The arena will be located a couple of blocks from Newark Penn Station in downtown Newark. A new park named Triangle Park will connect the train station to the arena, making it easily accessible via New Jersey Transit, PATH, Newark Light Rail, and Amtrak.
The Prudential Center will be the first major league sports venue to open in the New York City metropolitan area since what is currently called the Continental Airlines Arena, the Devils' former home, opened in 1981.
Groundbreaking for the arena began on October 3, 2005.
On Tuesday, January 24, 2006, the Devils submitted a guarantee in writing that the team will contribute $100 million to the arena, one day after the city and state threatened to cancel the project. The arena was originally intended to be the home of the New Jersey Nets (also tenants at CAA, since 1981) when the team was owned by YankeeNets. The arena was expected to replace the Continental Airlines Arena, which was supposed to be demolished to make way for the Meadowlands Xanadu project. However, the site for the Xanadu project has been moved to another area of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, and the New Jersey Nets have extended their lease at the Meadowlands through at least 2010 due to complications involving the team's proposed move to a new arena in Brooklyn, New York. This will leave two arenas in New Jersey competing with each other to book concerts and family shows. State officials, though, have called for the Continental Airlines Arena to close once the Prudential Center opens. Although the Nets extended their lease at the Continental Airlines Arena, Devils ownership has offered a public invitation for the NBA team to be a tenant in Newark. With the news about the Continental Airlines Arena extension, a Nets move to Newark does not seem likely, unless the planned move to Brooklyn ultimately does not happen. The arena will open on October 25, 2007 with a series of concerts by New Jersey rock group Bon Jovi, featuring a star-studded lineup of opening acts including Big ∓ Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Daughtry, The All-American Rejects and New Jersey's own My Chemical Romance for the first two nights of the run. The first two concerts will be followed by the first Devils home game on October 27 against the Ottawa Senators, who were the Devils' last opponent at Continental Airlines Arena. In November 2007, the Center will host the semifinals and finals of college basketball's Legends Classic. Prudential Financial purchased the naming rights in January 2007 for $105.3 million over 20 years, opting to call the arena the Prudential Center, though this is also the name of numerous office complexes around the country, notably in Boston, Massachusetts. Arena press releases have begun to refer to the Prudential Center as "The Rock" after Prudential's corporate logo. This will be the first sports venue in the NYC area to be called a "Center", a designation used since the 1990s, usually associated with corporate sponsorship.