Devils and Prudential Center CEO Scott O'Neil at Thursday's Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in New York. (GETTY IMAGES)
The fan experience at Prudential Center will reach new heights this season and continue to improve in the future, Devils and Prudential Center CEO Scott O’Neil said Thursday.
In an interview at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit, O’Neil spoke about his goals for The Rock, both this year and beyond. First on the list: delivering a world-class sports and entertainment experience to the Garden State.
It’s a different brand and we represent something very different and very special and very New Jersey. - Scott O'Neil
"Anticipating the needs of our customers is really important to us,” O’Neil told Bloomberg's Stephanie Ruhle. "We installed what we call a 'Pru Crew' that will meet our guests at the train station and will be human arrows walking them down to the arena. We have a new food service provider, Legends, who brings a kind of food and wine festival-type experience to our house."
Among the new additions is a state-of-the-art projection system for on-ice graphics that will bring an entirely new dimension to the gamenight experience.
"It’s 3D,” O’Neil said. "The animation is absolutely spectacular."
Another top priority for Prudential Center is becoming a cornerstone of the community.
"We’re about New Jersey,” said O’Neil, adding, "Come home from work, drop your suit, put a jersey on, grab your kid and bring him to a game. It’s a different brand and we represent something very different and very special and very New Jersey."
The Devils play their first home preseason game on Sunday, Sept. 28 against Philadelphia. The regular-season home opener is Saturday, Oct. 18 versus San Jose.
For everything he hopes to accomplish throughout the upcoming season, O’Neil acknowledged there's much to be done before and after the puck drops on 2014-15.
"We’re doing a lot of the right things, but you can’t snap your fingers or wave a magic wand and have everything happen,” he said. "The beauty of it is, though, we believe in this market, we love the building and we think the fans are as good as there are in the country."