EAST RUTHERFORD -- The former Izod Center in New Jersey is becoming a music rehearsal hall.

The state Sports and Exposition Authority and the Prudential Center on Thursday agreed to permit musical groups to rent the 35-year-old center in East Rutherford as a place to practice. It will be renamed the Meadowlands Arena.

Hugh Weber, president of the Prudential Center in Newark and the New Jersey Devils hockey team, said the discussions started when Coldplay's crew used the arena for two days of technical rehearsals before the group performed at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford in July.

"It got us thinking, `Well shoot, if there's an opportunity here, let's try to take advantage of it,"' Weber said.

Authority president Wayne Hasenbalg told The Record (http://bit.ly/2b23MmT ) that making the arena available for musical performers, or even photographers, is a chance for the state to generate revenue at a facility that is closed to the public. He and Weber said the rehearsals will provide employment for those who work in trades, such as sound technicians and electricians.

The sports authority voted to shut the Izod Center in January 2015, saying it was costing money. It closed the following March after the agency struck a deal with the Prudential Center for it to host all Izod events scheduled after March 31, 2015.

Weber said the Prudential Center is so heavily booked that it sometimes can't accommodate requests for artists or their road crews to rehearse at the facility.

The sports authority and the Prudential Center will share the revenue generated by the rehearsals, he said.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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