Monday, October 29, 2007

A Devil of an opener

How dumb was it for the NHL to schedule the first game of the New Jersey Devils in their new home — the Prudential Center in Newark — on the same night, Saturday, that the Rangers, eight miles away, were at home, and the Islanders, 26 miles away, were also at home? Three teams, same huge market, all with 7 p.m. starts, all at home. Just stupid. (Full disclosure policy: I did not attend the game, but I am in a Devils season-ticket consortium.)
The game did sellout (17,600) so I'm not sure I see the problem.

Still, it's my understanding that the Newark location is going to make it much easier for Rangers and Isles puckheads to make the trek, meaning New Jersey's bound to have far more sellouts than they ever did at the Meadowlands.

UPDATE Greg Wyshynski was there and had this look at the new digs.

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11 Comments:

At 5:04 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger BlackCapricorn said...

James it will make a world of difference. While I am no Devils fan, I live in North Jersey and public transportation to and from the game will make the experience of watching them play the teams I want to see much more enjoyable. Having to trek on 3 to the Meadowlands for a game was terrible. Now I am 15 minutes away by train for NHL hockey- too bad its in Newark.

 
At 5:10 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I'm always amazed that there are seemingly people reading in every market.

Thanks for the note; that's essentially what I've heard from New Jersey/New York residents ever since they announced the new building's location.

 
At 5:35 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger sager said...

Peter King sometimes has time making sense with the sport he covers, let alone the ones on the periphery of his sporting consciousness...

 
At 7:25 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, so I guess this means NJ is going to have an attendance increase this year?

 
At 7:30 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

They were 26th in attendance last season, so I should hope so.

I imagine they'll sellout at least half their games this season.

 
At 7:38 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see if I have this right: Despite playing in a market of, what, 8 million people, the New York Devils couldn't sell out to saves their lives? Despite being a 10-minute tunnel ride away from the heart of the city? Yet now they're going to sell out? I weep for NJ taxpayers and the fiscal r@pe they've no doubt endured to build this millionaires' playpen.

 
At 9:25 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger Meg said...

Despite playing in a market of, what, 8 million people, the New York Devils couldn't sell out to saves their lives? Despite being a 10-minute tunnel ride away from the heart of the city? Yet now they're going to sell out?

Huh? As was noted above, their new arena is much easier to get to, for both people in North Jersey and people in New York City. I know that I'm a lot more likely to make it to a game or two out there now that I can take a train instead of catching a bus from Port Authority and sitting in traffic, and I imagine the same is true for many people.

Then again, I also imagine that NJ taxpayers have bigger complaints than this arena which will, after all, host more than just the Devils.

 
At 10:11 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

Re: the King article. If you have to worry about whether the Rangers are playing at home on the night of your home opener at a brand new rink, then you're not a legitimate major league team.

(I do realize that they did sell out. It was his statement that was wimpy)

 
At 10:51 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Jimmy Hoffa is buried under the centre face-off dot, for good luck.

 
At 10:45 AM, October 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a 10-minute tunnel ride during the middle of the night. At rush hour, before weekday game time, the ride to the Meadowlands is much, much longer. The Meadowlands is less than easily accessible by public transportation-- the arena is close to the train station.

I believe that the Prudential Center itself was privately funded by the Devils organization, not by the state. (As with all of these arena projects, the state probably spent a good deal of money, but the majority was paid by the Devils.)

As far as sell-outs, the Prudential Center, with it's 17,000-odd capacity is an easier arena to sell-out than the 19,040 seat Continental Airlines Arena.

 
At 10:17 AM, October 31, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ten minutes at midnight from Manhattan where many New Yorkers work, hour drive from mid-town during rush hour and an impossible drive from Brooklyn and Queens where 6 million of those people actually live.

 

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