U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, D-N.J., speaks to a gathering about...

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, D-N.J., speaks to a gathering about the progress made in restoring the contaminated watershed at the Atlantic Resources Corporation Superfund in Sayreville, N.J. (Sept. 27, 2012) Credit: AP

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey's senators are urging both sides in the NHL lockout to consider the economic impact on their state if the dispute is not resolved.

U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg sent a letter Monday to the commissioner of the National Hockey League and the director of the NHL Players' Association urging them to reach a settlement.

The Democrats write that Congress has jurisdiction over interstate commerce, which includes professional sports, and will be keeping a "close eye" on negotiations.

The letter warns that the absence of New Jersey Devils' games in Newark could mean millions of dollars in lost economic activity and jobs in especially tough economic times.

The lockout comes on the heels of the Nets basketball franchise moving from Newark to Brooklyn, N.Y.

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