Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Can We Just Move the Fucking Devils Already?

Look, everyone knows the NHL expansion into the South was successful in some areas and a failure in others.  It seems like every other day there's talk of a different one moving.  There are simply too many of them.  But you know who I really want to move?  The fucking New Jersey Devils.  You could argue that the New Jersey Devils are the worst fan base in the NHL, yes worse than Florida, Atlanta, and Phoenix.

Exhibit A: The Talent
The devils won the Stanley cup in 94-95, 99-00, and 02-03, and lost it in 00-01.  They are perennially in the playoffs, and feature one of the best goaltenders ever to play the game.  Suffice it to say, the team always gives its fans something to cheer about.  Which brings us to...

Exhibit B: The Fans
It's terrible.  Actually, since I just realized the Prudential Center opened for the 07-08 season, and up until then they used the larger Izod Center, it's worse than I thought.

Some numbers to consider:
  • Since the 00-01 season, the furthest back ESPN keeps attendance data, on a basis of percentage of arena filled, the devils have placed, at best, 21st in the NHL.  
  • This came in the 01-02 season, the year after two Cup Finals visits in which they filled a paltry 83.64% of their arena.
  • Since the lockout based on total attendance for those five years, the Devils rank DEAD LAST in the NHL.
  • In that time frame the Devils have won four division titles and never finished lower than fourth in the Eastern Conference.
  • This all comes in the third largest market in the entire country.
  • Their arena makes up less than .1% of their population and they still can't sell it out.
  • Their median household income is 13th highest among NHL cities.
  • The poverty rate is 10th highest among NHL cities.
  • Their local TV ratings are 18th out of the 22 U.S. teams that release them.
  • Are their ticket prices sky-high?  No, actually they're right in the middle, coming in at 14th lowest in the league.

To recap, you have a good team in a northern market with a huge population, that is fairly well off that can't even sell out their arena.  Fuck you New Jersey.

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