There will be another sellout crowd of 17,625 at Prudential Center on Tuesday night when the Devils host the Rangers for a game pivotal to both teams’ playoff chances.
That the building will be full for a game between the Hudson River rivals is nothing new. The bigger change at The Rock this season is that sellouts have become the norm for pretty much any opponent other than the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Devils have sold out 13 of their 15 home games so far this season, with the exceptions being visits from the Lightning on Feb. 7 and March 5. Even after a snowstorm Feb. 8 dropped more than a foot of snow on some parts of New Jersey, the Devils estimated that there were “fewer than 700” no-shows for the sold-out game the next afternoon against Pittsburgh.
“I really appreciate the fans’ support, especially after what we put them through the first half of the season [by] not having it,” Devils captain Bryce Salvador said. “So, it’s been a real nice surprise, a welcome surprise.”
It’s surprising because of the owners’ lockout that wiped out the first three months of the 2012-13 season before play finally got under way Jan. 19. There was some concern that some fans might not come back, but those proved unfounded as attendance is up league-wide.
Few teams have experienced a bigger jump at the gate than the Devils, though. According to the Sports Business Daily, at the midpoint of the 48-game schedule, the Carolina Hurricanes were the only team in the Eastern Conference to experience a larger increase in average attendance (with a 15 percent bump).
Devils' attendance up as fans flock to The Rock
Bergen Record | Mar 18