Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen Hits Newark as Legends Joins Prudential

The Prudential Center and Legends Hospitality signed a multiyear partnership that’ll help the Newark, New Jersey, venue become the first farm-to-table arena in the U.S.

Financial terms of the agreement between the arena, which is home to the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils, and Legends, which is owned by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, weren’t disclosed.

“The days of bad hot dogs, stale popcorn and warm beer are well past its prime,” Scott O’Neil, chief executive officer of the arena, said during a joint telephone interview with Shervin Mirhashemi, president of Legends, which is making its first arena deal for food and beverage. “They just don’t call it the Garden State. It is. Our farm-to-table experience is something every fan in New Jersey will get instantly.”

Legends was one of five companies bidding for the project, O’Neil said. The contract begins July 1, and the first event under the new partnership is a July 11 Katy Perry concert.

The culinary program will be based on a platform of “Born & Bread” in New Jersey.

It’ll focus on locally sourced food, including a partnership with Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen, a restaurant run by the musician’s Red Bank, New Jersey-based foundation. It’s the first community-based concession stand in sports and entertainment. It’ll also include offerings from the Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based the Ryland Inn, which is a pioneer of farm-to-table food, and Hazlet, New Jersey, native David Burke, who’ll have venues and offerings throughout the facility.

Mirhashemi called the partnership “a match made in heaven.”

“We went after it aggressively. We couldn’t imagine a better partner, with shared DNA,” he said. “Our vision has always been aligning ourself with best-of-class assets. It’s not about being the biggest company in the world. It’s about being the best.”

Aramark Holdings Corp. had been the arena’s food and beverage provider.

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