Saturday, January 9, 2010

Devils-Lightning game to be completed at 6 PM tomorrow

As per Tom Gulutti via the Fire and Ice blog about a half hour ago, both teams have agreed to finish the remainder of their game tomorrow night at 6 PM. All tickets from Friday's incomplete game will be honored, and unsold seats will be available for box office price (even on a weekend, how many get sold to a 'game' where you're down 3-0? Maybe ten...and that's only if there are $35's available).

Probably the team could do nothing different here, cause it wouldn't be fair to the paying customers for Friday to give the Sunday buyers a discount unless you got your money back for Friday's fiasco. And that might still happen, since owner Jeff Vanderbeek promised 'communication' with all ticket holders from that game. So it's probably important to withhold further judgement at least from that aspect until after Sunday.

With the game itself it was probably the fairest solution since both teams have two days off after Saturday and the Lightning will still be in the area after their game with the Flyers in Philly tonight before their home game Tuesday against the Capitals, plus if you waited down the road to settle this you would run into more problems with what to do about injuries, trades and all other new players on rosters and whether they should be allowed to play in the continuation of the game. As it is, if anyone gets hurt tonight (since both teams play) the NHL will have another issue to deal with.

I'm only surprised the Prudential Center could round up enough staff in time to play the game tomorrow since there was nothing scheduled at the arena. I also wonder how bad the ice will be after being used three times this week for hockey and tonight for college basketball. As far as the fans, it doesn't give them enough time to change weekend plans to make the replay on the one hand but on the other it does at least give out-of-town visitors and college students a theoretical chance to make it back for the finish. Thankfully the Jets' playoff game starts in a half hour today and not tomorrow, which would have made the decision even tougher for local fans if the two games somehow conflicted, but I doubt many will be able to show up or have the interest to do so quite honestly. Not in a game where we're down 3-0 halfway through and playing for the third straight night.

While Gulutti's blog this morning was a bit over-the-top, upon further review I do think the Devils could also have done better by the fans last night. At least run the MSG broadcast on the jumbotron, the fans would have had some form of update (and real entertainment) during the hour and forty minutes of limbo. Plus as I said last night it just looks bad when the players and staff are already clearing the ice before the announcement's actually made to the fans.

During his brief stint as an owner, Vanderbeek's proven to be more fan-friendly than his predecessors, as beloved as John McMullen may have been PR was never the team's strong point anyway but it's been getting better. In my mind at this point though, he's going to have to do more than just give the fans a voucher for a free game that in all likelihood only serves to paper the attendance for a game that would otherwise have about 14,000 or less. What more is, I don't know but I do think given his track record he'll come up with something halfway decent.

UPDATE: And the Devils have now in fact stated that all ticket holders will be guaranteed a free game down the road in addition to being allowed into tomorrow's conclusion (details still to come). At least it's a bare minimum start. Hopefully they also make parking around the arena free tomorrow for anyone with a ticket stub, it wouldn't do to make people pay twice for parking. Not sure there's much you can do about the train costs though.

1 comment:

Derek Felix said...

Best they could've done. And it is something. Understandable why the price remains the same.

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