Newark sets deadline for letter of credit from Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- City officials want the New Jersey Devils to guarantee the team will spend $100 million on a new downtown arena and have given the NHL franchise a Tuesday deadline to put that commitment in writing.

Richard Monteilh, Newark's business administrator, said Monday that the team had one more day to submit a $100 million letter of credit for construction of the arena, planned as a centerpiece of the city's redevelopment efforts.

Monteilh said the Devils have indicated "they'll be ready," but if the team doesn't hit the goal, "then the project is dead."

The city and the Devils broke ground on the $310 million, 18,000-seat arena in October. Newark has committed $210 million for the venue, scheduled to open in 2007. It has already spent $22 million for redevelopment costs of the 14-acre site, Monteilh said.

Monteilh said deadlines had been missed by both the city and the team.

The team currently plays at East Rutherford.