The New Jersey Devils are winning on the ice and romping at the box office, the concessions stands and on social media.
Through the team’s current 11-game winning streak, the nine home games have averaged 12,950 attendees each, nearly 80% of capacity in the 16,514-seat Prudential Center in downtown Newark. That’s only up a little from last season, when the Devils won 27 games, finished seventh in their division, and averaged 12,744 per game, 27th in the NHL. But attendance has been growing as the Devils have compiled a 14-3 record and 28 points to lead the Metropolitan Division.
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Full-season equivalent ticket sales are up 26% since the start of the win streak at Detroit on Oct. 15, and the season average is up 10% during that time. Secondary market prices have jumped 20%. And the arrow continues to point up: The Devils had their first sellout of the season during a win over the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 12, and all three games next week, against Edmonton, Toronto, and Washington are already sold out. Their streak will be on the line Saturday when they play the Senators in Ottawa.
“It’s a fun building right now,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said on an NHL.com podcast. “When you’re going good there’s a lot of energy, and we have a lot of energy in our building right now.”
That energy in New Jersey is turning into income. Concession sales at The Rock are up 40% thus far this season with jersey sales up 55%. Sales of Jack Hughes’ No. 86 alone have doubled since last season. The franchise’s total business is up 46% year-over-year.
On social media, average clicks on posts promoting ticket sales have increased 126.7%. The team is second overall in the NHL in social media growth since Oct. 13.
They have won 11 in row twice before, although the last time it happened was the 2005-06 season. Overall, New Jersey has won the Stanley Cup three times, the last in 2003. The team lost the Cup Final in 2012 and have qualified for the playoffs only once since then, dropping a first-round series in 2018.
The Devils are worth $825 million, 21st in the league per Sportico’s most recent NHL valuations, and third locally. The New York Rangers are playing at 99% capacity in Madison Square Garden and the New York Islanders at 96.4% capacity in their second season at UBS Arena.
“We’ve worked hard on our game for two years,” Ruff said. “Last year, through a lot of injuries, whether it was Hughes or Nico Hirscher or all the goaltenders that we went through, it made it tough at different times.”
Now, it has all come together and the biggest question mark is how long the Devils can remain on fire.
Source: Yahoo Sports