A few weeks ago, as part of a series of posts centering around the topic of enhancing the fan's experience at games, the one about a supporter's group got the biggest response. The issue of a "home ice advantage" by the fans have come up a number of times before, most recently here in this FanShot by user Cherno77. From my view, it's clear that there's definitely an interest in having a group to provide such an atmosphere at home games for the New Jersey Devils.
I'm happy to inform you that this Friday, for the New Jersey Devils game against Nashville, those interested now have the opportunity to get loud and to be around people who will bring the noise for 60 minutes at the Rock.
I've mentioned it in the Gamethread yesterday, and I'm going to repeat it here with a little more detail. This is the time for those who are interested in having a supporter's group at Devils game to shine. The tickets are really cheap, the section will be filled with Devils fans who not sit on their hands, and this is a bold experiment.
A few Devils fans have worked with the organization to secure discounted seats for Section 209 for this purpose. You can get these tickets for $19 through this Ticketmaster link; use the special offer code sec209 at that link. For additional information, here's the group's Facebook page. If you want to have idea on what will be chanted (and it will be clean as I understand it), please view this post at Cracking the Ice.
This is not for families who want to have a night out, or a couple who want to have a hockey game in the background while they banter away about food, or a group of business associates or friends who will talk about everything but the action right in front of their eyes. This is for the fans who want to scream for NJ. This is for the fans who still believe, even while knowing how bleak it is. This is for the fans who want to be around those to cheer and get excited even when the rest of the arena sits on their hands. This is for the fans who want to chant and sing and yell for 60 minutes instead of when the PA tells them to get loud, when N.J. hits his drum (I like that he does that, as an aside), or when some other group gets something going. This is exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote about how the fan's experience can be enhanced with a supporter-driven atmosphere.
I have to laud the organization for allowing the fans to organize such a group, but now is the time for said fans to step up. If Section 209 is empty and quiet, then this attempt at creating a group will be dead with the organization to have no real reason to be willing to support a similar effort later. If it's filled and loud, then there will be more reason for the Devils to allow this to continue. With the team being so poor this season, having a section of fans audibly supporting their team through thick and thin would add greatly to the value of going to a game. Much like supporters groups at soccer games add an additional appeal to going to those games, even if the team is bad. Hence, this has the potential for some good business in my eyes, as well as some goodwill made by supporting a fan-driven effort.
Now, it's time for those fans to step up and make the Devils know they made the right decision with this group. You will only get one first impression, so let's make it a good one. If you want to have such a group at the Rock more often, then show up on Friday.
I would be a part of this, but alas I have some special seats for Friday's game (I'll explain in due time). Otherwise, I'd dump my Section 1 seat for one game to stand in Section 209. If only to make it a success. Unless you have your seats already for Friday's game against Nashville, if you're interested in this, then go get a cheap ticket in Section 209 through the Ticketmaster link and discount code sec209 (this will show the Devils that people are buying the tickets), wear Devils red, stand with the banner and the signs there, be loud, be proud, and know that you could be the start of something big at the Rock.
To those already committed in Section 209 for tomorrow night, I will hear you - and I support your endeavors. Good luck and remember the cardinal rule of supporters: always support the team.