Outdoor Tailgate Can't Be A Once-Per-Decade Phenomenon For New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils were successful in Saturday night's Stadium Series, but every single fan who was in attendance will tell you the game was their second favorite part of the festivities.
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils were successful on Saturday. Sure, they won the game, but the whole thing was a success way before the puck drop. The Devils were back at the Meadowlands for the first time since 2007. Think about how long ago that is. Back then, the American Dream Mall project was still called "Xanadu." During the last Devils season at the Continental Airlines Arena, Scott Gomez was still in his first run in NJ, current coach Sergei Brylin was there, too, and former captain Andy Greene had just finished his rookie season.

It was a great run at the Meadowlands. There is a long list of reasons the Devils left the Meadowlands. Getting to the arena was a nightmare, and leaving was even worse. The digs needed a serious upgrade. The Devils moved into one of the best arenas in the country, not only for Devils games but for concerts as well.

The Prudential Center is an amazing facility that's within walking distance from Penn Station in Newark, NJ. It's the only game in town, and the local bars and restaurants go all out for the Devils. There's no competition in Newark from the NFL, so it provides a great feeling of togetherness. However, there's something missing. A parking lot.

Yes, there are parking lots near the Prudential Center, but they don't open themselves for tailgating like MetLife Stadium did this weekend. It was an experience. Many might say that it was exclusive to this weekend because it was the Stadium Series, but everyone who remembers the stories told and the beverages shared from the 80s to the early 2000s will tell you the atmosphere was the best part of Devils games.

This weekend was almost like a time capsule. Everyone in that stadium felt it, from national reporters to every single fan over the age of 30.

Did they mention podcasting? Many of you know about the Let's Go Devils podcast pregame and postgame shows at American Whiskey outside the Prudential Center. Still, there's something special about the tailgate podcast from this weekend. Sharing food and drinks, hearing our tales from the beat, and, of course, welcoming Chico Resch and Arlette right before the game, it was a magical experience.

The Devils can't let this be a one-time thing. We know the Devils can't play outdoor games every year, but they need to have a tailgate experience every season. Even if it's a Devils-sponsored ridealong where fans can get to and from the Prudential Center thanks to the Devils for a special tailgating experience, it would be worth it for a big game. Everyone would come together again for this experience, which many would say was even better than the 6-3 win against the Flyers.