World Wrestling Entertainment had booked the Izod Center in New Jersey for SummerSlam this year, but it looks as though they will be forced to change their plans.
According to a report Wednesday by NorthJersey.com, the 34-year-old Izod Center in East Rutherford is going to be closing its doors in just over two months. Every event booked for the arena following March 31 is to be cancelled, including WWE SummerSlam 2015. WWE had previously announced that SummerSlam would take place at the venue on August 23.
Today’s report notes that officials are looking at re-locating existing events booked for the Izod Center to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. WWE has not confirmed their plans for re-locating SummerSlam, but they did issue the following statement today.
“WWE is currently looking at alternatives and we’re confident we will come up with an equivalent to or better option.”
World Wrestling Entertainment’s SummerSlam, arguably the company’s second-biggest show of the year, has been held exclusively at the Staples Center in Los Angeles since 2009. This year, they were looking to change things up, and the first move WWE made was to book the Izod Center. WWE officially announced the booking last fall, and had the event gone on as planned this summer, it would have been the fourth time that the Izod Center hosted SummerSlam. The building has hosted a WWE pay per view event as recently as May 2014.
The Izod Center originally opened in 1981 as the Brendan Byrne Arena. In 1996, the arena was renamed the Continental Airlines Arena, and it changed names one final time in 2007 to the Izod Center. WWE hosted the second ever SummerSlam at the venue in 1989, which featured a main event of Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake taking on the tag team of Randy Savage and Zeus (actor Tiny Lister, who starred opposite of Hogan in the 1989 film No Holds Barred). WWE returned SummerSlam to the arena in 1997, with the main event featuring Bret Hart winning the WWE championship for a fifth and final time from The Undertaker. A third SummerSlam was later held at the venue in 2007, a card highlighted by John Cena retaining his WWE championship over Randy Orton.
The report today by NorthJersey.com noted that the move to close the Izod Center is being pushed by Governor Chris Christie. The arena has undergone several years of declining events since losing it’s pro sports franchises, the New Jersey Nets (NBA) and New Jersey Devils (NHL), as well as college tenant Seton Hall University. The building is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex that also includes the brand new MetLife Stadium (New York Giants, New York Jets).
[Photo via Wikipedia]