As the New Jersey Devils prepare for tonight's Stanley Cup Finals game at the Prudential Center, in Newark, data released today show the team's extended road to the championship has had a significant economic impact on the city and region.
For hosting 10 home games throughout the Devils' playoff series against the Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers and now the Los Angeles Kings — not including two more home games, if necessary, in the championship round — the Prudential Center is expected to generate more than $1.5 million in economic activity and create 28 new jobs in Newark, according to data derived by the arena from an economic modeling system of the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis.
"It just goes to show the gigantic impact that these playoff games have meant to the city of Newark and the state of New Jersey," said Robert Sommer, president of Rock Entertainment Management. "For the next two weeks, we are the capital of the National Hockey League, and that is immensely exciting not just to fans, but to associates in the building and the people working outside the arena in the restaurants and bars."
According to Sommer, the Prudential Center sold a total of 176,250 tickets for the 10 playoff home games. The price of each ticket increased as the Devils advanced, and for the final round, club seats were sold to season-ticket holders for $325 and on the open market for $575.
If every person visiting the Prudential Center spends $8 outside of the arena — excluding parking — it will produce approximately $1.5 million of economic activity within Newark and $2.1 million within Essex County, according to the data provided by the RIMS model, short for regional input-output modeling system. From the increased economic activity — combined with the arena's $2.5 million in operating expenses and payroll of $1.7 million for all 10 games — a total of 89 permanent jobs will be created in Newark and the county.
"The short-term economic impact is great and much needed, but I think the long-term visibility and excitement is even more important for the city," said Chip Hallock, president and CEO of the Newark Regional Business Partnership. "The NCAA tournament put Newark on a national stage last year, and now we've got that all over again with NBC's international coverage of the playoff games. People are looking at Newark as a business location … with the perception that big things are happening here, and that adds tremendous opportunity to further grow as a city."