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01-05-2013, 11:51 AM
Gump Hasek
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
And I assume, then, that you have access to ticket revenue numbers throughout history. That's on a team-by-team and a year-by-year basis, not just two or three random years from the last 20.

When we're talking about market strength for something that is not a consumer good, it has little to do with revenue and a lot to do with local interest. Know why? Because ticket prices can change quickly, because the fortunes of the team can change, and because any of a myriad of other factors can change.

Think of it like a restaurant, which is a popular night out and whose product all ends up the same in the end. Stick a high-end French restaurant in the farming village that I call home, and I can guarantee you that it will fail. There's no French heritage, there's no previous market for French cuisine, and there's not enough money to justify a night out that would hit triple digits on the bill. Put a steakhouse there, and you've got something. So how to make a French restaurant succeed? Start small. Make it cheap, but good. Get people in the door, and build an appreciation for the food.

This is how several regional and foreign cuisines came to become standard in the United States and Canada. 100 years ago, getting a pizza meant making a trip into the Italian village of the nearest major city (if there was one; if you were in Cleveland, great, if you were in Columbus or Cincinnati, tough). Now every small town across both countries has a pizzeria. 50 years ago, Mexican food couldn't be found outside the American Southwest. Now it's everywhere. 25 years ago, sushi ran headlong into every food taboo there was; now you can find it in grocery stores no matter where you go.

Now then, if there was no market for hockey in certain cities, why are the indicators good? If people don't like hockey, they're not showing up to a game even if the tickets are free. If people don't like hockey, they're not watching it on TV, or buying merchandise, or playing the game. And yet in all of these "non-traditional" cities, that's not the case. Look at that list above of TV ratings for the gold medal game. If South Florida is not "a hockey market", why were that many people watching a hockey game on a Sunday afternoon? If Texas isn't "a hockey market", why is a city that's never had anything resembling high-level hockey (Austin) watching that game? I mean, it doesn't even snow there...clearly no one should be watching hockey, right?
I didn't claim to "have access to ticket revenue numbers throughout history" so am unsure of your point; conversely, I did however point out that your use of attendance as a somehow meaningful indicator of forward viability qualifies as extraneous at best. Hope that helps. The balance of your reply here seems a bit of non sequitur as well.

For example, the television ratings in Austin for an unrelated Olympic game is largely irrelevant to an NHL attendance/revenue discussion or for that matter its forward viability as an NHL market - especially given that it isn't one. Let us instead focus instead upon actual NHL markets for this discussion.

You've posted the Olympic game ratings for Columbus already; a more meaningful number however would be if you posted the ratings of the Blue Jackets games instead. Why not post those, and rather than cherry picking and selectively choosing a playoff game, why not just post their raw annual ratings numbers for the regular season, and then post that number up against markets that draw meaningful ratings? That would provide some actual true context to any ratings and or viability discussion as it speaks to viability relative to the group - as their ratings at least imply their ability to generate meaningful local revenue. Raw attendance sans context does not.

Bill Watters claimed when a guest on Prime Time Sports a few weeks ago that Columbus was one of three NHL teams that lost $35 million last season IIRC. If true, that is a number that doesn't seem likely to be cured by a minor increase to their annual league revenue sharing welfare payment... nor by the (realistically) minor improvement to their local lease. I'm guessing their franchise goal is to increase the amount of revenue generated per each ticket sold going forward, just as my analogy initially implied. Good luck.

Last edited by Gump Hasek: 01-05-2013 at 12:06 PM.
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