Since the New York Liberty started playing at Newark’s Prudential Center this spring, attendance the at the games has dropped 30 percent, according to WNBA figures.
The Liberty was forced off their home court at Madison Square Garden to accommodate work on the arena's $850 million face-lift. Before the team's departure, average home attendance was 11,069. It dropped to 7,866 this season.
The first phase of renovation — set to be completed this fall — will bring new seating in the arena's lower bowl. The entire project is slated for completion in 2013, and will feature a new entrance, wider concourses and updated sound and video systems.
The renovation is happening in three-summer phases, so that it doesn’t conflict with seasons of the New York Rangers and Knicks. The Liberty, whose season runs from June to September, will spend the next two years in Newark.