I posted this on your attendance thread, but it was a late one and I felt got buried. Here is what I think of your thoughts on the attendance issues at the Prudential Center in Newark for the New Jersey Devil games.
I’m personally surprised no one wrote this here yet. Since the Rock was built, those seats that your buddy took a picture of are what they call “The Club” seats. The arena is also equipped with 2 bars where you can watch the actual game from: The Fire Lounge, & The Ice Lounge.
Now these seats mostly go for like $200 – $250 and give you access to either the Fire or Ice Lounge. Some other lower ones give access to the Goal Bar, which I don’t think you can see the game from, but it’s still a patrician meeting spot. Most people in those seats were watching the game from those Lounges. Look at your buddy’s picture to the right and see how they’re more filled. Those AREN’T CLUB seats – they are the Goal Bar (I believe Gold or Yellow sections).
Before the Rock figured out what they were going to do with these, in 2006, I snuck into the Ice Lounge during the second Devil game ever at the Rock . . . . and I didn’t leave for the entire game (now you must show your ticket and get it stamped or a bracelet or something like that) partly because this lounge offered me a better view and they’ve got a hell of a bar and food atmosphere with chairs and tables to view from. The point being is that you have a full ice view of the game and a great spot to watch them from. Same goes with the tables that they have around the concourse on the 2nd level. (For the first time in Game 1, I saw them using the curtains up there to block the view – that was weird – I guess they do want people in the seats). Walk by them tonight and see for yourself.
The fact is that the game was a sellout, no matter how you try to spin it. John F. at our blog says it was 80% – 20%, and I buy that.
Hey it’s true – Philly fans are as passionate as you see. The media loves to try and slam Philly fans, but that only makes the loyalty and passion stronger. CLICK ON MY PROFILE – I KNOW HOW IT IS . . . for 2 sports out of the year. It’s never a surprise when Flyer fans make the trip up (or Ranger ones). I get to be a part of that crowd too. So, when the Phillies fans invade Nationals’ Park, I get it – GREAT FANS. However, being a Devil fan does give me some empathy for the Nats fans . . . SOME.
I can go into how it’s harder to be a Devil fan in New Jersey. Some people in Bergen, Essex and Hudson feel like they gotta be enamored with NYC – so they go for the Rangers. Hey – Newark is NOT NYC or Philly. The Devils don’t have that “city” pull, pure and simple.
They’re a small market area like Kansas City, I mean look at the map of New Jersey.
For now, until people like me who grew up with the Devils get older and increase our purchasing power, there will be some attendance issues. But, it’s getting better and to me, offers the strongest sense to re-sign Kovalchuk – attendance has jumped since he’s come on board look how the attendance numbers have been since the trade. (You’ll have to click on each individual home game score. He was traded around Feb 3rd).
It is just harder to be a Devils’ fan. Kevin Smith said it. You’ve got the NJ Ranger fans who’m I’ve already mentioned and you South Jersey Flyer fans – so it truly carves up the state. I definitely have more issue with Ranger fans in NJ than Philly fans in South Jersey – because Ranger fans have the Devils on TV and South Jersey fans don’t.
BTW – I lived in Margate and Somers Point and went to Bullies’ games a lot too. When they moved in 2005, I moved up to North Jersey and I felt it was symbolic. I LOVED going to those Bully games. But they aren’t the same. The South Jersey Shore has no white collar economy as mentioned in the book, No Minor Accomplishment, when the AC Surf’s struggles were mentioned. North Jersey has the businesses, the corporations and the purchasing power to keep the luxury boxes filled and those Club Seats sold. Believe me, big bucks up here in North Jersey.
They have a brand new arena . . . . so the Islanders would move well before the Devils would. And most Islander fans I’ve talked to , would cheer for the Devils and drop dead before they would ever do that for the Rangers.