Thoughts on the Prudential Center

On Tuesday night, I finally took in a New Jersey Devils game at the Prudential Center, which opened back in October of 2007. Having been to several Devils games at the older Continental Airlines Arena (now the Izod Center), I was looking forward to seeing what the new building had to offer. Here are some quick thoughts from the game, including some tweets that I sent during the game.

Stadium Environment

  • Taking in the Devils/Bruins game at the Prudential Center. My 1st time here at “The Rock.” Definitely like it http://tweetphoto.com/16470860
  • Prudential Center has a great open-back design on one end of the mezzanine seating/concourse area. Unique feel for http://tweetphoto.com/16475479
    • It almost had the same feeling I get when walking a baseball concourse, where you can still see the on-field action while you get to your seat.
  • They’re doing Score-O (four fans try a shot from mid-ice with most of the net blocked off). I did Score-O back in high school and made it on the first shot! One of the sports highlights of my life.
    • I was 16 when I did this contest, so that means they’ve been doing it for at least 13 seasons now, and fans still seem to enjoy it, especially when the first guy made the shot.
  • Fun video during the break of the Devils’ ushers dancing to the music. Crowd got into it too. http://tweetphoto.com/16480551
    • I love when the personality of the arena staff comes through like this.
  • Guy not paying attention to the mascot’s t-shirt toss just got hit it the back of the head w/ a shirt. At least it wasn’t a puck!
  • There was a “deck” in one lower corner of the arena where the Devils had some female dancers. The location was odd as only part of the arena could see them, and only some of their dances ended up on the center-hung scoreboard.
  • They also featured jerseys of all New Jersey high school and college hockey teams hanging on the walls throughout the entire building.
  • The food selection seemed pretty standard with typical prices. The one “extra” that I really noticed was the “Taste of Newark” section on the mezzanine concourse that featured food from popular local restaurants.
  • The egress from the mezzanine level was a little rough. They could definitely benefit from additional escalators.

Sponsorship

  • The permanent naming rights signage for Prudential Center is prominently featured everywhere inside and outside the building, and always includes both the company name and logo for full branding impact.
  • PNC Bank has a strong presence, particularly in the PNC Tower, which is also where the box office is located (more visibility). You can’t miss PNC in the building – they also had frequent appearances on the scoreboard and LED.
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce was just on the scoreboard and ribbon LED. Don’t think I’ve seen them in any other sports sponsorships.
  • Great presence by Verizon at the Prudential Center. Phone demos, sales staff, free co-branded t-shirts, games and more http://tweetphoto.com/16477636
    • I cannot over-emphasize how effective this activation was. There was a “Text Battle” station where kids used Verizon phones to answer Devils trivia, a long line to get the free Devils/Verizon t-shirt (which also included a product demo), and Verizon sales/service staff answering questions and showing off new phones.
  • The Belvedere Vodka Ice Lounge premium club seating. Looks very nice inside. http://tweetphoto.com/16477896
  • @SeatGeek I walked past it (The Fire Lounge) on the other side. Can’t get into either tonight but they look great. Love the Fire and Ice theme between the two.

Sales

  • My favorite Devils sales rep (@isatten) swung by and dropped off a season ticket flyer. And I’m actually contemplating it.
  • The Devils have put together some creative season ticket offers, including a 12 month payment plan, guaranteed early purchase/renewal benefits, additional higher-end pay-in-full benefits, and 15 different top-tier prize drawings that all early-buyers are eligible for.
  • The team also offers a $15 and $30 price point for select locations, which is a pretty affordable option for hockey tickets (and I firmly believe there is no such thing as a bad seat for a hockey game).

I have to say that I came away very impressed with the arena across the board. I’m sure the Devils are quite happy with it as well!