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The New Jersey Devils 2021-22 Regular Season Thread


mfitz804
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6 minutes ago, eldon said:

Concessions and souvenirs could easily be cut in half and they'd sell a lot more and probably make more than they are now. 

Dollar hot dog night is still the greatest thing I have ever seen. 

I ate 2 when I got there at 6:30 and two more in the 3rd period, just because it was dollar hot dog night and I felt like I was supposed to. 

But guys were coming back with shipping boxes full of hot dogs and were just tossing them out to people for free. It became a contest to see how far away they could “serve” people. Some of them were hitting people two sections away!

And when the Devils scored, forget it, they just started flinging handfuls of hot dogs in the air. People were jumping for them like they were Mardi Gras beads, others who didn’t pay attention were getting plunked in the head with dollar dogs. 

Granted, not every night can be dollar hot dog night, but it was a sight to behold. 

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3 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Tatar and Bernier are obvious short-term signings…they’ll be here a max of two years each, and then the Devils will move on (hopefully from within).  Never implied that Bratt or Zacha would make more than the 3 Hs…but if they play well this year, gotta figure they make at least $5 million AAV each.  Graves is solid and still fairly young…would love to see him stick around.

Not saying that the situation is dire or anything…just that it’s becoming more and more crucial for the Devils to have ELC talent contributions fairly soon.

I do like Blackwood but proven he ain’t.  We’ll find how good he really is this season and next.

It’s pretty simple. If we have enough guys coming up through our organization that need to be paid a lot of money, we did something right and we probably had a good shot at or won some Cups. I’m fine with that. Last thing in the world I am worried about after watching scrub teams for 5-6 years is having too many talented players. 

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I see both my Reds and Bengals are in the top 10 so that’s pretty cool. 

As for the NHL, I can only compare the Rock to the one other arena I’ve been to - Nationwide in Columbus. Who they have ranked 4th. Nationwide definitely has a much nicer area right around the arena as far as restaurants and bars go, and the concessions are better, but the Rock isn’t that far off in everything else, imo.

One thing I’ve noticed both times I’ve seen games at the Rock is how friendly all the workers are, which definitely makes for a nicer experience. 

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38 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

Can't say I actually disagree when you are talking about merch, concessions and face value on Ticketmaster. I've been filling out every single survey I get that concessions and merch are too high and that I won't spend a dime on concessions until they adopt fan friendly concession pricing. 

In terms of Newark safety I've never had an issue. 

This article says Vegas is #2 worse which seems absurd considering how much their atmosphere gets praise. Islanders at #3 makes no sense with their new building and how much their fans have said its fantastic. The distance from city center sh!t is stupid, especially with the "least accessible" nonsense when everyone out there mainly drives to games anyway. Plus they are adding transportation too. 

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1 minute ago, mfitz804 said:

It’s pretty simple. If we have enough guys coming up through our organization that need to be paid a lot of money, we did something right and we probably had a good shot at or won some Cups. I’m fine with that. Last thing in the world I am worried about after watching scrub teams for 5-6 years is having too many talented players. 

Never said that I was worried.  Agree that this is a good problem, though two of the guys that got paid clearly got paid for potential (which I have no issue with, even though it’s a risk).  The Devils appear to be putting a nice core together.  Will be great if some of the young D can stick.

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8 hours ago, MadDog2020 said:

Nor can I. The food can be better, but I otherwise have no complaints.

Sure, there's some issues, one of which you've just touched on...there are a LOT of mediocre to poor offerings, as far as food goes (I'm to the point that if I'm not sitting in the restaurant or loft seats, that I'd rather just eat elsewhere before the game...food will be better AND cheaper).  The former Fire and Ice Lounges are now too neutral, sterile and safe for their own good...they're simply boring, cafeteria-like.  And some of the bathrooms could REALLY use some serious TLC at this point.

But for watching a hockey game, the place is terrific...great sightlines all-around, good atmosphere...and that's why I'm going there.  I don't HAVE to eat at the game.  I don't HAVE to buy merch, and if I really want to, I sure as hell don't have to buy it at the game...I can find Devils merch in plenty of other places, though I admit it, I'm not necessarily representing most of the fan base, when it comes to wanting merch.  I don't really have much interest in Devils trinket-type stuff (I have everything I could ever want in my cave already, and don't really feel like adding even more).  I don't do Devils jackets, T-shirts, etc.  I'm all about GWs at this point, which I wear to games; my daughter likes any jerseys that I buy for her (and she has a Devils hoodie), but she really likes the HFC jerseys, so as soon as this year's version becomes available, I'll get her one of those.  But I do get that many fans do like to eat at the game and do like to buy souvenirs...I know I'm more of an exception.

On one hand, I get fans not being happy about "at the game" merch prices, but at the same time, you know prices are always going to be ridiculous at events...be it concerts, sporting events, etc.  Is the pricing really that much lower at other stadiums and arenas?  

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I’ll eat something at a game. The food in our arena is awful. 

Generally I don’t buy merch, at least not since my daughter was little. It’s overpriced and you can get the same stuff online cheaper. It used to be you could get things at the game that were exclusive to the arena, and that was cool. 

That said, I’ve never not had a good time at a game, even when we were beaten badly. 

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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Is the pricing really that much lower at other stadiums and arenas?  

Yes, that's why I always talk about this. Just because it's an event and the vast majority of arenas and stadiums charge ridiculous prices doesn't mean we should accept it because that's just the way it is if you wanna attend an event. 

The Atlanta Falcons / Atlanta United were one of the first places to lower concession stand prices when their new stadium opened and they found out that they made more revenue in concessions because people showed up earlier and spent more because they didn't feel ripped off. They also spent more on merchandise because of it as well. 

This is why I always fill out the surveys that I won't purchase anything until the Prudential Center adopts this.

These were the prices in 2017 when they started it... 

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Hell it was working so well they LOWERED the prices Check it out... 

https://mercedesbenzstadium.com/mercedes-benz-stadium-cuts-food-prices-second-time/

FB-PriceDrops_2019-1.jpg

 

There are other teams and stadiums that have adopted this but for whatever reason a lot of teams and buildings haven't. Even though the proof is right here it seems they are simply stuck in their ways of thinking they will make more money if they rip people off. 

I think a bottle of water at prudential is $5+, it's an absolute joke. I wish more people would send this stuff into the Devils and just stopped buying concessions all together until fan friendly prices were adopted but I've been beating this drum with the team since I went to a game in Atlanta in 2018 and nothing has changed so they clearly are set in their ways. 

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6 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

I’ll eat something at a game. The food in our arena is awful. 

Generally I don’t buy merch, at least not since my daughter was little. It’s overpriced and you can get the same stuff online cheaper. It used to be you could get things at the game that were exclusive to the arena, and that was cool. 

That said, I’ve never not had a good time at a game, even when we were beaten badly. 

If we're not in the loft or restaurant, we'll do a snack (cookies or something similar).  When the Devils played Seattle we had a concourse table, and got burgers and fries.  And after that, I simply told my daughter "From now on, if we're sitting in 'normal' seats, we'll just burgers and fries beforehand, somewhere else."  The fries weren't bad.  The burgers...not so good.  

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@Satans Hockey thank you for that info.  Very enlightening, to say the least.

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10 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

@Satans Hockey thank you for that info.  Very enlightening, to say the least.

It's not ever going to happen but I would love an owner who is like Arthur Blank though he did have PSLs sold for the Falcons which is another thing I could rant about for days. PSLs and a name change are basically the only 2 major things that would get me to cancel my Devils season tickets. I'm not an NFL guy so I can't speak about the Falcons but in the MLS he spends a ton of money on their Atlanta team and they have already won an MLS Cup and numerous other trophies and are almost always competitive. Only missed the playoffs 1 team since joining the league in 2017.

Here's another article about the pricing... 

https://sports.yahoo.com/cheap-beer-good-press-falcons-fan-friendly-pricing-win-win-191626117.html

“We had a number of owners who weren’t understanding the dynamic, the reasoning, the logic,” Blank said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “[They were asking], ‘Does this make good sense economically?’ We never justified it in terms of economics, but today we can.”

“It’s working in terms of economics, but we didn’t do it in terms of economics,” Blank said. “We did it because it’s the right thing to do for the people who are supporting our business.”

"during the 2017 season, even though prices dropped by 50 percent, fans spent 16 percent more than they had at the Georgia Dome."

"A fan that’s spending less on food and drink has more to spend on merchandise; Falcons president Rich McKay noted last summer that the Falcons saw a 90-percent increase in merchandise sales from 2016 to 2017" 

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19 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

If we're not in the loft or restaurant, we'll do a snack (cookies or something similar).  When the Devils played Seattle we had a concourse table, and got burgers and fries.  And after that, I simply told my daughter "From now on, if we're sitting in 'normal' seats, we'll just burgers and fries beforehand, somewhere else."  The fries weren't bad.  The burgers...not so good.  

Stadium/arena burgers are always awful. Exception: Citi Field has (or had the last time I went, it’s been years) a Shake Shack. 

We get chicken fingers and fries. Pretty hard to mess up (though I know someone on this board got raw chicken once). Are they good? No. But we’re usually pressed for time and don’t have an opportunity to eat elsewhere. So they are good enough. 

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1 hour ago, mfitz804 said:

Stadium/arena burgers are always awful. Exception: Citi Field has (or had the last time I went, it’s been years) a Shake Shack. 

We get chicken fingers and fries. Pretty hard to mess up (though I know someone on this board got raw chicken once). Are they good? No. But we’re usually pressed for time and don’t have an opportunity to eat elsewhere. So they are good enough. 

Before the loft became a thing (and before we'd do club seats here and there), fingers + fries was my go-to for my then-younger daughter (who loves both)...quality would vary re:  the fingers, but most of the time I remember them being pretty good.  

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7 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Before the loft became a thing (and before we'd do club seats here and there), fingers + fries was my go-to for my then-younger daughter (who loves both)...quality would vary re:  the fingers, but most of the time I remember them being pretty good.  

Mine always wanted the ones that come in the helmet bowl, but we never got it because it looks like it could feed a family of four. 

She is probably past that age now. 

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Ever since the owners did that big concourse and club "refresh" a few years back, the arena experience has been declining steadily ever since.  The food selection sucks, the food quality is garbage, the merchandise selection is crap along with expensive, and the last few times I went to the arena the atmosphere was stale as could be.  I haven't gone this year but I have had friends who complain that half the stands on the concourse are closed most games and that the food in the club seats are drastically reduced in terms of offerings and quality.

I have been to other stadiums and arenas in the area and they all are far and away better than the Rock (Yankees Stadium comes a little close though) in terms of just about everything.  I still can't imagine the Barclays Center or MSG having a leaky roof not fixed for almost a decade and broken bathroom fixtures for years.

The article is 100% correct and you can see that once the Devils fan blinders come off.

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2 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

The article is 100% correct and you can see that once the Devils fan blinders come off.

I mean, I honestly don’t care about much but the food. Which is why I seldom eat at games. I find the atmosphere to be fine for the most part. Really nothing to do with blinders, as opposed to being a pretty low maintenance fan. I do agree that the merch selection in the store could be better. 

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2 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

I mean, I honestly don’t care about much but the food. Which is why I seldom eat at games. I find the atmosphere to be fine for the most part. Really nothing to do with blinders, as opposed to being a pretty low maintenance fan. I do agree that the merch selection in the store could be better. 

I very rarely eat food at the Rock because of the poor quality and selection.  I am not going to pay $12-15 for chicken tenders that might make me sick (there have been several posts over the past 3-4 years of fans being served raw tenders at the Rock).  If you are going to charge a premium for food then have at least a decent selection and make sure quality is passable.

The leaky roof and broken bathroom fixtures are almost unforgivable.  The roof was damaged over 9 years ago.  Maybe it is in their best interests to actually fix it rather than move fans whenever it rains.

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51 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

I very rarely eat food at the Rock because of the poor quality and selection.  I am not going to pay $12-15 for chicken tenders that might make me sick (there have been several posts over the past 3-4 years of fans being served raw tenders at the Rock).  If you are going to charge a premium for food then have at least a decent selection and make sure quality is passable.

The leaky roof and broken bathroom fixtures are almost unforgivable.  The roof was damaged over 9 years ago.  Maybe it is in their best interests to actually fix it rather than move fans whenever it rains.

As far as the actual "in seat" experience goes, I really have no complaints (though if I ever got stuck sitting under a leaky roof, I'm sure I'd be plenty ticked about THAT, especially when you have the means to sign Hischier, Hamilton, and Hughes).  Sure, sometimes you can get stuck sitting next to or near annoying a$$holes, but that can happen in any public setting.  But watching a game, quality time with my kid, general atmosphere...all good (yeah, crowd can be a tad somnambulant at times...that's always been the case though.  Giants fans tend to be on the quieter side too).  

Can't really disagree on the food...having sat just about everywhere the last couple of seasons, I'd rate the restaurant a solid B.  The lofts used to be about the same, but based on what I saw Opening Night, I'd drop it to a C-...overall it's fallen THAT far...what's sad is that part of the reason I migrated to the lofts is that I found the all-around "Seats w/Buffet" experience much better than what was offered in the Club Sections, so if the food in the clubs was worse than the lofts, kind of scary to imagine what the current club situation is.  And based on my recent concourse experiences...I'd say maybe a D...and not only is it not good, but man some stations are SLOW.

And yeah, they gotta start fixing things as needed.  It's not a good look.    

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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6 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

As far as the actual "in seat" experience goes, I really have no complaints (though if I ever got stuck sitting under a leaky roof, I'm sure I'd be plenty ticked about THAT, especially when you have the means to sign Hischier, Hamilton, and Hughes).  Sure, sometimes you can get stuck sitting next to or near annoying a$$holes, but that can happen in any public setting.  But watching a game, quality time with my kid, general atmosphere...all good (yeah, crowd can be a tad somnabulent at times...that's always been the case though.  Giants fans tend to be on the quieter side too).  

Can't really disagree on the food...having sat just about everywhere the last couple of seasons, I'd rate the restaurant a solid B.  The lofts used to be about the same, but based on what I saw Opening Night, I'd drop it to a C-...overall it's fallen THAT far...what's sad is that part of the reason I migrated to the lofts is that I found the all-around "Seats w/Buffet" experience much better than what was offered in the Club Sections, so if the food in the clubs was worse than the lofts, kind of scary to imagine what the current club situation is.  And based on my recent concourse experiences...I'd say maybe a D...and not only is it not good, but man some stations are SLOW.

And yeah, they gotta start fixing things as needed.  It's not a good look.    

#SATWords

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3 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

#SATWords

I misspelled it...went back and fixed it.  Yeah been a while since I pulled that one out.  

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55 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

The leaky roof and broken bathroom fixtures are almost unforgivable.  The roof was damaged over 9 years ago.  Maybe it is in their best interests to actually fix it rather than move fans whenever it rains.

Don’t disagree at all, that’s ridiculous. 

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1 hour ago, DevsMan84 said:

IThe leaky roof and broken bathroom fixtures are almost unforgivable.  The roof was damaged over 9 years ago.  Maybe it is in their best interests to actually fix it rather than move fans whenever it rains.

Moving fans because of a 9 year old roof leak is obviously ridiculous. 

The obvious answer is that they should hand out out buckets and those fans should be responsible for catching the water. 

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3 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

As far as the actual "in seat" experience goes, I really have no complaints (though if I ever got stuck sitting under a leaky roof, I'm sure I'd be plenty ticked about THAT, especially when you have the means to sign Hischier, Hamilton, and Hughes).  Sure, sometimes you can get stuck sitting next to or near annoying a$$holes, but that can happen in any public setting.  But watching a game, quality time with my kid, general atmosphere...all good (yeah, crowd can be a tad somnambulant at times...that's always been the case though.  Giants fans tend to be on the quieter side too).  

Can't really disagree on the food...having sat just about everywhere the last couple of seasons, I'd rate the restaurant a solid B.  The lofts used to be about the same, but based on what I saw Opening Night, I'd drop it to a C-...overall it's fallen THAT far...what's sad is that part of the reason I migrated to the lofts is that I found the all-around "Seats w/Buffet" experience much better than what was offered in the Club Sections, so if the food in the clubs was worse than the lofts, kind of scary to imagine what the current club situation is.  And based on my recent concourse experiences...I'd say maybe a D...and not only is it not good, but man some stations are SLOW.

And yeah, they gotta start fixing things as needed.  It's not a good look.    

A lot of modern arenas have gotten to the point where few to none have bad in-seat experiences.  Outside of exceptions like Barclays Center which wasn't designed with hockey in mind, I cannot think of a single arena right now that has "bad sight lines" as a thing.

A lot of arena experience is outside of literally sitting in your seat and watching the game.  That is why the Devils are in the pits.  The concessions are slow, the food selection and quality are terrible, apparently we have some of the highest, if not the highest (in this case beer) concession prices around.  My wife is a vegan and it is just about impossible to find something substantial for her to eat outside of pretzels meanwhile other stadiums/arenas in the area have far more options.

The concourse is also pretty bland and there are still vast swaths of empty or underutilized spaces.  From what I heard a couple years back, it is the concession vendor who actually controls what can go on the concourse but I believe our current owners have a stake in that company (I believe it is Legends and there is a chance I am wrong about that).

Also, the area around the arena has gotten kinda bleak too.  I get COVID-19 has put a dent, but places like Edison Ale House was doing downhill before it closed, Dino BBQ closed (it sucked anyways), the space between Redd's and EAH has been empty for years, Hell's Kitchen has closed down, that restaurant at the end of that row on Edison continues to have a revolving door of restaurants that never last long (I think it was a PJ Ryan's most recently), and the little plaza outside the arena is dead on most days.

Overall it is just bland, basic and everything is looking more and more to be done on the cheap.  Even the concessions at my local AA affiliated Somerset Patriots in Bridgewater, NJ had better options than the Rock.  It's sad.

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2 hours ago, DevsMan84 said:

A lot of modern arenas have gotten to the point where few to none have bad in-seat experiences.  Outside of exceptions like Barclays Center which wasn't designed with hockey in mind, I cannot think of a single arena right now that has "bad sight lines" as a thing.

A lot of arena experience is outside of literally sitting in your seat and watching the game.  That is why the Devils are in the pits.  The concessions are slow, the food selection and quality are terrible, apparently we have some of the highest, if not the highest (in this case beer) concession prices around.  My wife is a vegan and it is just about impossible to find something substantial for her to eat outside of pretzels meanwhile other stadiums/arenas in the area have far more options.

The concourse is also pretty bland and there are still vast swaths of empty or underutilized spaces.  From what I heard a couple years back, it is the concession vendor who actually controls what can go on the concourse but I believe our current owners have a stake in that company (I believe it is Legends and there is a chance I am wrong about that).

Also, the area around the arena has gotten kinda bleak too.  I get COVID-19 has put a dent, but places like Edison Ale House was doing downhill before it closed, Dino BBQ closed (it sucked anyways), the space between Redd's and EAH has been empty for years, Hell's Kitchen has closed down, that restaurant at the end of that row on Edison continues to have a revolving door of restaurants that never last long (I think it was a PJ Ryan's most recently), and the little plaza outside the arena is dead on most days.

Overall it is just bland, basic and everything is looking more and more to be done on the cheap.  Even the concessions at my local AA affiliated Somerset Patriots in Bridgewater, NJ had better options than the Rock.  It's sad.

Why are you still a Devils fan?  There have to be some really solid reasons that outweigh all this negativity.

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