Ice Hockey, American Dream

LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM

American Dream, located just outside New Jersey, is not your typical North American shopping mall.

Indeed, when families and friends descend on the vast venue, they are spoiled for choice, with hundreds of retail outlets, the DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Legoland Discover Center, Sea Life Aquarium and Big Snow Ski Hill.

However, for ice hockey fans, it is the sporting action, planted at the heart of the dining, shopping and entertainment experience that sets American Dream apart.

The Metropolitan Riveters Hockey Club, in association with the Premier Hockey Federation, recently agreed a three-year deal to play its home games at American Dream. The women’s ice hockey team’s executives believe this will provide a unique experience for players, partners and most importantly, fans. 

Unique experience

The Rink is a regulation-size surface that can host as many as 2,000 spectators on its periphery, with further options for tiered suites. The facility has also hosted open skating, youth hockey tournaments and the New Jersey Devils Learn to Play Programme, with three tiers of outlets surrounding the ice.

As part of an already-established partnership, the Riveters previously held open in-season practice sessions at American Dream, offering the public unprecedented access to the team.

Riveters spokesperson Craig Stanton tells Fan XP: “New Riveters leadership – including owner John Boynton, president Digit Murphy, and general manager Tori Charron – all visited the facility and shared an entrepreneurial vision and agreed it was an incredible venue with limitless possibilities to grow the game and the team’s brand.”

Calling American Dream home will provide all-round entertainment for hockey fans, with the matchday experience going beyond sport.

“The Riveters will have one of the most unique fan experiences in all of sports,” says Stanton. “This partnership with the unrivalled entertainment and retail at American Dream presents an opportunity to reimagine hockey with a revolutionary fan experience that breaks the traditional gameday model.

“Where else can you bring the family to watch a professional hockey game and also enjoy an indoor amusement park, a water park, ski and snowboard on North America’s first and only indoor, real-snow, year-round slope, shops, eateries and much, much more? It offers a full day of fun, activities, and attractions for the entire family.”

Shining a spotlight

Having a permanent home will also help the Riveters to grow and, more specifically, shine a spotlight on women’s hockey in the area. Being located at such a public location with immense footfall will enhance the promotion of both the club and the sport.

To illustrate the potential audience for the Riveters, while the mega-mall’s visitor numbers have not been publicly disclosed, its operators estimated that the venue would attract 40 million visitors when it opened in late 2019.

“Being permanently based at American Dream can help grow the popularity of the Riveters and professional women’s hockey by marketing to a larger audience to engage new fans,” says Stanton.

“The Riveters are breaking tradition with a unique home and the concept of taking the team to the community instead of the community coming to the team, which is the case for most sports. All the general foot traffic and cross promotions with American Dream, along with their partners, will exponentially expose more adults and youth to the excitement, speed and skill of professional women’s hockey.”

Calling a state-of-the-art facility home is also crucial for the promotion of the entire Premier Hockey Federation.

Paul Krotz, a spokesperson for the organisation, tells Fan XP: “The PHF is committed to building the best, thriving, and most sustainable home for professional women’s hockey.

“Facilities are a critical component to our mission to grow the sport and an important part of enhancing the overall experience for fans, whether they are watching the games in person or on our live broadcasts.”

For those people who become fans, having discovered elite ice hockey action as they strolled around the shops at American Dream, it will certainly be an experience they will not forget.

Image credit: @mdphotoandink


This exclusive insight is part of “Fan XP” – a newsletter designed to keep you abreast of the latest innovations, strategies and more regarding fan experience across the globe. To sign up, please click here