MELROSE AFRAID TO STEP OUTSIDE NJ DEVILS’ NEW ARENA: We mentioned how crowds at New Jersey hockey games has been Devilishly low this season, despite playing in a brand-new rink. And now Barry Melrose passes us a good reason why:
The NEWARK STAR-LEDGER gets word that the ESPN hockey analyst is quiteimpressed with the $375 million Prudential Center, but not the surrounding neighborhood:”It looks great on the inside, but don’t go outside, especially if you got a wallet or anything else, because the area around the building is awful.
“It’s so different the inside and the outside where it’s built, it’s pretty humorous.”
But Newark city officials aren’t laughing. Mayor Cory Booker called Melrose’s comments “utterly absurd“, adding “This guy doesn’t know Newark.”
And the city’s police chief chimed in that no arena visitors have been victims of any crime - except maybe being ripped off by high ticket prices.
However, reading through comments on the article, many seem to agree with Barry’s assessment. Commenter GetACLueNJ asks, “Instead of making him apologize, why doesn’t the city try to prove him wrong?”
Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek does shoot back at Melrose, riffing that Barry’s opinions on the neighborhood are “like me saying I know what it’s like to wear a mullet.”