I don't know about the state as a whole but it's the areas around NYC and Philadelphia that cause problems. Promoters assume that all the people in the big cities will cross the river to see a show in New Jersey. Some people will but there aren't nearly as many as if the show was just held in Philly or New York. For example Union City, NJ (where Evolve has held a few shows at the Ace Arena) is literally right across the river from New Jersey. With no traffic I can go from BB Kings in NYC to the Ace Arena in like 15-20 minutes. Evolve gets a nice crowd for BB Kings and they draw 70 people for the Ace Arena.
Ah well that makes sense, I would assume that's its probably difficult to find a really good venue in Philly (since the Arena closed) and more so New York. I guess they use the Ace Arena because of it's convenient location (though the place doesn't look very big), and like you said hoping that either the locals or people from NY and Philly will drive out to the show.
EVOLVE 9: Gargano vs. Taylor
New York City, NY- July 26, 2011
Quick Thoughts: After being so bitter about EVOLVE 8 I had my reservations going into this show. However, much the opposite of Style Battle I love this show and for good reason; going back to the mechanics and concepts that bought EVOLVE into the game. A consistent undercard matched with a strong second half and fantastic main events. Voted by fans the 2011 EVOLVE/DGUSA show of the year.
Eric Ryan vs. Bobby Beverly- N/A due to Steen
Super Smash Bros. vs. Facade & Jason Gory- Really good tag sprint for the time it got.
Silas Young vs. Sugar Dunkerton- Good match with a simple, yet effective dynamic to play off of.
Lince Dorado vs. Pinkie Sanchez- Solid match
Up in Smoke vs. The Scene- Good tag match that established the foundation for the Scene.
Bobby Fish vs. Jon Davis- N/A due to Steen
Bobby Fish vs. Jon Davis vs. Kevin Steen (Street Fight)- Great 3 Way showcase with each guy getting in their signature offense and everyone came out looking strong.
Tony Nese vs. John Silver- Towards great match, they had really good chemistry (Both NYWC Grads). Much better than what I remembered. Fuck I didn't remember Nese being so good during his original EVOLVE run.
Dave Finlay vs. Sami Callihan-
A great mix of brawling, storytelling and playing off of character dynamics that went back to showcasing a different style of match not seen in EVOLVE since roughly Danielson vs. Sawa. One of EVOLVE's top matches, easily on par with Richards/Ibushi and if not better, Danielson/Fish.
Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor (Win leaders)- Great main event where both guys worked hard and the exchanges and familiarity between both guys really made the match shine and took it up to that next level.
EVOLVE 10: Tribute to the Arena
Philadelphia, PA- January 14, 2012
Quick Thoughts: This was a decent show, a vast step down from EVOLVE 9 but better than EVOLVE 8. The crowd destroyed this show for the most part and EVOLVE 10 didn't flow as well as previous shows. Regardless, some good matches and again an alright show when you zone out the clusterfuck booking.
Low Ki vs. Ahtu- Not really much to say, Ahtu got knocked the fuck out.
Cheech Hernandez vs. KC Day- Really good match; lots of counters mixed with high flying.
John Silver & Alex Reynolds vs. The Scene- Decent tag match but dragged at times.
Jigsaw vs. AR Fox- Really good crash style match with a great finish.
Uhaa Nation vs. Pinkie Sanchez- Very entertaining squash
Chucky T & Rich Swann vs. Super Smash Bros.- Damn good tag match, took a while to get going but once it did they went balls.
Kyle Matthews vs. Jon Davis- Poorly done squash
Bobby Fish vs. Sami Callihan- Very good storytelling here, but the fans didn't react to anything and made the submissions drag when they weren't supposed to.
Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet (Open the Freedom Gate Title)- N/A out of respect to Gargano
Sabu vs. Justin Credible- Alright for what it was, in their physical condition can't knock them too much.
EVOLVE 11: Finlay vs. Callihan
Toronto, ON- April 13, 2012
Quick Thoughts: This was a pretty crappy EVOLVE show on the level EVOLVE 8, but not their fault in the slightest. The original lineup would've made this show better but Gabe had to work with what he had. Really a two match show at its core.
Super Smash Bros. vs. The Gentlemen's Club- Fun opener
MK McKinnan vs. Josh Alexander- Squash
Mike Rollins vs. Ashley Sixx- Nothing match
John Silver vs. Alex Reynolds- Good match, both guys worked hard but the crowd wasn't having it.
Samuray Del Sol vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Chucky T- Decent Triple threat, they had to hold back though.
Adam Page vs. Caleb Konley- Decent Match, but nothing to write home about.
Low Ki vs. El Generico- A good, smart worked match sticking to the basics with a really good finish.
Dave Finlay vs. Sami Callihan- A strong main event match playing off the dynamic of their previous two encounters, making sure they don't mimic those matches but keep the same qualities that made those work. Not nearly as good as their EVOLVE 9 match but great nonetheless.