Last season the New York Riveters moved from Brooklyn to Newark to play hockey at the New Jersey Devils practice rink. That move has proven to be tremendously fortuitous for the Riveters.
Last night Seth Berkman of the New York Times broke the news that the Riveters had entered into a three-year partnership with the New Jersey Devils. The details of the groundbreaking partnership are still emerging. But what we do know is that the Riveters have been rebranded as the Metropolitan Riveters and they will be adopting the Devils colors. That’s what will be different on the ice. Off the ice, there are even bigger changes coming for the franchise.
From the New York Times:
The Devils’ investment includes providing rent-free facilities for Riveters games and practices in Newark, and assisting in sponsorships, ticket sales and marketing. The teams declined to discuss the financial terms of the partnership.
The Devils will promote Riveters events on television broadcasts, on arena displays and on online media platforms. That means more eyes being drawn to the NWHL and that means the growth of the league and of the women’s game as a whole. In other words, this is a huge victory for a league that has plans to expand in the 2018-19 season.
Another noteworthy detail of the partnership is a commitment from the Devils to collaborate with the Riveters to develop girls’ and women’s hockey programs in the area.
Today more details about the partnership emerged in a joint press release from the NWHL and the Devils ownership group (Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment):
“The partnership between Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and NWHL’s Riveters presented itself as an extraordinary opportunity to support youth and women’s professional ice hockey at the Prudential Center,” said Hugh Weber, President of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, and the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center. “We are confident that New Jersey Devils fans and those supporting the development of young women in athletics are as proud as we are for the Metropolitan Riveters to call the Prudential Center home. Under the continued leadership and guidance of HBSE Founders, Josh Harris and David Blitzer, we will continue to champion innovative partnerships that promote youth hockey in the Tri-State area.”
The goal of the partnership is very straightforward:
This agreement marks the first time an NHL team is partnering in the business of a NWHL franchise. The goal of the new strategic alliance is to support the growth of the NWHL, and increase the development and visibility of girls’ and women’s hockey in New Jersey and across the metropolitan area. In addition, the Devils and Prudential Center will share their vast resources in order to enhance the Riveters’ operations – including marketing, sales, events, game presentation and facilities.
“The New Jersey Devils and HBSE have shown their commitment to women’s hockey in the metropolitan area in a very big way,” said NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan iin the league’s press release. “We are grateful to begin this long-term collaboration with them and are confident that together we will grow the game.”
The Riveters will be attending the New Jersey Devils home opener in support of the World Girls Hockey Weekend. The Riveters will join 60-plus local girls youth hockey players from the AHAA for the home opener against the Colorado Avalanche. And on October 28th the Riveters will take to the Prudential Center ice for their own home opener.
Stay tuned to The Ice Garden for more details on this groundbreaking deal as they emerge.