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Jersey Tour hosts Ladies Night

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
The Devils are working on forming a women's club and Hockey 101 sessions for the 2011-12 season. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

Ladies, the Devils read you loud and clear.

The team's female fan base was the focus of the most recent Jersey Tour on March 2, when they were invited to Prudential Center's CURE Club to meet with Chairman and Managing Partner Jeff Vanderbeek and discuss their fan experience.

They openly shared their comments, feedback and ideas.

Ken Daneyko, Bruce Driver, Jim Dowd and Grant Marshall all were on hand to represent the Devils Alumni. Though this was the first Jersey Tour specifically for women, it's not likely to be the last. Expect more ladies-only pre-game parties in conjunction with a women’s club being discussed for next season.

“Sports teams sometimes overlook the fact that some of their most devoted fans also happen to be mothers, sisters and daughters,” Vanderbeek said. “Jersey’s Team can be everyone's team. Our goal is to continue reaching more and more people. To do that, we're developing new ways to make everyone’s visit to Prudential Center even more exciting.”

Devils radio analyst Sherry Ross, a pioneer among female sports broadcasters, hosted the event. She was the first woman to broadcast coverage of a men’s pro sports team during her radio stint with the Devils from 1992 to 1995.

In 2009, she became the first woman to provide radio play-by-play of an NHL game.

One of the suggestions was a "Girls Nite Out," a variation of the popular "Guys Nite Out" promotion. A ladies version is coming soon, and could feature wine or cupcakes to replace the typical soda/beer and hot dog combo.

“This is something we’re hard at work on,” Vanderbeek said. “I’m anxious to see how this takes shape and how we can cater directly to the needs of our female fans.”

Another hot topic was a “Hockey 101” series to teach hockey basics like icing, offside and penalty calls. Vanderbeek, who was a longtime Devils fan before becoming the owner in 2004, said to expect Hockey 101 sessions next season with the help of retired officials.

“Jersey pride is a big component of being a dedicated Devils fan,” Vanderbeek said. “We want everybody to be on board as we bring Devils hockey to an ever-growing audience.”

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