Middlesex County Improvement Authority

New Brunswick,

Arena Feasibility Analysis

In 1997, B&D completed a feasibility study for the Middlesex County Improvement Authority to evaluate the potential of developing a 10,000- to 12,000-seat, multi-use indoor arena in downtown New Brunswick, New Jersey. The central New Jersey market, traditionally living in the shadow of two of the largest major league sports markets (New York and Philadelphia), had recently begun to mature as a minor league destination of its own. The proposed arena was envisioned to host two sports teams as anchor tenants as well as other sports, family shows, concerts, and events. We engaged in early discussions with a national facility management group that had agreed to participate as an equity partner in the development of the project. Our scope of work included market, financial, economic impact, and site analyses. Event calendar projections were based on interviews with event providers and organizers of conferences and trade shows. Attendance projections and ticket price sensitivities were based on statistically validated surveys of local residents. Premium seating revenues were based on interviews with private sector business leaders. Although the study demonstrated a viable project concept in terms of attendance and revenue potential, political considerations prevented the state from providing the funds necessary to finance the project, while the county found itself unable to shoulder a greater portion of project debt financing. As a result, the county decided not to proceed with the project.