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Stanley Cup Champion Devils Having Trouble At The Gate
Published December 4, 2003
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Tuesday night's announced crowd of 13,204 for Coyotes-Devils was the seventh time in 13 home games this year that the Devils played before fewer than 14,000, according to Dave Caldwell of the N.Y. TIMES, who notes at 12-5-6-0, the Stanley Cup champions "cannot put a much better product on the ice." Devils G Martin Brodeur: "We've given as good of a decade as you can give anyone." Devils CEO, President & GM Lou Lamoriello: "It's certainly disappointing, but by no means discouraging." The team has done marketing surveys to attempt to reverse the trend, but Lamoriello said, "There's no one concrete reason that keeps coming back." Caldwell further notes that ticket prices are considered "average by league standards" and were not raised this year. Also, billboards with D Scott Stevens "hoisting the Stanley Cup seem to be on every bus in North Jersey." Lamoriello, who increased the team's advertising budget, said, "It's not that we have done everything. There's more we can do" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/4).
TOO SLOW? In DC, Dave Fay writes that the problem the NHL is facing is that "nothing is happening. ... A study done this season shows scoring is down again, from 5.4 goals a game last season to 5.1. Another study using NHL figures shows attendance is flat, growing 0.1[%] a year. Those two figures go hand in hand, which should raise a huge red flag for league officials" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/4).