 6, 2013). mix martial arts "UFC's Super Bowl weekend event moving to New Jersey in 2014". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  44. ^ Staff (2013-05-13). "UFC's annual Super Bowl weekend card shifts from Las Vegas to Newark in 2014". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  45. ^ "Thirteen Thousand Boxing Followers Jam Newark Armory". The Sun. January 21, 1919. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  46. ^ "Act in Newark Boxing Forbid Bouts in Armory Until Fire Protection is Adequate.". The New York Times. August 1, 1920. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  47. ^ "No More Boxing Bouts in Newark Armory". Milwaukee Journal. August 8, 1920. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  48. ^ Bodian, Nat. "Laurel Garden". Old Newark. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  49. ^ Barbara J. Kukla (2002), Swing City: Newark Nightlife, 1925-50, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 9780813531168 
  50. ^ Bodian, Nat. "Remembering Newarkers from Golden Age of the American-Jewish Boxer". Old Newark. Retrieved 2013-12-16. 
  51. ^ "Boxing in New Jersey". New Jersey Sports Heros. Retrieved 2013-12-16. 
  52. ^ Grover, Warren (2003), Nazis in Newark, Transaction Books, ISBN 9781412829465, "S. William Kalb, a physician who led the Newark Division of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League, and Nat Arno, a prizefighter and gang member who led the Minutemen. Together they forged an alliance against Nazism, employing propaganda, public relations, and physical assaults. Among the extraordinary events that resulted were Jewish prizefighters who had protected Newark crime boss Longie Zwillman's bootleg whiskey shipments--turning their attention to stopping the Nazis after Prohibition ended in 1933." 
  53. ^ Niemi, Robert (2006), Day of the Fight (1951), History in the Media: Film and Television (ABC-Clio): 194 
  54. ^ Bodian, Nat. "Eyewitness Description of an 1880s Boxing Match in Newark". www.oldnewark.com. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  55. ^ 2011 HoopFest "Prudential Center Chosen To Host The 2011 Division 1 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional". Prudential Center. September 21, 2009. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  56. ^ Staff (March 24, 2011). NCCA "Complete guide to Newark dining for the NCAA East Regional". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  57. ^ "Go Newark Hoop Fest Fact Sheet". Prudential Center. 2011. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  58. ^ Giambusso, David (March 14, 2011). "Eyes are on Newark, as city hosts March Madness NCAA tournament". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  59. ^ Rutgers–Newark Athletic Facilities. Accessed 2013-12-12
  60. ^ 'NJIT : NJIT Officially Gains Active NCAA Division I Membership'
  61. ^ Cohen, Micah (January 19, 2007). "St. Benedict’s Basketball Plays Two". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  62. ^ "New Jersey Powers St. Benedict's (Newark), St. Anthony (Jersey City) Move into Top 5 of USA Today High School Sports Super 25 Boys Basketball Rankings" (Press release). USA Today. February 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  63. ^ Araton, Harvey (December 18, 2012). St Benedicts basketball "N.B.A. Pipeline Bypassing New York for New Jersey". The NewYork Times. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  64. ^ Staff. "Pennington (1) at St. Benedict's (4), Prep A Tournament, Final Round - Boys Soccer", Trenton Times, November 6, 2011. Accessed December 5, 2011. "With the victory, St. Benedict’s completed a perfect 24-0 campaign and will finish as the No. 1 ranked team in the country for the seventh time in school history and first time since 2006. The title is the 23rd straight Prep A crown and 25th overall state title for St. Benedict’s, which will carry a 36-game winning streak into next year.... St. Benedict’s, which was guaranteed the ESPN/Rise No. 1 spot in the national rankings with a victory, also won national championships in 1990, '97, '98, 2001, '05 and '06."
  65. ^ "Seventh Heaven! Gray Bees Pick up Their 7Th National Championship; Beat Pennington to cap perfection & earn 23rd straight state title", St. Benedict's Soccer, November 6, 2011. Accessed August 21, 2012. "The Gray Bees wrapped up a perfect season and claimed their 7th National Championship and 23rd successive state title with a 4-1 victory over Pennington Sunday in the Prep A Championship game before a boisterous crowd at NJIT."
  66. ^ Parchman, Will (September 23, 2013). "St. Benedict's is a N.J. beacon for soccer". Top Drawer Soccer. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  67. ^ Santiago, Katherine Santiago (August 17, 2009). "22-foot-tall hockey player sculpture installed outside Prudential Center". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  68. ^ Staff. "Giant Steel Hockey Player". Roadside America. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  69. ^ Althea Gibson Statue, Newark, NJ. warrensculpture.com Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  70. ^ Branch Brook Park Alliance. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  71. ^ Eunice Lee, "Statue of first black woman to win Wimbledon unveiled in Newark park", NJ.com, March 29, 2012.
  72. ^ Gibson and Curtis 1968, p. 27.
  73. ^ Bronze statue of civil rights pioneer Althea Gibson dedicated in Essex County (March 28, 2012). Independent Press archive. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  74. ^ Simpri, Arlene; Strunsky, Sterve (June 3, 2012), Roberto Clemente bronze statue unveiled in Newark's Branch Brook Park, The Star-Ledger, retrieved 2013-12-08 

External links[edit]