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Why I Still Prefer the Meadowlands over Prudential Center


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http://bleacherreport.com/articles/942628-why-i-still-prefer-the-nj-devils-at-the-meadowlands-to-the-prudential-center

It's been almost five years since the NHL's New Jersey Devilsplayed their last game at Continental Airlines Arena (which was originally called Brendan Byrne Arena). Call me crazy (and I'm sure somebody will), but I miss those days, which included the three stints that I interned for the Devils in the 1990s.

Don't get me wrong—the Prudential Center is a great place. It's obviously more modern, and it's much easier to get to Newark by rail than by car to East Rutherford.

But if given a choice, I still prefer the Devils' old digs for several reasons...

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i do agree that the upper seating is a bit cramped (having season tix in 101, 3, now 107) its still fine. Im also 5'7 and 180lbs so its not a big deal to me... if i was taller/heavier, i could really see it being a problem

The cow tunnel was a fun bonding experience for all devils fans who used it. Always great singing random songs with drunk people on the way out and enjoying the rangers suck chants during ranger/dev games

The lower concourse at The Rock si VERY nice... its wide, has cool stuff and i love it, more than the upper which is still nice. That single concourse garbage at the CAA (i refuse to call it Izod) was just jam packed with people all the time, regardless of sold out or not, i do NOT miss that

Yeah a lot of cool things happened at the CAA (2 cup appearances, Martys goal, etc) but it was also a dump in so many ways, it wasn't worth keeping for the sake of nostalgia

i went back last year when my girlfriend graduated college, and looking around, it seemed so old... the jumbotron screens are tiny, i think the TV in my room is bigger. The seats are nowhere near as comfortable at The Rock (Regardless of seat size)

ive had some good times at the CAA, i was in 230... always cool crap happening, fighting, Baumann chants........ but i really like The Rock

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I miss CAA. I think it's more nostalgia than anything (and the fact that I grew up 2 towns over and could decide at 7:00 to go to a 7:35 puck drop game, get there, buy tickets at the B.O., get a beer and a hot dog and sit down in time to hear the player intros).

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As someone who started going to Devils games in 1984 and was an STH for 10 years of Brendan Byrne/CAA i miss it due to the nostalgia associated of course. That will never change. Hell, i grew up watching the Cosmos play in there, too.

It's ok to take a trip down memory lane, but to prefer that building to the Rock is plain brain dead because this author is not coming off as tongue-in-cheek. Sometimes, i really wonder if we even deserve a team anymore with the nonsense and babbble that comes from this fanbase. Only Devils fans would prefer an outdated building to a beautiful state of the art building. Oh, and complain about the city it's built in like it's something out of an apocalypse.

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As someone who started going to Devils games in 1984 and was an STH for 10 years of Brendan Byrne/CAA i miss it due to the nostalgia associated of course. That will never change. Hell, i grew up watching the Cosmos play in there, too.

It's ok to take a trip down memory lane, but to prefer that building to the Rock is plain brain dead because this author is not coming off as tongue-in-cheek. Sometimes, i really wonder if we even deserve a team anymore with the nonsense and babbble that comes from this fanbase. Only Devils fans would prefer an outdated building to a beautiful state of the art building. Oh, and complain about the city it's built in like it's something out of an apocalypse.

dead on.

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Nostalgia aside, the Rock is 100x better than the CAA. For an older arena, the CAA had good sightlines, but that's about it. The concourses were always packed and it was extremely difficult getting out of the arena once the games ended. The Cow corral was always fun, especially after the Cup win in 1995. Also, I miss tailgating in the parking lot before a spring playoff game, but other than that, there's not much else I miss about that place.

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Also, I miss tailgating in the parking lot before a spring playoff game, but other than that, there's not much else I miss about that place.

And I'll take the fun (ever-expanding) bar-restaurant scene around the Rock before every game over the rare Meadowlands tailgate.

I'll admit, I've now been to something like 20x as many games in Newark as I saw in E Rutherford. I have many fun memories of those Devils games from my childhood, but I don't feel much of that connected to the venue. I like the Prudential Center a lot.

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Nostalgia aside, the Rock is 100x better than the CAA. For an older arena, the CAA had good sightlines, but that's about it. The concourses were always packed and it was extremely difficult getting out of the arena once the games ended. The Cow corral was always fun, especially after the Cup win in 1995. Also, I miss tailgating in the parking lot before a spring playoff game, but other than that, there's not much else I miss about that place.

I miss the parking set up in general. It was so much easier and more fun to have everyone in the same general area rather then spread thorughout several different parking lots. The CCA just seems cold and dark in my mind, but that may be due to the fact that I was so much younger. The Rock just seems more bright and welcoming. The CAA was like walking into a dungeon.

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I am soo terribly biased being a Newark resident and seeing the developments and excitement the arena has spawned but i can understand the nostalgia of CAA and the great memories. I was remarking that I can't wait for our first great run while having this arena just to see Edison packed with the plaza filled and just that buzz. I literally salivate at the idea of a Stanley Cup run in our new building and revel in seeing national events being held there. I think the part that gets me the most excited is that in a down economy we have seen about 2 new restaurants a year and now two new hotels but in say 5 years what we may be looking at.

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well - I ran into various Devils Special Assignment coaches actually regularly in the CAA concourse... so... if some random kind of visiting helper ex-player kind of guy was around I think I could bump into him far more easily at CAA. The one bright spot to his retiring and I can't even enjoy that :urg:

I ogled and ignored and pretended very loudly to ignore/hide from Scott Stevens (yeah THAT really worked :rolleyes: ) so often at CAA that of course it's my favorite.

Rock is flimsy too - it's sort of like a McMansion and I'm not a fan of that. LIttle blockades here and there to separate out the classes. That stuff is stupid and it's trashily constructed to boot. CAA was very communal - Even in the nose bleed ection I didn't feel liek I was in steerage on the Titanic where as I do at the Rock. but I hated the cow tunnel - I HATE being cold <_< so that's the best thing about Newark -- parking or train ride. See now that it's all done I can come out and say why I'd rather nothing change ever. but I am all for urban renewal and public transportation. I'd have been happiest had the CAA building been moved to Newark. :P

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The only thing I do not like about the new building is the cramped upper level seats with zero or even negative legroom (where your feet can fit only by tucking them UNDER your seat). Hell they even had cup holders up there before they removed them because people were constantly kicking them by accident.

I do not miss the old concourse, cattle walk, sh!tty jumbo-tron and even longer than the Rock concession stand lines. Only thing I miss are the memories of great games. That's about it.

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The gameday experience as a whole is a lot better at the rock. CAA had a few things going for it...obviously the price, the easier commute for the heart of the devils fan base...but it was boring, drab, uninspiring architecturally. Rock is light years ahead on that.

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When I was a young kid (around 8-10) I would remember always going to South Mountain Arena and watching the players play, getting their autos after even talking to some for a minute or two if I was lucky, it was a great experience. I was especially privileged as a kid because my father used to deliver (and still does) mail to all the players. Carpenter would give my dad tickets at times and we would sometimes get to sit in the section where the players wives were and I even remember getting to have lunch with Sykora at that pizza place over by Turtle Back Zoo.

My point is, what are we one of two teams with a private practice rink? It just seems non-fan friendly...the complete opposite of how it used to be w/ CAA. Why can't we have a public practice rink again? I love the Rock don't get me wrong but the good times I had at CAA will never be matched. That's for sure.

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When I was a young kid (around 8-10) I would remember always going to South Mountain Arena and watching the players play, getting their autos after even talking to some for a minute or two if I was lucky, it was a great experience. I was especially privileged as a kid because my father used to deliver (and still does) mail to all the players. Carpenter would give my dad tickets at times and we would sometimes get to sit in the section where the players wives were and I even remember getting to have lunch with Sykora at that pizza place over by Turtle Back Zoo.

My point is, what are we one of two teams with a private practice rink? It just seems non-fan friendly...the complete opposite of how it used to be w/ CAA. Why can't we have a public practice rink again? I love the Rock don't get me wrong but the good times I had at CAA will never be matched. That's for sure.

the answer is quite simple...this is the way Lou Lamoriello wants it

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I agree with Roman Uschak. I feel like I'm supposed to like the new arena better but if I look deep down inside I sill like the old one better, especially the upper level seating. As a kid there was something almost sacred about the building being all by itself in the swamp.

Edited by Elias26
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I do very much miss the tailgate parties at CAA, especially between 2000-2003 where 3 out of 4 years we were in the STF and you were out there in late May/early June. My Dad and I used to get there around 1 or 2ish and hang out with people we knew and have a BBQ until about 7:30 (the games usually started at 8).

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I agree with Roman Uschak. I feel like I'm supposed to like the new arena better but if I look deep down inside I sill like the old one better, especially the upper level seating. As a kid there was something almost sacred about the building being all by itself in the swamp.

sacred? really? Maybe you're just looking at it through the wonder of your childhood memories...the building was sterile, it got the job done but most regular season nights it was just 12,000 fans going through the motions during a drab 3-1 november win over florida. the hockey atmosphere was lacking.

And for all the reverence of the upper deck...remember it all spilled out into 1 concourse. So going to get something from the upper deck or using the restroom meant that you'd miss a lot of hockey. Lines were much longer at CAA

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Nostalgia and principle. That's really all CAA had going for it.

Lot of great memories at the old barn. And there was no real separation of economic classes. Even the suites emptied onto that concourse. I bumped into everyone from Lou to Doc & Chico there and took a leak next to Steve Levy during the intermission of a game he was calling for ESPN.

But other than that, it sucked. And it sucks worse now. If anyone has the CAA held in a positive, nostalgic light in their hearts, then do yourself a favor and never go there for a concert or anything. With that Xanadu nightmare surrounding it, the banners gone and the other minor mods they've made, it'd break your hearts to see.

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I miss CAA, but it could be nostalgia as well.

But I understand the feeling. My dad and I feel the name way about Metlife Stadium. While its great to have anew stadium, and the Jets no longer stuck in a stadium named after the Giants, I do miss the old stadium. One of the biggest things is the escalator to the upper deck...in MetLife you go up a series of them. Giants stadium had the one long one to the upper deck. All the fans were bunched together doing the Jets chant. Another tradition was to slide pennies and other change down from the top of the escalator. Never happens in the new stadium.

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You can't prefer an old, garbage building to the new nice one. It's almost impossible.

Don't underestimate Devils' fans obsession with nostalgia, that's why we complain when the goal song changes, when Marty changes his mask, or when people want to drive and get stuck in neutral around the stadium for an hour after the game instead of taking the train :P

We want every little thing to be the way it was back in '95-03, including having Bob Arsena do the PA, Marty in goal with the old mask, Doc doing the P by P, but it just wasn't going to happen forever. We do associate just about all of that and a lot more with the old building though, since we haven't so much as won a playoff series at the new one.

Granted, I've actually been to more games at the new place than the old one now, but I had sufficient 'experiences' at the CAA (Game 7 in 2003, Stevens/Daneyko nights) that I'm not totally devoid of nostalgia. However, I could write a laundry list of things better about the new building than the old, most of which have already been stated in the thread.

Pretty much the only thing better about the CAA was the seats not being packed in as much as they are here, thanks to a supposed mishap with the contractor. I'm 160 pounds and I feel crammed in (if I'm not sitting by the aisle) when we do have sellouts and don't recall ever feeling crammed in sitting over there. The concourses and bathrooms were another story lol.

Then again, having all that space in the bowls and the cavernous feeling over there contributed to the 'dead' atmosphere during non-playoff or big games. I miss the cow tunnel in the spring too, though like PK said it was a long, cold lonely walk most nights during the fall and winter :lol:

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Nostalgia and principle. That's really all CAA had going for it.

Lot of great memories at the old barn. And there was no real separation of economic classes. Even the suites emptied onto that concourse. I bumped into everyone from Lou to Doc & Chico there and took a leak next to Steve Levy during the intermission of a game he was calling for ESPN.

But other than that, it sucked. And it sucks worse now. If anyone has the CAA held in a positive, nostalgic light in their hearts, then do yourself a favor and never go there for a concert or anything. With that Xanadu nightmare surrounding it, the banners gone and the other minor mods they've made, it'd break your hearts to see.

It was weird enough just seeing the outside of it from a distance when I did go to the old Meadowlands for a Springsteen concert, it looks like a monstrosity. That's the only time I've been to the complex itself since the Devils left, I've always meant to go for a Jets game now that they're in the new building but it hasn't happened yet. Maybe I'll get a cheap ticket for a preseason game next year just to look around. And it was also funny how NOW they have NJ Transit going there when they never had it for the Devils.

Edited by NJDevs4978
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