..why else make such a big hoopla, if there wasn't something greater in the works? To even go so far as to say; "as part of the agreement, assets will be built within the arena for the fans" says it all imo. There are 2 bars within the arena. Online gambling is legal in the state. This seems too obvious to me. You could still keep one of the bars the way it is, and expand on the other one. Example; the Devils Ice Lounge -&- the PartyPoker Fire Lounge.
Perfect area for me is the Goal Bar. It has a full bar already, doesn't require that you have specialized seats there (a la Fire/Ice Lounges), they do have security check IDs from time to time, and they already have tables/stools set up; that'd be a no-brainer for me to plop some tablets (like Laguardia Airport) and see how it pans out.
Yes, on one hand, you're creating something in the arena that gets some "fans" out of their seats and distracts them with something elsewhere in the arena.
But on the other hand, that type of stuff (and other moves like it) is the kind of extra arena experience that draws in that last missing group of 1000-2000 random fans to fill up the building; so a few hundred people missing from their seats now and then doesn't affect much.
Places like Red Bull Arena, and even Citi Field I think, have cordoned off areas like a beer garden, and other draws and activities. Those little things (not just limited to online poker, obviously) go a long way to attracting the average fan who isn't necessarily interested in paying $20-50 to go see the Devils win 1-0. I hate on Madison Square Garden all the time, but there's a little bit of that element of "attracting the casual fan" that our building can surely use and I think our new owners believe in that big-time. Our building might not be full every night but I'd say we have more fans in our team's jersey than you'll see in Madison Square Garden or Air Canada Centre. Our downfall is not being able to attract the casual fans; it surely got harder to so without Parise or Kovalchuk as our posterboys. We just need to fill in the blanks with the randoms and we'll have a nice crowd. On-ice success and a playoff run will obviously help.
Edited by DJ Eco, 10 January 2014 - 11:24 AM.