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06-21-2004, 06:53 PM
  #32
Edge
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Edge, it is a fact the Flyers owners said they are losing money. Detroit always claim they have to make the finals to break even and enough newspaper reports here claim the garden is losing money on it's sports teams and are making programming cuts and laying off employees. Msg even cut out most Liberty basketball telecasts.
But see this is where BEING in the industry helps to understand the problem. The reason a lot of these teams are losing money {and it's similar to the airline industry} is the amount of money that is seriously pissed away over the years.

CEO's and other people who aren't even in the sport are taking HUGE slices of the pie. Snyder, like Dolan is a guy who has very nice tastes but he's taking too much of the pie for himself. There are also a lot of unecessary positions created to get someone's son in law a job. Trust me on that, i've been around it for the better part of 8 years at this point. There is a ton of money being wasted there. And Snyder for all his complaining went out and just let his team sign a guy like RJ Umberger to a million dollar deal if he makes the NHL.

Trust me the Flyers aren't losing money, not with their merchandise and other deals. They might be barely breaking even from the actual games but like Disneyland what they make merchandise sales puts them over the top. It's all very clever bookkeeping and accounting done as a positioning tool.

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San Jose cut it's payroll drastically made the semi-finals and claim to lose ten million dollars. The Kings accountant-fan was allowed to investigage their book by the club because he did not believe the numbers and after an audit agreed a team in the new Staples Center was losing 20-30 million a year. Chicago/Boston are limited in what they can spend because they have priced out their fans like most markets.
Actually it's quiet the opposite {i know this because i nearly took a position with San Jose no more than 5 weeks ago before getting a great offer from an agency that will liekly put me in Seattle or Minnesota}. The problem is that many corporations who own teams and arena's use it as a way to funnel money accross. The problem isn't that they are budgeting out their fans, the problem is that their building these huge PR moves with team money. Take one look at the offices and other areas of the HP Pavillion and you'll see what I'm talking about. In fact people in the know will even tell you that they are making a lot of money, it's just that the league doesn't keep track of its books very well.

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The biggest problems is owners losing money who continue to overspend with very high payrolls and drive up the market because they cannot control themselves and what every advantage they can get, which is why that option has to be taken away from them. No luxury tax, no flexible cap, a floor as well as a ceiling when it comes to salaries, prospects with no cash allowed in trades to be exchanged and a reduction in ticket prices for the fans.
As the NBA has proved that really doesn't solve anything. That also creates a problem because many of the owners in hockey don't know enough about the sport to properly run a team which means even with a cap they WILL run their teams into the ground. Any accountant in the league will also tell you that a salary cap isn't going to help the clubs because the problem lies within A. The sport itself and B. The owners who don't understand the sport. Putting a cap on the league is like putting a bandaid on an open gash.

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In a sport doing horrible vs sports already with caps the strictest standards need to be in place. Dolan loses money and continues to make those no-brainers deals like Jagr, Bure, Kovalev. Wang lost 23 million a year ago and added Ronning after dumping Wiemer and has raises to give where he must break up his team and he is hardly alone.
You cannot put hockey on the same level as the other sports. Too many differing factors which is exactly why a cap won't work.

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I will give you the Atlanta market because they simply seem indifferent to sports.

Why they cannot sellout baseball playoff games says a lot. However someone twice decided Atlanta was a good enough NHL market, let's see them in a playoff and see how that market responds. We saw Carolina fade after going to the finals so it's fair to say that market may well be a mistake.
The problem is that the league went forward with both of its legs already broken. Atlanta was a very bad idea for a market and carolina wasn't much better. But contraction makes sense but Betteman knows that his career is done if he allows that. Once again we get into the NHL's political game.

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Columbus and Nashville look like excellent expansion markets. The Jackets draw SRO for monday night preason games and it seems the only teams they beat every year are the Islanders and Rangers. Meanwhile what do those 5pm Sunday pre-season Ranger games do at Msg? About 5,000 fans while every sports fan in the market is watching football or key baseball games?
Yes but the real money in hockey actually doesn't come from the games. It comes from merchandising {this is the same argument we had before and you didn't believe me so there's little else i can do} and it comes from a teams net worth {such as assets they hold}.

Columbus might draw a ton of fans BUT no one is buying the merchandise and no one is buying it outside of columbus. I KNOW this because that is one of the areas i focus on professionally. Jackets merchandise sits on the shelves constantly because as a whole no one cares about what happens in Ohio. Sad to say, but that's the bottom line. So while the Rangers have 5,0000 people in the seats, they are actually in a market that bought 95% of the tickets. When they aren't playing, someone will still go by MSG and pick up a jersey or a media guide or a baby clothes. That {believe it or not} makes a huge difference in a teams funding.

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What's a bad idea is when these new markets are priced out of name players because other markets overspend on top of losing revenue because they cannot control themselves. Those markets need some of the few name players. Again, Columbus has been a very successful expansion story and they have never even competed for a playoff spot. Minnesota speaks for itself.
Columbus is barely breaking even and if you think the ratings were low for a Calgary- Tampa Cup, than wait to you see what happens with a columbus series. Columbus ohio is barely a blip on the top markets in north america. THAT is where hockey has made some mistakes, they went for some of these small markets that overtime start to lose money. Yes Columbus is making money now because everything is new, the money curve starts to go down over a ten year period. In fact the NHL knew that. Know what their response was "Well we want to do it anyways and we can always move them in 15 years". And that's not a joke, there was a report they viewed that literally got a written reponse to that affect.

Minnesota was one of the few smart moves the league made.

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If your going to tell me about ten years ago (I disagree) and that a three month strike was hockey best chance it's fair to say they never had chance because it did not take much. ABC/FOX spent years showing New York on their infrequent telecasts, it failed with horrible ratings as the best teams were ignored and the fans never warmed up or learned about the next generation of star players. Espn has had enough of showcasing hockey and has better programming. A few weeks on NBC will change nothing.
Whether you agree or disagree the press clippings, media coverage and attention to hockey was at it's peak at that time. Again i've seen the number so i can't argue with something you dont wanna believe. IT was a combination of several factors including the might ducks movies, the cup in NY and the fact that baseball was heading towards a strike. But they blew it.

It's all about a window of opportunity and it happens at strange times, but if you arent willing to jump on it you lose forever. Unfortunatly the league missed it's big chance.

As any islander mod this may be hard for you to believe and want to beleive but in any Q Scale Test the league has conducted over the past 20 years, the Rangers have always scored high and teams like the islanders {even in their heyday} simply did not. Any sport is about creating stories that people care about and frankly the country as a whole just doesn't care about Long Island, Tampa Bay, Columbus and some of these other NHL cities.
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Hockey had some great semi-finals this year that should have taken the sport to the next level. Philadelphia (a big hockey market) did not produce great ratings vs Tampa Bay desite an excellent series. The finals proved in canada it did not matter whether it was Tampa or New York in the finals, the ratings were the same with their fans.
The series actually scored very high in philadelphia the problem is that the flyers were never matched against a team the rest of the country cared about. You gotta have the right mix and frankly no one cared when in the end it was the flames and bolts at the end. Sad but true.

Did Canada care? Sure. Canada is a different market and mentality than the U.S. In fact it's a very interesting market as a whole but Hockey is their football. If a Canadian team is playing a U.S. the ratings are also gonna go through the roof.


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Why should any player not ask for what he is worth? The players did not create this market and these owners should have been more responcible, they kept adding big contracts and raising prices and now were at a point where it's impossible to raise either. The refs are the same old story. I cannot answer for the league's marketing what I can say is this is a baseball market year round in New York and their news is more important with the public and seven million people will attend baseball.
The problem is the players aren't worth it because they are making more than their equivalents in other sports. And if you want to trace it back, the problem started long before the big contracts. When players are willing to sit out a year or two than you're just not going to win. The profit margain on hockey is just too small in 90% of its markets.

You're 100% right, hockey will never surpass baseball. But being third or fourth string in NY is still often times bigger than being first string anywhere else. THAT is how much money there is in NYC.

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The league seems ready to not even send either New York team to the West Coast any longer.
And they are going to lose money on it big time. The Rangers {Even after they rebuild} and even during their horrible 80's years are still one of the biggest draws in the country. That says something for a team that hasn't had much success for the better part of it's existence.

Even next year {if there is a season} i'll gurantee you that the Rangers still rank amongst the top 5 road teams in terms of sales. It's just the way it is.

Again I can't make you believe it but there's a reason I know these things for facts because it's my job and the reason i get paid six figures to do my job.

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