Roger Noll, an economics professor at Stanford University who studies sports business issues, questions if some small-market and Sun Belt franchises will survive longterm. Within 10 years, he envisions a North American super league stripped of perhaps a dozen current franchises, which would fold or become minor-league clubs.
"The notion that the NHL can solve its problems with a salary cap is ludicrous," Noll said. "It will increase profits for the best teams, but it doesn't make the small-market teams viable. The disparity of revenues across the league is greater than in any other sport and there's no salary solution to that problem. Some teams have 25 times (the local TV revenue) of other teams. The only solution is to get rid of the small-market teams or subsidize them.
"Even if salaries were zero dollars per year, I question if some small-market teams would have enough revenue to cover costs. Blowing up the league is the likely outcome because the big-market teams don't see revenue sharing as being in their best interest," Noll said.
Noll said the NHL's business model doesn't work because it was designed in the mid-1990s around increasing national TV rights and licencing fees. Instead, the league's latest network TV deal with NBC guarantees no money.
"They're basically giving away their games," Noll said. "The NHL hasn't built a sufficient market outside of the northeast quadrant of the United States and southeast Canada. They're stuck with expansion franchises that aren't viable and there is no solution to it. It's just crazy. You can't operate a league the way they're currently operating."
Discuss. Or well, I guess there's nothing there that hasn't been said before....
Noll said. "The NHL hasn't built a sufficient market outside of the northeast quadrant of the United States and southeast Canada. They're stuck with expansion franchises that aren't viable and there is no solution to it. It's just crazy.
For some reason I don't think he is a true hockey fan and is using facts to back up his judgement. In addition, I don't think he is aware of the current hockey situation either.
Colorado, St. Louis, Los Angles, Dallas, Minnesota, Columbus are some jackpot locations and other than L.A. and St. Louis, the aforementioned teams have sold out every home game for the past couple of years. I'm sure Atlanta, Tampa, Miami and Washington's fan interest with ebb and flow with better overall talent.