Target date for move: 2007

NEWARK, N.J. -- The owners of the New Jersey Devils have agreed to relocate the team to a new arena in Newark that is slated to be completed before the start of the 2007 season, according to a letter sent to Mayor Sharpe James on Monday.

"This is the right move, for the Devils, our fans and for the state," Devils president Lou Lamoriello said in the letter.

The team and the city hope to have the 18,000-seat arena open by July 1, 2007. The arena would be part of a complex that also would include an office building, a parking garage for 1,340 vehicles and a 300-room hotel.

The letter did not state how much the arena would cost or who would pay for it.

A spokeswoman for James declined comment. Messages left at the Devils' offices Monday night were not returned. A joint news conference with city and Devils officials is scheduled for Thursday.

The Devils and the NBA's New Jersey Nets are co-tenants at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford. The Nets were bought last month by a developer who plans to move the team to Brooklyn, N.Y.