Speaking of last night's invisible Sens game (4-1 Ottawa, another win, 9-1, ho-hum) Five For Smiting would like to congratulate the New Jersey Devils on opening their new arena. By all accounts, it's rather impressive, if not quite finished.
When the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators arrived for the first-ever skates at the $375-million Prudential Centre yesterday morning, they had to dodge arena workers yielding power tools and driving forklifts, installing the final sections of seats and glass.
In the bowels of the arena, stray electrical wires were left danging from the ceiling, rolls of new carpeting remained untouched and painters were desperately trying to cover up plaster with a fresh coat of paint.
Completely understandable New Jersey. Even if you did have almost two years to build the thing, we know how those interminable mob squabbles over window treatments and fabric patterns can throw a schedule completely out of whack. I mean, finding a spot to bury the bodies dug up to pour the foundation alone must have taken months.
And the choice of location was truly inspired. Yep, I know if I had $375 million burning a hole in my wallet, Newark would be the first place I'd look to spend it. And judging by last night's attendance numbers which were...um...not quite a sell out...your fans are equally ecstatic (as an aside, a small suggestion , if I may. If you want to draw more people, I'd forget about free calendars and funny hat giveaways. Put your money into police escorts to the concession stands. Just sayin'...)
So, again, congrats Devils! You've finally shaken the swamp gas from your boots and have an actual city to call your own. Devils' fans are giddy with the prospect that future Cup parades will take place in Newark, on real streets, instead of a giant parking lot. Of course, it will go screaming past them at about 80mph, running red lights with the windows up and the doors locked, but hey! It's a start.
New Home Is Heaven For Devils [Ottawa Citizen]