Devils See Spike In Home Attendance After Lockout; Islanders Remain Near Bottom
The Devils have seldom been known “for being a hot ticket,” but “that is fast changing,” according to Dave Caldwell of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Going into last night's game against the Hurricanes, the Devils had “sold out five of their first six games this season" at the Prudential Center. Including last year's Stanley Cup Final run, the Devils have “sold out 17 of their last 18.” The team's average home attendance of 17,154 is "up by almost 12% over last year -- and is just shy of the rival Rangers' 17,200.” Two years ago, the Devils averaged 14,775 in a "dismal season in which they started poorly and missed the playoffs.” They “appear to have won back lost fans.” When the Devils played at the “enormous Continental Airlines Arena” in East Rutherford it was “often hard to perceive" a home-ice advantage. Even in ‘07-08, their first season at the Prudential Center, the Devils averaged 15,564, "nearly 2,000 less than the capacity of 17,625.” But then the Devils “got hot,” and “so did tickets" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/13).
THE LONELY ISLAND BOYS: Caldwell noted the Islanders' average attendance ranked 29th in the NHL this season before Monday's game against the Hurricanes, which “drew a season-low 9,622.” Only the Coyotes, with an average of 12,348, have "lured fewer fans." The organization said that Nassau Coliseum “hasn't affected its play or the crowds.” Caldwell noted attendance is “actually up: The Islanders were dead last in attendance two years ago, averaging 11,059.” Islanders Communications Dir Kimber Auerbach said that season-ticket sales are “higher than a year ago” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/12).