The Metropolitan Riveters, a women’s Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) ice hockey team, is set to call a shopping mall its new home after agreeing an innovative deal with the American Dream entertainment and retail centre in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The Riveters, a founding member of the PHF, has played at the practice facility of the Prudential Center, home of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, since 2016, but has today (Wednesday) announced a three-year agreement to make American Dream the team’s new home ice, beginning with the start of the 2022-23 PHF campaign.
Over the next three seasons, the Riveters will have a permanent facility for all practices and games at the three million square foot facility in a move which aims to enhance the experience for players, partners, and fans.
“We are extremely excited to provide our players with a state-of-the-art facility that they can call home,” said Digit Murphy, president of the Metropolitan Riveters.
“Our organisation focused on finding a permanent location where Riveters games would be played, and we wanted to ensure the facility had top-notch professional amenities. The unrivalled entertainment and retail at American Dream will let us reimagine hockey together with a revolutionary fan experience that breaks the traditional game day experience.”
The Riveters’ home games and all practices will be held at The Rink – American Dream’s regulation-size ice rink that can be fitted for as many as 2,000 spectators with options of tiered suites. The Rink regularly plays host to open skating, youth hockey tournaments and the Devils’ Learn to Play Program.
The Riveters calling American Dream home builds on an already established partnership as the team previously held open in-season practices at the venue. “As a lifelong hockey fan, I am thrilled to have a professional team call American Dream home,” said Don Ghermezian, CEO of American Dream.
“I am even more thrilled to have the Riveters – a forward-thinking organisation that wants to revolutionise the sports industry, much in the same way that American Dream is revolutionising so many industries.
“I am excited to embark on an endeavour with the Riveters to re-imagine the sporting event and to provide a new form of entertainment for all of our fans.”
While ticketing plans are still being formed for Riveters games at The Rink, ESPN.com states that the first floor near the ice could have two rows of seats, with the second floor having premium seating at tables. The team expects the third level of the facility to be open for free access to pedestrians and visitors to the mall.
Along with the open third floor above the rink, there are also obstructed view areas on other levels which form part of the public concourse. “We’re not going to be kicking people out for watching the game, especially because our No. 1 priority is to expose the game (to new fans),” Murphy said.
Cross-promotion between the team and the mall is also expected, with Murphy stating this could encompass premium tickets offering discounts to other attractions at American Dream. Meanwhile, Murphy suggested the Riveters could promote shops inside the mall, while players may take part in on-ice fashion shows.