For the Metro Division Travel Guide series, I gathered input from fellow FanSided staff writers and fans who have frequented the featured arena. We will take a look at each member of the Metropolitan Division and cover three basic areas: why you should make the trip, the best food and drink options before and after the game, and the best (and affordable) seating options in the arena. With all divisional play now occurring within the Eastern Time Zone, travel has never been easier for Blue Jackets fans!
Our first featured road trip in the series was the Carolina Hurricanes. For the next trip, we will move up north to Newark, New Jersey for a visit to the New Jersey Devils. For some additional input I turned to David Garrison, Co-Editor of Pucks and Pitchforks.
The Devils moved to New Jersey in 1982 after unsuccessful attempts in Kansas City (as the Scouts) and Colorado (as the Rockies). The Devils called the Brendan Byrne / Continental Airlines Arena (now Izod Center) home until the 2007-2008 season, when they moved to the Prudential Center in Newark. While their early years in New Jersey were marked by poor play, the Devils quietly built themselves into a contender and became a powerhouse in the mid to late ’90s. They won three Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, and 2003) on the back of strong, shutdown defensive play.
Distance From Nationwide Arena:
When the Blue Jackets Will Be There:
Friday Dec 27, 20013: 7PM
Thursday Feb 27, 2014: 7PM
(Source: bluejackets.nhl.com )
Why It is Worth the Trip:
The main reason people should make the trip to the Prudential Center is the surrounding area and the arena itself. Directly next to the arena is Championship Plaza, where there are always activities going on prior to the games. There are always street hockey games, bands, food tents, and Ken Daneyko can be found in the plaza on occasion. The plaza provides fans some great entertainment before the gates open. Along with that are the restaurants on Edison Place, which divides the stadium and the plaza. The street is lined with many bars and restaurants jammed with Devils fans. For the arena itself, along the rotunda are jerseys for every high school hockey team in the state, auctions, shops, murals displaying important parts in Devils history, and all the food you could imagine. The arena is state of the art, fun, loud, and home to the Devils Dancers! A cheer/dance squad that does a great job entertaining the fans.
Best Pre/Post Game Hangout:
Newark has great food, especially surrounding the Prudential Center. Edison Place/Championship Plaza is home to many bars and restaurants including Brick City Bar and Grill, Dinosaur BBQ, Edison Ale House, and Loft 47. All of these restaurants are littered with fellow Devils fans just waiting for the gates to open. It is always fun to bar hop here. Just outside of the stadium are some of the best restaurants I have ever been to in New Jersey. Two in particular are Fernandes Steakhouse and Fornos of Spain. Fernandes has rodizio, where for a fixed price you can get all you can eat cuts of beef, chicken, ham, and sausage. You will never leave hungry and will always be satisfied. Fornos is a classic spanish restaurant with great service and food. Although it is fancy, they never turn down Devils fans wearing jerseys. Both of these places are great for both pre-game and post-game meals. Inside the stadium are some great places to eat as well. The Acela Club has a buffet with great food ranging from buffalo wings to sirloin, as well as desserts. Pricey, but good. For the stadium food I recommend the corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, cheese steaks, and the nachos. Any food options listed here are great and you can never go wrong at the Rock!
Where you should sit:
Like most new arenas in the NHL and all of the other sports, there is not one bad seat in the arena. I would recommend for the price, mezzanine level or balcony seats. They have great views of the ice, access to any type of food and beverage you would like, and the fans are louder and more fun to be around than in the lower bowl.
I grew up in New Jersey before calling Cleveland home, so I have been to many Devils games, at both the old arena at the Meadowlands and the Prudential Center. While Newark, New Jersey often gets a bad rep, the city has done a great job with the arena and its surrounding area. Each season there are new bars and restaurants popping up, further improving the pre and post game experience. Once inside the arena, fans can enjoy one of the newest, state of the art game experiences in the NHL. While Continental Airlines Arena lacked personality, the Prudential Center is a shrine to New Jersey Devils hockey. The team’s entire history is featured in several displays. While the arena serves many functions, it is a hockey arena first.
Besides hockey, visiting fans have an endless supply of entertainment options close by: New York City, Hoboken, and Liberty State Park are just a few. I highly recommend adding the Prudential Center to your hockey road trip plans.
Previous Posts In This Series: Carolina Hurricanes