New Jersey Devils: Fan Appreciation Night

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 15: Nico Hischier
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 15: Nico Hischier /

Tonight is not only an incredibly key game for the Devils against the Maple Leafs, it is also Fan Appreciation Night. Thus, it seems like an apropos time to provide the Devils with some feedback on the in-arena experience.

An article about Fan Appreciation Night requires an initial stipulation, nothing in the arena matters more than the Devils on-ice performance. They could play in an arena with half the ambiance of the Barclays Center and double the rodent population of Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia and I would not care, as long as Jersey’s Team is winning. Prudential Center is a beautiful facility, but all true Devils fans surely appreciate even more the efforts of management, the coaching staff and the players in assembling such an exciting club to watch during the 2017-18 season.

Fan Appreciate Night Is Tonight At The Rock.

That being said, what are some things we fans appreciate or might suggest about the Prudential Center experience. Here are some thoughts.

  • Most importantly, we would appreciate it if the Devils please turned down the music. It is ear-splitting. Seton Hall games at the Rock set the tone, so to speak, at a much more appropriate level. It is sometimes impossible to even have the most basic conversation with your friends during a break in play. It is really quite bad, and hopefully something the Devils can address in the future. I will however note one positive. I love the playing of “Even The Losers” when the Devils’ opponents score. That’s great!
  • I myself very much appreciate the efforts of James Crann, the Vice President – Security and Life Safety at Prudential Center, New Jersey Devils & Philadelphia 76ers. At times, Prudential Center security personnel would inexplicably close stairwells after games making it hard to exit the facility. When this issue was brought to his attention, Mr. Crann promptly responded, called to discuss, listened to the issue, accepted constructive feedback not only once but as the issue was resolved over a period of time, and ultimately the problem was permanently solved.  James (who I have never met and do not have any relationship with, by the way) went above and beyond to address a guest concern. What a great asset to the Devils and their fan base.

    We fans would appreciate a bit more variety in the in-game entertainment. The “Coin Shuffle” and “Dessert Dash” are getting more than a bit old. Some features should clearly be in place every game, most notably the charitable groups Squad 21 and Cory’s Keepers as well as the Hometown Hero recognition segment. It is truly awesome that the Devils do so much to support the local community.  However, some of the other “regular features” are a bit stale, to say the least, when seen game after game.

  • Speaking of in-game entertainment, there could be a lot more hockey in the mix. Things like NHL Top Shelf (Top 10 Plays Of The Week) would be great. Highlights or features on the B-Devils would be interesting. Updates on key prospects, player features or more “This Day In Devils’ History” content are also good ideas. The Devils often focus their gaze almost exclusively on family and group related snippets (e.g. Emoji Cam, Smile Cam, Hockey Moms, Free T-Shirts and Name That Tune to identify a few). Those are okay, I suppose, but integrating 3-4 features on professional hockey highlights and content each game is a better way to connect with attendees who are actual NHL fans.
  • On a related matter, one area the Devils did a great job providing more hockey information was the hiring of

    Amanda Stein

    last summer. Amanda obviously knows the game very well and provides numerous and frequent timely updates about the team. It might be fair to say that after the departure of Andrew Gross from the team’s beat, Ms. Stein is the best source of breaking news about the club. She is a great addition by the Devils.

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    No article on the in-arena experience would be complete without lamenting the death of Score-O or making a perfunctory comment against the existence of a $13 beer. Score-O in particular was great. I understand the $13 beer is not going to change, just want to duly note it. On a positive note, the $7 Buffalo Chicken Stromboli might be the best-kept secret at The Rock. It’s both delicious and reasonably priced.

    Lastly, please note that the Devils do a tremendous job offering season members access to various team events. The summer prospects game, practices, autograph sessions, interview sessions, they are all extra bonuses. To be candid, I usually don’t go to events, but when my son was young he looked forward to them. It’s a unique offering and means a great deal to many Devils fans, especially kids. It’s a superb reason, in my view, for any Devils fan to consider becoming a Devils Season Ticket Member.

    In closing, in addition to all the Fan Appreciation Night giveaways and events, it’s a huge game tonight. We all hope the Devils qualify for the playoffs this evening. LGD!