Sellouts Becoming The Norm For Devils At Prudential Center, Attendance Up 12%
The biggest change for the Devils at Prudential Center this season is that "sellouts have become the norm for pretty much any opponent other than" the Lightning, according to Tom Gulitti of the Bergen RECORD. The Devils have "sold out 13 of their 15 home games so far this season, with the exceptions being visits from the Lightning." The Devils are "playing to 98 percent of capacity with an average attendance of 17,277, which represents a 12.2 percent increase from their 2011-12 season average of 15,397." Their 13 sellouts already are "four more than they had for 41 home games last season, and just two off the most they’ve had in the six seasons since they moved from the Meadowlands to Newark." Devils Owner & Prudential Center Chair Jeff Vanderbeek said, "More and more people love the arena. You come here and this is not a hockey game, this is a game-day experience." He added, "There’s a lot to do here and more and more people are understanding that and liking that." Vanderbeek cited a "number of factors for the improved attendance." He said that one is a "coming of age of Devils’ fans who grew up watching the team win Stanley Cups" in '95, '00 and '03. Vanderbeek: "The last three years the 26-, 27-, 28-year-old who has known really nothing but Devils’ success -- post-1995 -- they are reaching the age now where they can afford tickets." He estimated that the Devils "sold 1,600-1,700 new season tickets prior to the lockout beginning in September and roughly another 1,000 after it ended, giving them approximately 10,000 full-season-ticket holders." The Devils including partial plans "started with a base of 13,000 to 14,000 tickets sold before individual game and group sales" (Bergen RECORD, 3/18).