SBD/April 3, 2014/Franchises

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  • Devils' O'Neil, Weber Aiming To Overhaul Business Practices For Team, Arena

    Devils execs want an upgrade to food and entertainment for fans at Prudential Center

    Devils and Prudential Center CEO Scott O'Neil and Devils President of Business Operations Hugh Weber are "attempting to win back the business community, one partnership at a time," according to Steve Politi of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. While the new team owners saw "several surprises after they took over the team" from former Owner Jeff Vanderbeek, "nothing was quite as stunning as the fractured relationship with the business community." But it is "obvious after one hectic game night" following O'Neil and Weber around Prudential Center "that they'll work, from the luxury suites to the cheap seats and beyond." O'Neil wants the team's "game-day experience -- the food, the entertainment, everything -- upgraded." There "will be resistance, and the outcry over a decision to change the team's goal song is proof." But O’Neil "believes if the Devils give the fans more, they’ll have more fans." Meanwhile, Weber wants to make the arena "a destination, one that ties in the other budding projects in the city and the university campuses." He wants "more shops, more apartment buildings, and his arena sitting at the center of it all." In the six years since Prudential Center opened, it has "only had a minimal impact" on the area because fans tend to "come to the arena, watch an event, then load back into the train or cars and go home." Weber "spent his first five months on the job ... trying to figure out" how to make the venue "more than a place people just go for concerts and games" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 4/3).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New Jersey Devils, NHL
  • Franchise Notes

    In Sacramento, Sonya Sorich noted Sunday's Mavericks-Kings game will "include a variety of technology-driven components, such as a selfie contest using the hashtag #KingsSelfie, special items in the retail store and a drone that's expected to take the first-ever selfie of game attendees." The team also will "broadcast a global Google Hangout with fans and former players." Former NBAer Peja Stojaković will "serve as the game's 'tech ambassador,' wearing Google Glass and taking control of the Kings' Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/2).

    SPYGATE REDUX? ESPNFC.com reported Liga MX club Toluca on Tuesday was fined $5,000 by CONCACAF for taping an MLS Earthquakes practice "before their second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals." The Earthquakes filed a complaint "alleging that Toluca filmed San Jose's training on March 18 at Estadio Nemesio Díez, the day before the match" (ESPNFC.com, 4/1).

    STAY AWHILE: In Vancouver, Mike Beamish noted CFL B.C. Lions Owner David Braley is "in no hurry to show himself out the door." Braley said, "This is my 18th season (with the Lions). How long will I continue to own the team? It could be one, it could be eight, it could be 10 (years). I have no idea. As long as I'm in good health I see no pressure to sell. If somebody's got $100 million, then I might think about selling. Right now, the team is not for sale" (VANCOUVER SUN, 4/1).

    LONG STOCKINGS: In Boston, Peter Abraham lists the "20 most important figures" in the Red Sox organization. His list includes GM Ben Cherington at No. 1, Owner John Henry and Chair Tom Werner at No. 3, President & CEO Larry Lucchino at No. 13, COO and FSG President Sam Kennedy at No. 17 and Dir of Sports Medicine Dan Dyrek at No. 20. Honorable mentions include Assistant GM Mike Hazen and investor Michael Gordon (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/3).

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