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More Than 1,700 Izod Center Workers To Lose Jobs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Notices have gone out to more than 1,700 Izod Center workers that they'll lose their jobs by the end of March because the arena is closing.

Almost all of the employees are part-time.

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority said the layoffs include 618 stagehands, 263 security guards, 169 admissions workers, 116 trades workers, 66 box office employees and 50 parking attendants, The Record reported.

More Than 1,700 Izod Center Workers To Lose Jobs

Some 339 beverage and food workers employed by Aramark are included in the layoffs.

The authority last month voted to close the 18,000-seat arena, which opened in 1981, because it was projected to lose $8.5 million this year.

The Izod Center — originally known as the Brendan Byrne Arena and later as the Continental Airlines Arena – has been the site of many memories over the past 34 years. It was the longtime home of the Devils and Nets, as well as concerts by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones.

Only a handful of concerts have been held at the Izod Center over the past two years, although three dozen schools held graduation ceremonies there last spring, and the arena still attracts family-oriented holiday shows.

Most, if not all, of its events that were booked for the next few months will be shifted to the Prudential Center in Newark — although promoters could try to opt out of their contracts and cancel.

Authority board members have stressed that the plan is a temporary closure for two years while construction of the American Dream megamall and entertainment center next door is completed. Then officials envision another operator taking control of the Izod Center in some new capacity.

American Dream's developer, too, anticipates the arena will remain.

"It will be repurposed," Alan Marcus, spokesman for Triple Five, told WCBS 880's Levon Putney. "It will be a live entertainment venue, which will complement the venues that will be in American Dream."

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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