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Colorado Rockies 1976

Has anybody been to the Izod Center lately?

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Like some of you, the last time I was in the Izod Center (obviously the CAA back then) was when the Devils lost the Senators in the playoffs almost seven years ago.  Today I took my wife and daughter to see the Harlem Globetrotters play there...our seats were actually in one of the old press boxes. 

 

It's funny, I thought I would feel a lot of nostalgia (saw SO many Devils games there), but it's scary how dated that building has become...it really feels ancient now, and so much more cavernous than I remember it.  Everything about it screams 80s, and not in good ways.  The fugliness that was/is Xanadu doesn't help matters much either (there's visible signs of neglect already, as the buildings are basically derelict at this point), but the arena just feels so EMPTY without any sports teams calling it home.  

 

Just curious if anyone here has been there lately, and if you felt anything other than "God this place really needs to go" upon entering.    

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I was there for a concert a year after the Devils moved out (I think this was March of 2008) And that was the last time I had any reason to set foot in the building. It was actually a pretty decent concert venue...good acoustics. Still sort of felt like home since NJ hadn't even finished year 1 at the Pru Center. But CAA was always a very boring, plain arena. Not Nassau Coliseum level garbage but nothing special either.

 

I understand where the cavernous feel comes from, it had an unusually high roof. Once you haven't been there for a while it probably comes across as a bit of a mini dome.

 

To it's credit, not a bad/obstructed seat in the house for hockey games, which in the 90's and 00's couldn't be said for any of the other arenas around us.

 

Xanadu is a sh!tshow. Just ugly and worthless. I've heard rumors of homeless squatters taking up residence there.

Edited by '7'

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I've been there twice since the last Devils game- once in 2008 for a Van Halen concert, and then again in 2010 for an Ozzy concert. I thought I'd feel more nostalgia as well, but I didn't really feel much of anything in that regard. Its just old and run down now. The state should just go ahead and condemn it already and save the taxpayers the money. Its a waste to keep it open anymore.

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I was there for a concert a year after the Devils moved out (I think this was March of 2008) And that was the last time I had any reason to set foot in the building. It was actually a pretty decent concert venue...good acoustics. Still sort of felt like home since NJ hadn't even finished year 1 at the Pru Center. But CAA was always a very boring, plain arena. Not Nassau Coliseum level garbage but nothing special either.

 

I understand where the cavernous feel comes from, it had an unusually high roof. Once you haven't been there for a while it probably comes across as a bit of a mini dome.

 

To it's credit, not a bad/obstructed seat in the house for hockey games, which in the 90's and 00's couldn't be said for any of the other arenas around us.

 

Xanadu is a sh!tshow. Just ugly and worthless. I've heard rumors of homeless squatters taking up residence there.

 

I agree, CAA was never anything special...very no-frills from day one (though newness always leads to some wows initially), but like you say, at least it had good sightlines.  For hockey, it did its job, but seven years haven't done it any favor.  It is funny though, how quickly I've gotten used to the Rock's intimacy...yeah, the Izod felt MUCH bigger now that it did to me when I was used to it (and I remember when it didn't even have a scoreboard).  The fact that the whole upper deck was empty added to the feeling.  But in general, everything about it just looks and feels so OLD.  I felt like someone who's been playing an Xbox 360 for the last seven years, then was handed a ColecoVision.  The difference felt that stark, and it surprised me how much. 

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I agree, CAA was never anything special...very no-frills from day one (though newness always leads to some wows initially), but like you say, at least it had good sightlines.  For hockey, it did its job, but seven years haven't done it any favor.  It is funny though, how quickly I've gotten used to the Rock's intimacy...yeah, the Izod felt MUCH bigger now that it did to me when I was used to it (and I remember when it didn't even have a scoreboard).  The fact that the whole upper deck was empty added to the feeling.  But in general, everything about it just looks and feels so OLD.  I felt like someone who's been playing an Xbox 360 for the last seven years, then was handed a ColecoVision.  The difference felt that stark, and it surprised me how much. 

 

The size did the Devils no favors. Supposedly it was built to woo the Rags but when they decided to stay at the Garden the attendance was changed to 19,040 to needle the Rags and their Cup drought.

 

Still even the Rags in 1982 would have trouble filling the 19k seats. The Devils should've started play in a 16k arena. Even in the earlier days respectable crowds of 15,000 looked pathetic

 

The faded purple seats are awful.

Edited by '7'

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It was state of the art in 1981. By the 1st Cup, it was already outdated. Maybe even a few years earlier then that. The arena, unbelievably, never received a real face lift. you'd think after 10 years or 15 years it would get something major to keep up. It also never received the upgrades promised to Scrooge after the Nashville threat, either (the upper level suites). In the years the Devils played there the center hung scoreboard (1991), upper level video screens, the dot matrix ring and the sound system were the significant upgrades. You could have walked into the box office in 1985 and then again 20 years later and think you were walking back in time. Same with the main concourse. Some, if not most, of concourse signs have been there since 1981. 

 

The Winners club was really the only "facelift" the building ever received. It was a shame because from the outside it was always a nice looking building from Day 1. It was built as a utilitarian building (get in, watch the game, get out) as good as you can get in 1981 purposes for sports entertainment. I miss it to an extent, because of all the memories, but it's a lesson in how much the landscape of the "game day experience" has changed in 30 years.

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My grandmother (god rest her soul) told me it is and always should be the Brendan Byrne arena(makes sense for an Irish democrat lol) so the Brendan Byrne it still is to me.

Lots of memories but honestly I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone thought to build an entire sports complex there... It seems like that would be the last place id build it.

The state should just go ahead and condemn it already and save the taxpayers the money. Its a waste to keep it open anymore.

I might be wrong and have no idea where to find it but I though it was still turning a pretty hefty profit, no? Edited by dmann422

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Yeah, it's crazy how dated it is. I remember being a kid and thinking it was one of the coolest designed buildings out there. Maybe because it was left mostly white and unbranded; it was a nice monolithic white piece of architecture.

 

I don't think all the Izod brand signage and goofy red paint on each corner of the building is doing it any service, it just looks tacky and ugly. 

 

The case can be made, though, that the if construction budget of Prudential Center were rerouted instead to do some major renovations to the building, it probably wouldn't feel so dated now. It's not too far off the brink as far as design's concerned, a minor facelift would go a long way; it's no Nassau Coliseum haha..


Xanadu is a sh!tshow. Just ugly and worthless. I've heard rumors of homeless squatters taking up residence there.

 

I can only hope that's true. At least someone would be getting some sort of use out of it.

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I remember thinking Brendan Byrne Arena was great when I first went there, but I was 11 years old at the time (1982).  Yeah, by the first Cup, CAA was already feeling like it needed some modernizing.  I went to the CoreStates (now Wells Fargo) Arena to watch a Devils-Flyers game not long after it opened (in '96), and that made the CAA feel instantly primitive.   

 

I don't know about the seating capacity being a dig at the Rangers '7', but I do know the Rangers were pretty close to calling BBA home.  I've read up on how the Colorado Rockies came to NJ, and there were a lot of scenarios that had them going elsewhere (including merging with the Washington Capitals, similar to what had happened with the Minnesota North Stars and the Cleveland Barons).  The Rockies' fate was literally up in the air until almost the last minute. 

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The size did the Devils no favors. Supposedly it was built to woo the Rags but when they decided to stay at the Garden the attendance was changed to 19,040 to needle the Rags and their Cup drought.

 

Still even the Rags in 1982 would have trouble filling the 19k seats. The Devils should've started play in a 16k arena. Even in the earlier days respectable crowds of 15,000 looked pathetic

 

The first part is true. The Rangers were having issues with NYC regarding taxes and the rumor/threat (as early as the 70's) was they'd move to NJ. There was no way that would ever happen, it was pure leverage. The second part about the seating capacity is urban legend. 

 

The problem was Scrooge was sold a bill of goods by the NHL and NJSEA. The exhibition game played there between the Rangers and Flyers fooled many people into the numbers the Devils could draw. He was fooled into thinking he could open the doors and fans would fill the seats. Having a poor on-ice product and not a glimmer of immediate hope also didn't help matters. While i do not think the Rangers would put 19K in there every night, they wouldn't have been playing to numbers the Devils did. I also think had the Rangers played there, you'd have seen some type of mass transit system. You would have to have that without a doubt and i don't think they'd ever consider a move without it.

Edited by TheRedStorm

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It was state of the art in 1981. By the 1st Cup, it was already outdated. Maybe even a few years earlier then that. The arena, unbelievably, never received a real face lift. you'd think after 10 years or 15 years it would get something major to keep up. It also never received the upgrades promised to Scrooge after the Nashville threat, either (the upper level suites). In the years the Devils played there the center hung scoreboard (1991), upper level video screens, the dot matrix ring and the sound system were the significant upgrades. You could have walked into the box office in 1985 and then again 20 years later and think you were walking back in time. Same with the main concourse. Some, if not most, of concourse signs have been there since 1981

 

The Winners club was really the only "facelift" the building ever received. It was a shame because from the outside it was always a nice looking building from Day 1. It was built as a utilitarian building (get in, watch the game, get out) as good as you can get in 1981 purposes for sports entertainment. I miss it to an extent, because of all the memories, but it's a lesson in how much the landscape of the "game day experience" has changed in 30 years.

 

exactly right. My last trip there I remember seeing a Bud concourse sign that looked to be in the 80's script. As well as one really old looking Carvel logo.

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The first part is true. The Rangers were having issues with NYC regarding taxes and the rumor/threat (as early as the 70's) was they'd move to NJ. There was no way that would ever happen, it was leverage. The second part about the seating capacity is urban legend. 

 

The problem was Scrooge was sold a bill of goods by the NHL and NJSEA. The exhibition game played there between the Rangers and Flyers fooled many people into the numbers the Devils could draw. He was fooled into thinking he could open the doors and fans would fill the seats. Having a poor on-ice product and not a glimmer of immediate hope also didn't help. While i do not think the Rangers would put 19K in there every night, they'd have not been playing to numbers the Devils did. I also think had the Rangers played there, you'd have seen some type of mass transit system. You would have had to have that without a doubt.

 

I've talked about it before, but NJ was one odd place to put an NHL team at that time.  You had an Islander team in the middle of a dynasty, a Ranger team that had been in NY forever and had generations of fans, and a Flyer team that had won a Cup not too long ago and was still a good team.  Of course, if the Devils had been any good, maybe they could've made quicker inroads into the existing fanbases, but the team coming to NJ had never won more than 22 games in any given season and was coming off an 18-win season, and to no one's surprise, the suckage continued. 

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Been there twice since the Devils left. Once for Rammstein and another time because I had to give out tickets to some WWE event for a radio station I was interning at. I had a chance to get a look around the offices inside the arena and even those were bland and dated.

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My grandmother (god rest her soul) told me it is and always should be the Brendan Byrne arena(makes sense for an Irish democrat lol) so the Brendan Byrne it still is to me.

Lots of memories but honestly I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone thought to build an entire sports complex there... It seems like that would be the last place id build it. I might be wrong and have no idea where to find it but I though it was still turning a pretty hefty profit, no?

 

Close to NYC, empty swaths of land near large wealthy suburbs. Giants and later Jets were having tons of issues with their NYC venues, which they had to share with baseball teams. The Yankees didn't want to share a renovated Yankee Stadium with the Giants and the Jets had tons of issues with the Mets. Where else could both franchise settle? NJ saw an opportunity and now has both teams locked in for quite a while

 

Later they saw an opportunity with the Yankees and tried to do the same thing. Supposedly an offer was tabled...

Edited by '7'

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The first part is true. The Rangers were having issues with NYC regarding taxes and the rumor/threat (as early as the 70's) was they'd move to NJ. There was no way that would ever happen, it was pure leverage. The second part about the seating capacity is urban legend. 

 

The problem was Scrooge was sold a bill of goods by the NHL and NJSEA. The exhibition game played there between the Rangers and Flyers fooled many people into the numbers the Devils could draw. He was fooled into thinking he could open the doors and fans would fill the seats. Having a poor on-ice product and not a glimmer of immediate hope also didn't help matters. While i do not think the Rangers would put 19K in there every night, they wouldn't have been playing to numbers the Devils did. I also think had the Rangers played there, you'd have seen some type of mass transit system. You would have to have that without a doubt and i don't think they'd ever consider a move without it.

 

I'm shocked there was no rail put in in the late 70's for the Giants, as they're a bigger player on the NY/NJ stage than the Rangers

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My grandmother (god rest her soul) told me it is and always should be the Brendan Byrne arena(makes sense for an Irish democrat lol) so the Brendan Byrne it still is to me.

Lots of memories but honestly I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone thought to build an entire sports complex there... It seems like that would be the last place id build it. I might be wrong and have no idea where to find it but I though it was still turning a pretty hefty profit, no?

If it is, then I stand corrected... But I don't see how it can be with all the competition for dates, and now Barclays Center getting in the mix. I'm sure that info is out there somewhere for public consumption.

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The Izod bookings through spring are not impressive. Imagine Dragon? Demi Lovito? Has anybody heard of those acts?

 

Granted they do have Cher and some wrestling show but I doubt either pack 'em in anymoe

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Haven't been to the CAA (still calling it that) since they left - intentionally.  I have such a fantastic childhood memory of the entire experience (running through the tunnel, shoving my way around the concourse, sitting in the nosebleeds) and I don't want to change that.  Towards the end I wasn't that young obviously, but I think time has definitely erased the sh!ttier aspects of the arena from my memory.  I'd like to keep it that way if possible.

 

Although slightly OT here, but regarding Xanadu - I thought they were redesigning/finishing that?  Aren't they running a train service to the Meadowlands soon as well?  I also remember reading something about a mall being opened up in that complex..am I totally off base here?

Edited by Devilsfan118

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The Izod bookings through spring are not impressive. Imagine Dragon? Demi Lovito? Has anybody heard of those acts?

 

Granted they do have Cher and some wrestling show but I doubt either pack 'em in anymoe

 

Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" has gotten a lot of airplay:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvTqknDobU

 

Demi Lovato has been a judge on Simon Cowell's X-Factor and has also gotten considerable airplay...I think most of her fans are teenaged girls (it's a nice demo to hit...many of them either buy their own tickets or have parents that can). 

 

Haven't been to the CAA (still calling it that) since they left - intentionally.  I have such a fantastic childhood memory of the entire experience (running through the tunnel, shoving my way around the concourse, sitting in the nosebleeds) and I don't want to change that.  Towards the end I wasn't that young obviously, but I think time has definitely erased the sh!ttier aspects of the arena from my memory.  I'd like to keep it that way if possible.

 

Although slightly OT here, but regarding Xanadu - I thought they were redesigning/finishing that?  Aren't they running a train service to the Meadowlands soon as well?  I also remember reading something about a mall being opened up in that complex..am I totally off base here?

 

Yes, it is supposed to be getting a makeover soon...weather is rumored to be delaying things.  It's now supposed to be opened in 2016. 

 

It's called American Dream Meadowlands now. 

 

http://www.americandream.com/

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I don't know about the seating capacity being a dig at the Rangers '7', but I do know the Rangers were pretty close to calling BBA home.  I've read up on how the Colorado Rockies came to NJ, and there were a lot of scenarios that had them going elsewhere (including merging with the Washington Capitals, similar to what had happened with the Minnesota North Stars and the Cleveland Barons).  The Rockies' fate was literally up in the air until almost the last minute. 

 

If these are online, any chance you could post a link to some of those resources you mention as far as how the Rockies moved to NJ? I've got some basic knowledge on the subject but would really like to learn more about it.

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If it is, then I stand corrected... But I don't see how it can be with all the competition for dates, and now Barclays Center getting in the mix. I'm sure that info is out there somewhere for public consumption.

 

I remember reading that JVB/Pru Center came to an agreement with Izod over concerts since Izod gets all the LiveNation events. Izod can live happily off of those lucrative events. The Pru gets everything else in terms of concerts, sports events, etc... I would wonder why even strike an agreement with Izod to begin with (other than to satisfy the NJSEA's pockets) when the Pru has all the leverage and you would figure LiveNation wouldnt re-up their contract with Izod in the future.

 

Anyway, when I think of going to games at CAA, one of my first thoughts was always those colorful, tacky clown/circus banners they hung in the rafters lol

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If these are online, any chance you could post a link to some of those resources you mention as far as how the Rockies moved to NJ? I've got some basic knowledge on the subject but would really like to learn more about it.

 

Look at NYTimes articles from around that time.  That's pretty much where I got a lot of info.  Terry Frei used to cover the Rockies for the Denver Post, and there's some good articles of his that can be found with some searching.  There's other places too.  I learned much of it years ago, just clicking on link after link after link, typing in different searches, etc.  Sadly, there was enthusiasm for hockey in Denver early on, but the economy wasn't very good there at the time, and the second owner (trucking magnate Arthur Imperatore) wanted to move the team to NJ in 1978, but without an arena, the NHL wouldn't allow it...unfortunately, that really hurt fan interest, as they realized they were nothing more than a stopover until the team found a permanent home.  The various owners were so frugal that the players sometimes traveled from the airport in school buses, and the jerseys for most of team's existence consisted of screen-printed logos, names, and numbers. 

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kind of sad how its used for basically nothing now.. as a kid i LOVED going there to see the devils i always felt a warm fuzzy feeling walking up the stairs to the doors and excitement grew to get inside to see the game... i was there about 2 years ago for a concert and it sure didnt feel the same was that it did back then that for sure.. as been said it seemed now very old and out of date from the hallways to the colors in there to the electronics in the place.

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I've talked about it before, but NJ was one odd place to put an NHL team at that time. You had an Islander team in the middle of a dynasty, a Ranger team that had been in NY forever and had generations of fans, and a Flyer team that had won a Cup not too long ago and was still a good team. Of course, if the Devils had been any good, maybe they could've made quicker inroads into the existing fanbases, but the team coming to NJ had never won more than 22 games in any given season and was coming off an 18-win season, and to no one's surprise, the suckage continued.

I guess it's one of those things that a corporate guy looks at the demographics and sees a lot of money without really understanding how a fan's mindset works. North Jersey is densely populated and is one of the richest areas in the country, throw in a big brand new arena, and someone figures they'll go see a team that's their own. Unfortunately half if not more of your potential fanbase are already Ranger fans and their kids are going to be Ranger fans.

When you think about it, it's amazing that the Devils are still in NJ. Hockey is barely a major sport, yet there are more hockey teams in the metro area than baseball, football or basketball. (At one time you could even consider the Whalers to be part of the same market).

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If you go into the box office at the Izod Center and look for the plastic pocket schedule holders it still has the Devils logo and phone number to call on it.

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