SBD/December 2, 2013/Franchises

Devils Hoping Corporate Appeal Will Bring An End To Attendance Issues

Devils CEO Scott O'Neil and President of Business Operations Hugh Weber said that they have "done the research and have concluded how they might solve the paradox of a fanatical fan base and a lot of unsold seats" at Prudential Center, according to John Brennan of the Bergen RECORD. O'Neil said, "Where we have to put some focus and energy is into the corporate community. I think that's what's missing here. We need to get after them: meet them, tell them what we're about, and show how this is a good way to drive business." Weber said that the missing connection has "led to two vital areas of the Prudential Center being 'undersold' -- luxury suites and the premium, lower-level seats between the goal lines known as 'club seats.'" Brennan wrote the metropolitan area's business community does not see the Devils as "the venerated Rangers" of Madison Square Garden and midtown Manhattan. But O'Neil said that the Devils, "with a high-tech and relatively new arena, an affluent population in the region and considerable mass transit options to Newark, have plenty of reasons to woo North Jersey corporations." He added the team's previous ownership group did a "nice job of building the season ticket base" over the last three seasons. However, both O'Neil and Weber "concluded that the ticket sales force also had been allowed to dwindle to an insufficient level." O'Neil said the team is going to "triple the sales force." The Devils through Saturday's game against the Sabres ranked 27th in NHL average home attendance, with 14,275 per game (Bergen RECORD, 11/30).
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