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Howard Berger on Devils fans


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#1 officerfarva

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:11 PM

http://www.hockeybuz...hp?post_id=7192

Nets Set The Bar For DevilsToday @ 10:56 PM ET | Comments (1)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Apr. 27) -- I closed my eyes and wondered where I was for a few moments earlier tonight. Could it possibly have been the same, lifeless building I'd watched a hockey game in 24 hours earlier? Indeed, it was the Continental Airlines Arena, but the joint was hopping on this night, as Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets eviscerated the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of their NBA playoff series. Oh, there was the usual compliment of empty seats; the particular sport on display doesn't seem to matter in this area. But, the people on hand appeared to be genuinely excited from the outset -- a stark contrast to the moribund Devils' audience of the previous night. It made for a wonderful atmosphere.

Based on the tone of e-mails received today, yours truly definitely struck a nerve with my observations in this space about the meager following for the Devils in their home arena. As if that's an unfounded theory. There was lots of colorful language and passionate support in words, yet not a single e-mailer dared to suggest that he or she might get off their rumps one day and actually buy a ticket to see the Devils in action. The excuses were plentiful -- about the poor location of the arena, and the traffic tie-ups, and the cost of parking. As if other hockey markets don't face those issues. Heck, even the Associated Press reporter who covered tonight's basketball game pointed out in his story that there were many empty seats, but he came up with a dandy, blaming flooding in the region for the less-than spectacular turnout. That's odd. I drove about 100 miles today, covering the Ottawa Senators' practice at Montclair State University, while later visiting several shopping centers here in New Jersey, and I had no problems. I also happened to be driving through the teeth of the monsoon-like rainstorm early in the day. The rain had stopped long before the basketball game tipped off at 7:05 p.m. It's supposed to clear up late tomorrow. Will the Devils' crowd for Game 2 be hindered by a blinding sun, low on the horizon?

I don't buy any of this baloney. People here are either lazy, or there simply is not a large enough following for the Devils to sell out their arena. If that's the case, it will be a disaster for the hockey club once the novelty of attending games at the Prudential Center subsides. Sure, it's no piece of cake navigating the silly roadways in the area of the Meadowlands, and traffic IS a problem, just like in any other metropolitan area. But, it seems that fans of the New York Rangers have little difficulty making it to Continental Airlines Arena four times per season. It's virtually the only times you will see a capacity audience for a Devils' home game.

The underlying point, once again, is that the New Jersey club has earned much more of a loyal following than it receives. If this were a stumbling organization, no one would bat an eyelash at the poor attendance figures. But, Lou Lamoriello and Co. have iced a championship-caliber product virtually every season since 1995. There are markets elsewhere in the NHL that would kill for such a routinely excellent club. I find it amazing how the alleged hockey fans on this side of the Hudson River staunchly defend their team, but allow lame excuses to pour off their laptops about not attending games in person.

Giving ME the proverbial finger might feel good. But, it won't fill a single seat when it matters most to your favorite team.

E-mail howard.berger@rci.rogers.com
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#2 Triumph

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:15 PM

he's wrong, and a fool.

the two often go hand in hand, i find.

i can afford to go - i don't want to. i won't want to in newark, either, but i'll probably see a few more games a year. just not worth it to me to spend thousands of dollars a year on a lifeless arena. i'm amazed at the amount of people who do show up.

and i watched part of nets raptors and the crowd sounded as quiet as it does for any CAA event.

Edited by Triumph, 27 April 2007 - 10:15 PM.

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#3 jkrdevil

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:16 PM

I posted this in the other thread but a comparison.

Raptors vs. Nets First round Game 3 Friday Night 7pm: 17,147
Lightning vs. Devils First Round Game 5 Friday Night 7pm: 18,096

Edited by jkrdevil, 27 April 2007 - 10:17 PM.

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#4 thelastonealive

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:23 PM

East Rutherford is NOT Manhattan.

East Rutherford is NOT Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, or St. Louis.

Hell, East Rutherford is NOT EVEN Columbus, Raleigh, or San Jose.

It's East fvckin Rutherford.

Ask a casual hockey fan on the west coast what city the New Jersey Devils play, and I guarentee at least 75% say "Trenton", "Newark", or a quizical grunt that sounds a little like "I dunno?"

How many people live on Manhattan island? How many multi-million and multi-billion dollar corporations are there in Boston, LA, Miami, and Phoenix?

How many are there in East fvckin Rutherford?

It will change when the move to Newark happens, and it's not just the traffic, or the price of tickets, or the parking. Alot of it will have to do with the fact that people will actually see the damn place.
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#5 Devilsdude530

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 11:16 PM

For the record, I think 30-35,000 people.
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#6 HellOnICE

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 11:37 PM

According to wikipedia...

East Rutherford is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough population was 8,716.

According to wikipedia...

East Rutherford is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough population was 8,716.
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#7 Satans Hockey

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 01:56 AM

Will these attendance threads ever end? I think we should have a seperate forum just for them. :argh:
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#8 officerfarva

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 03:08 AM

Will these attendance threads ever end? I think we should have a seperate forum just for them. :argh:


They'll end when the CAA isn't empty for a playoff game. Saturday will hopefully have at least 17k in the building at which point the attendance talk will die down. Games 3 and 4 are in Ottawa so we won't have to worry and game 5 will be another Saturday night game which should be another decent crowd. Game 7, if there is one, scares me because it is on a Wednesday at 7:00. Can you imagine a game 7 with 14k? Every paper in North America will be writing articles on that mess.

There's a reason why Lou fought tooth and nail to have this series start on Thursday. He got 2 Saturday games out of it.

It would've looked like this: Game 1 Tuesday 14k, Game 2 Thursday 15k, Game 5 Wednesday 15k. Thank you Lou for at least saving this organization and its fans total embarrassment of having one of the lowest attended series in league history.

Edited by officerfarva, 28 April 2007 - 03:15 AM.

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#9 NJD Jester

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 10:12 AM

Thank you Lou for at least saving this organization and its fans total embarrassment of having one of the lowest attended series in league history.


Can you tell us what is the lowest attended series in league history?

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#10 sundstrom

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 10:28 AM

i can afford to go - i don't want to. i won't want to in newark, either, but i'll probably see a few more games a year. just not worth it to me to spend thousands of dollars a year on a lifeless arena. i'm amazed at the amount of people who do show up.


is it worth the money for you to go to newark? i'm not saying that everyone should become season ticket holders that can afford it. but if people like you who have the disposable income to go to games go to 5 games a year instead of zero like now, then Prudential Center will be much more full than CAA (and not just because of the novelty).
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#11 SC Devs Fan

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 11:30 AM

Can you tell us what is the lowest attended series in league history?

<JESTER>

Please do not ask people to defend their points with facts; it just confuses the matter. It is much easier to spout baseless opinions.

Edited by SC Devs Fan, 28 April 2007 - 11:30 AM.

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#12 puckrock

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 12:43 PM

What a moronic article. Ya know, the building may not be full in the playoffs but the fans that do show up really rock that place. Look at Game 1 in the Tampa series, and Game 5. Quality over quantity, buddy.
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#13 Triumph

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 01:15 AM

is it worth the money for you to go to newark? i'm not saying that everyone should become season ticket holders that can afford it. but if people like you who have the disposable income to go to games go to 5 games a year instead of zero like now, then Prudential Center will be much more full than CAA (and not just because of the novelty).


well my financial situation is unique, by the time the rock opens i probably won't be able to afford it - but i wouldn't see myself going to newark much either, just because while i love the devils, i've never loved going to the arena enough to justify paying thousands of dollars a year just to see the games live. never seemed worth it to me, but part of it is that none of my friends like hockey so it was never really a social occasion either.
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#14 LizDevil30

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 04:07 PM

Thousands of dollars to attend games? :blink: I have to take kids to games and I've never spend more than a couple hundred a year max. Where are your seats? Center ice? :P
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