Should Gary Bettman go into the Hall of Fame?
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12-10-2012, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Originally Posted by
Buck Aki Berg
Don't get me wrong, I understand the 'builder' arguement, but it seems to me that a lot of the forward steps in profitability that have been made under Bettman's tenure have been made at the expense of a basic "gardianship" of the game.
I think the
situation in Florida
is a good example of this - a team with a tiny fanbase is basically serving as a loss leader for SS&E's other endeavours, and there are surely other examples of teams being granted to businessmen whose top concern is a real estate play, not a passion for the sport (full disclosure: even my team - the Senators - was conceived out of that same ideology)
i think to various degrees, every exists as a real estate/urban planning gambit. i mean, you have to get the richers to pay for the team and the city to finance the arena somehow. i think the distinction is whether that team has some other meaningful reason to exist. judging by their fanbase, the senators obviously do. the panthers, not so much.
i was at a panthers game a few years ago when i was on vacation in miami. i bought cheap tickets from the team's website, something like $40 for four seats. really high up, but still. i was living in toronto at the time; that wouldn't have bought me a beer at the ACC. point is though, while i was waiting at the will call for my tickets, and the line was ridiculously long, i noticed that every single other person in that 20 minute line for tickets was comped. i know this because the ticket office was completely incompetent and each of the people at the five ticket windows had to confer with the others and root through file folders to figure out what promotion or what corporation the tickets were being held under. from talking to the people in my section, the only people who paid were the snowbirds from new york (they were playing the rangers), who were also on vacation.
the real question i guess is whether bettman will ultimately leave the game better than he found it. well, being that the game was already on the way up when he was hired and then he almost immediately curtailed its momentum by locking out the players in '95, has presided over two lockouts since, and given teams to multiple crooks, i have a hard time admiring what he "built." sure, the leafs are worth more now than ever before. but was that an inevitable result of extrinsic economic forces and inflation? did putting teams in miami, nashville, and phoenix really raise the value of the leafs or rangers or any other team?
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