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View Full Version : Where would you want the Devils' AHL affiliate?



NewarkDevil5
05-16-2006, 08:32 AM
The Devils recently purchased the Lowell Lock Monster of the AHL. Though they are committed to keeping the team there for two more years at least, the Devils' owner Jeff Vanderbeek has expressed interest in moving the team to New Jersey. Where would you like to see them move to? I think Trenton would be the most logical choice because they've got an arena already, they're south enough to challenge the Flyers in the southern part of the state. I'm not sure if its possible because there might be deals with the Titans to not bring any new teams into the arena. Other possibilities I've heard of include having them play in the Newark arena along with the Devils, but I'm not sure I like that idea. I think its a waste of an asset. They ought to be used to expand the fan base and that would just keep it status quo. I've also heard Toms River as an option. I'd like to also propose New Brunswick as an option. I think the city would really benefit from a small arena. They could build it in conjunction with Rutgers and help start a hockey team for the college at the same time. Thoughts?

newfjersey
05-16-2006, 11:43 AM
Do you really think it's fair to move an entire team of people and their staff to a whole new location? As for fan base...Wouldn't it bring you in a fan base that is not based in New Jersey? Which would bring you even more commerce to your little ol' state? No one likes to move plain and simple. I think New Jersey has enough pride for itself and needs to start looking for love else where. No one else in the US has any respect for Jersey...they need all the help they can get. I was once a NJ hater. I would drive through the state and be miserable. The traffic was ungodly and it smelled terrible. Then I met someone that showed me the finer points of NJ. Now I can see it's a wonderful place. Newark itself is such a wonderful city and has so much potential. I know you are already thinking....but if we move them to NJ the fan base will follow....but I believe that is just not the case. Most people that become fans of the farm teams do so because it's closer to home and the tickets are cheaper. Those same fans however will buy a ticket to see one of their farm team heroes play when they join the NHL.

NewarkDevil5
05-16-2006, 11:54 AM
First of all, the team's staff and players are already moving from Albany to Lowell and second, the people in Lowell are already aware that a move is possible and are trying to court another team to come to take their place. Insofar as developing a fan base is concerned, when you move a team you start developing a fanbase in the new place. It is a given that most of the fans in Lowell will cut their ties with the team, but the hope is that you'd get people in New Jersey to come to games. As you said, when the fans of the farm team have seen players come in and eventually graduate to the big leagues they'll be that much more fervent fans for the parent team.

newfjersey
05-16-2006, 12:12 PM
Insofar as developing a fan base is concerned, when you move a team you start developing a fanbase in the new place. It is a given that most of the fans in Lowell will cut their ties with the team, but the hope is that you'd get people in New Jersey to come to games. As you said, when the fans of the farm team have seen players come in and eventually graduate to the big leagues they'll be that much more fervent fans for the parent team.

The problem I forsee with that is the economy is junk right now. Most people can not afford to see an NHL game on a regular basis. If you place the farm team inside of NJ you are going to lose some of your fan base for the NHL team. Not only because it is cheaper but a farm team is considered even more of a hometown thing. Support the little guy. What if the farm team does well and the Devils tank (like they did this year:p) people will enjoy paying less to see a better team play. As for the peole of Lowell, most fans of any team usually stick with it. Fans are Fans. Without them the sport is obsolete. Look at the Dodgers or the Raiders....where they moved people still followed. Both sides of this argument have good points... I just think mine is better!! :p

NewarkDevil5
05-16-2006, 12:25 PM
Philadelphia plays in an arena right across the street from their farm team's arena. Chicago has both an NHL and AHL team. The AHL team sometime outdraws the NHL one there actually. New Jersey already has two lower level minor league teams in Trenton and Atlantic City and they draw reasonably well from what I hear. The AHL team would be a step above their level of hockey and hopefully it'd still be far enough away where they're not really competing for the entertainment dollars spent in Newark. Thats why while I voted for New Brunswick I probably should've voted for Trenton or Toms River.

newfjersey
05-16-2006, 12:33 PM
Enough said....you essentially proved my point. You just tried to cover it up with a useless post about where you voted for.....nice try with the misdirection!!

Jersey Warren
05-16-2006, 01:21 PM
1.) Because that's where many of my relatives live.

2.) Because it is far enough from where the Devils play that the two teams would not compete with each other, but would complement each other.

3.) Because Ocean County is an up-and-coming area with a growing population that is underserved with recreational facilities. It is not conveniently close to another city, so the potential for loyalty to a New Jersey-based team is strong there.

4.) As far as the Lowell fans go, in hockey-crazy Massachusetts everyone is a Bruins fan first. Since New Englanders do not particularly like people who live southwest of Connecticut, I doubt if any Lowell fans will remain fans once they move to New Jersey. But I'd be willing to bet, the entire New Jersey Shore area would support such a team.

JerseyDevil
05-16-2006, 01:28 PM
For those who don't know I'm on Freedom of the Seas right now. :) Check out theTravel forum under the General Section. Anyway - I wanted to post to this real quick. If they move - I would like them to place the team in southern New Jersey. I think this would help develop a southern New Jersey following for the Devils and make them more of a total New Jersey team, than a predominantly northern New Jersey team. Citizens in southern New Jersey root for the Flyers and this would hopefully develop some fans down there for the Devils. What are other people's thoughts?

I'll try to be on later, but not sure. Freedom of the Seas is an amazing ship. I'm so excited right now. :excited:

NewarkDevil5
05-16-2006, 01:47 PM
I'm steadily warming to the idea of Toms River. I haven't been down there in years and even when I did go down there it was just to Seaside Heights amusement piers as a kid. Whats Toms River like? Does it have a walkable downtown? I looked at it on the map and its a lot larger than I thought it was. Is there any way they could extend the North Jersey Coast Line into "downtown Toms River" assuming there is such a thing?

Jersey Warren
05-16-2006, 03:04 PM
I'm steadily warming to the idea of Toms River. I haven't been down there in years and even when I did go down there it was just to Seaside Heights amusement piers as a kid. Whats Toms River like? Does it have a walkable downtown? I looked at it on the map and its a lot larger than I thought it was. Is there any way they could extend the North Jersey Coast Line into "downtown Toms River" assuming there is such a thing?

Toms River does have an old downtown, built years ago. Since it is the county seat of Ocean County, all of the usual county offices are there. My mother had a business in downtown T.R. until she retired just a few years ago.

However, Toms River is mostly a community of residential neighborhoods, retirement communities, strip malls and shopping centers along Route 37, and the Ocean County Mall. It has spread out for miles in every direction and now has a population of around 80,000. It is larger than either Asbury Park or Atlantic City, and therefore, the largest community on the Jersey Shore, though not a city. It is very much like the outer suburbs of Los Angeles and Dallas, except there is no central city that it is a suburb of. (It's what Plano, Texas would be if Dallas weren't there!)

There are daily commuter buses from Toms River into New York, but I think the train only goes as far as Bay Head, at the northern tip of Barnegat Bay.

The Toms River lifestyle is very much geared around families and school and sports activities. It is not surprising that a Toms River team won the Litttle League World Series a few years ago.

NewarkDevil5
05-16-2006, 05:13 PM
Ok, but for the purposes of attracting fans from Red Bank and Long Branch to make their way down to games would it be possible for NJ Transit to extend the Coast Line down to Toms River? Bayhead is the last station, but couldn't they extend it to Toms River? How far is it? Given the size of Toms River I'm surprised it hasn't happened already that they were hooked up to the rail system.

NJPRIDE
05-16-2006, 08:24 PM
If you want to tap into the flyers fan base I suggest A.C. . The Boardwalk Bullies are no longer in A.C. .If you want them closer to Newark I suggest New Brunswick . With Rutgers, the 49,000 people who live there and all the Devil fans in the area it could be successful . New Brunswick has become a hot little city in recent years now known for its restaurants,theaters, and new housing this would only help it more .And they already have a train line there .My wife and I in recent years always said it would have been good if The Devils could have bought the River Rats and moved them to New Brunswick and called them The Raritan River Rats . If the new minor team ends up in N.J. it will help in many ways such as making the Devils even more of a Jersey team than they already are and it will cut down on travel costs and time for the minor players to the parent team .Whatever happens The Devils organization needs to expand its fan base, so it would not bother me to go after the flyers base as it went after the rangers base and ended up with me .:D

NewarkDevil5
05-16-2006, 09:06 PM
I love the idea of New Brunswick, but there's a part of me that says that they need to go a little further south. Trenton might strike up the perfect rivalry with Philly's Phantoms. Toms River might be the budding new community with strong hockey ties they're looking for.

JerseyDevil
05-17-2006, 12:02 AM
I don't think Toms River is south enough and I'm not really too keen on the idea of AC either. I would prefer them in "central" southern New Jersey, like Vineland. I'd have to look at the population mix there, but they could be a big draw from a lot of the surrounding area (from Cape May to Salem). Although I voted for Camden and think it would be a great location, I don't like it for the same reasons, there are already a lot of sports in the area.

I would like a place chosen that basically would make a connection between northern New Jersey and southern New Jersey, something we are desperately lacking at the moment.

BTW - I don't like the idea of New Brunswick either. New Brunswick is a really great city, but I would want a Devils farm team to develop fans from an area where they don't currently already have a lot of fans.

NewarkDevil5
05-18-2006, 07:22 AM
I kinda put Camden on the list for arguments sake. Although I'd love to see Camden get a team that draws on NJ pride, I don't know if it is really possible to break Philadelphia's stranglehold on that area of southern New Jersey. I think Camden is just too close to Philly. Its not as though you're putting an NHL team to compete with another NHL team, you're putting an AHL team to compete with not only another AHL team, but an NHL team as well. Trenton I think might be the perfect compromise since it is far enough south where it draws on the Flyers' fanbase in Burlington and Mercer, but not so far south where it gets swallowed up into the epicenter of the orange and black chasm that is Philadelphia. Vineland-Millville might work. I think that area is just far enough from Philly where it might be able to take on a team. I'm not sure because the Vineland-Millville area doesn't have THAT many people in it. I think it might draw on a population area of maybe 100,000 at best.

Jersey Warren
05-18-2006, 08:52 AM
I don't think Toms River is south enough and I'm not really too keen on the idea of AC either. I would prefer them in "central" southern New Jersey, like Vineland. .

One problem with going that far south and inland, is that there are very few people to support a team. One area that might work are the base towns surrounding Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base. Military families are not so locked in to loyalty to a specific geographic area and would be willing to support a new team. The team could be called the New Jersey Pineys! (From which the New Jersey Devil came.) The area is within easy reach of people East to Toms River and West to Trenton.

Just a thought.

MITHRANDIR
05-19-2006, 08:09 AM
One problem with going that far south and inland, is that there are very few people to support a team. One area that might work are the base towns surrounding Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base. Military families are not so locked in to loyalty to a specific geographic area and would be willing to support a new team. The team could be called the New Jersey Pineys! (From which the New Jersey Devil came.) The area is within easy reach of people East to Toms River and West to Trenton.

Just a thought.

I think that would be Wrightstown, IIRC.

Perhaps Mount Holly may be another area to consider.
I think Mount Holly is about 30 (15 minutes) minutes from Trenton, Cherry Hill, Jackson, Wrightstown, and Hammonton.

Mount Holly is also the county seat of Burlington County.

JerseyDevil
05-19-2006, 10:19 AM
I would possibly consider Lakewood by the way. It's still not as far south as i woudl like it and I really don't want it on the shore, but Lakewood is on the edge of the pine barrens.

NewarkDevil5
05-20-2006, 02:32 PM
Why not on the shore?

beatman10
05-20-2006, 04:31 PM
There's a lot of space to build an arena there on Route 34. And you would draw the Monmouth/Ocean population which seems to grow every day. Atlantic City had the Bullies, and I was a season ticket holder, but peaple didn't support them. Even with last years NHL strike, folks prefered to go see the Phila Phantoms play. The Bullies even gave free tickets to Phantoms games!! Kind of like Coke giving away free Pepsi's:confused: I don't think any team can break the Phila stranglehold in AC, as long as they can continue to brainwash the people with THEIR TV stations, THEIR newspapers, and THEIR cable company(Comcast)

JerseyDevil
05-20-2006, 06:26 PM
Why not on the shore?
I want to see it somewhere where it is either more central and southern - such as Lakewood, or forms a tie between the southern and northern regions such as Vineland and Bridgeton.

I just took a road trip through soiuthern NJ - went down to Pennsville, through Salem to Hancock House then headed toward Seaside Heights by going through Bridgeton and Vineland. I have to disagree that there wouldn't be enough people to support a hockey team in that area. Bridgeton, Vineland and Millville are not that far from each other and the area is pretty developed. Whether they would support a team is another story, but I do believe there are enough people. I think the Devils promoting themselves as a New JERSEY team, would be great for NJ.

NewarkDevil5
05-20-2006, 08:30 PM
I agree that the Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton area might not be a bad idea, but I also think Toms River area might not be a bad idea.

MABL
05-21-2006, 10:27 AM
I'm not sure where the most hockey fans are in Jersey, but I voted for New Brunswick. Nice central location, plus the season might get a boost by all the college kids in town.

JerseyDevil
08-29-2007, 11:19 PM
I was looking through past threads and I came across this one. Do you think the Devils will move Lowell now that they also bought out the Trenton Titans?

I think it could be a possibility and if that is the case - I think they will mostly pick a more southern location - such as Vineland. It would make perfect sense. They need to develop a statewide fan base. They need to have people wearing NJ Devils jersey's from the north of the state to the south.

BY buying the Trenton Titans - they now have a foothold in the central part of the state. It's a great move. Of course they may decide to move Lowell to a location such as Toms River - because they may think that people from Vineland would never take the trek up to Newark, but yet a person around Toms River would and it covers the eastern-central part of the state, while Trenton covers the western-central part of New Jersey. They may be trying to create a fan base that covers the from the Rt 195 line northward.

Millville is getting the huge racetrack - Thunder Raceway - which I wonder if a hockey's minor league team may fit in nicely with that attraction during the winter months.