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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, and NHL revenues.

Are Fans of Big Market Teams Annoyed At the Money-Losing Teams?

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Old
10-07-2012, 11:45 AM
  #1
RogerRoeper*
 
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Are Fans of Big Market Teams Annoyed At the Money-Losing Teams?

It seems like Bettman really caters to them in these negotiations. There's no way the rich teams can behappy about no hockey being played again. They open their doors and make money. There are teams losing less money by not playing.

A lot of the teams losing the most money are teams Bettman brought in via expansion in the 90's. He can't have these teams fold. It will make him look like a huge failure.

The fact is, the reason revenues are up is because the Canadian dollar has skyrocketed since the last lockout, as well as big market teams like Chicago and Boston doing so much better and raking-in much more revenue.

The revenues aren't up because Columbus, Nashville, Florida, Anaheim are making more money. Nothing has changed for these teams at all.

This "Revenues are up" argument is a mirage. It's still about helping the same teams as it was 7 years ago.

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10-07-2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerRoeper View Post
It seems like Bettman really caters to them in these negotiations. There's no way the rich teams can behappy about no hockey being played again. They open their doors and make money. There are teams losing less money by not playing.

A lot of the teams losing the most money are teams Bettman brought in via expansion in the 90's. He can't have these teams fold. It will make him look like a huge failure.

The fact is, the reason revenues are up is because the Canadian dollar has skyrocketed since the last lockout, as well as big market teams like Chicago and Boston doing so much better and raking-in much more revenue.

The revenues aren't up because Columbus, Nashville, Florida, Anaheim are making more money. Nothing has changed for these teams at all.
Rich teams are there to fund and help unprofitable teams to "grow the game".

That's how you grow the game, give it 100 years, it will get better. They've only been in those markets for under 50 years, so give it another 50 years. Next thing you'll know Hawaiians will be skating instead of surfing.

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10-07-2012, 11:53 AM
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10 years ago, the teams in trouble were Edmonton, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Ottawa.

Should the NHL have sat up and said, "The hell with them. They've had long enough, and if they're not profitable in the markets they're in, then they need to either move somewhere where they'll be profitable or else just go away"?

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10-07-2012, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
10 years ago, the teams in trouble were Edmonton, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Ottawa.

Should the NHL have sat up and said, "The hell with them. They've had long enough, and if they're not profitable in the markets they're in, then they need to either move somewhere where they'll be profitable or else just go away"?
Those were strong hockey markets though. We are now in the second straight CBA trying to help the exact same teams.

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10-07-2012, 11:58 AM
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Could someone actually define "Strong Hockey Market" in measurable terms?

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10-07-2012, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerRoeper View Post
Those were strong hockey markets though. We are now in the second straight CBA trying to help the exact same teams.
And yet the teams that have been the most profitable since the new CBA are the ones at the top; they've had a cap placed on their largest expenses (player payrolls).

Would you prefer an MLB system, where the same 10 teams are totally irrelevant and their entire fan base knows it? I can tell you what it's like for there to be a collective shoulder shrug for even a great baseball city like Cleveland, knowing that even if everything goes right, they'll be lucky to have a .500 season.

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10-07-2012, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FANonymous View Post
Could someone actually define "Strong Hockey Market" in measurable terms?
"Strong hockey market" - a place located north of the Ohio River, unless it's Columbus. Attendance and actual measureables be damned, this is the only qualification.

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10-07-2012, 12:00 PM
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Yes.

There's no excuse for having these money-losing teams when there are plenty of viable relocation options. Until Quebec, Hamilton, Saskatoon, Seattle and KC are given a shot, there's no excuse for these failing franchises in Phoenix, Florida, Nashville, Columbus, etc.

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10-07-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FANonymous View Post
Could someone actually define "Strong Hockey Market" in measurable terms?
Number of butts in seats and the price of the tickets!

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10-07-2012, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadian Airlines View Post
Yes.

There's no excuse for having these money-losing teams when there are plenty of viable relocation options. Until Quebec, Hamilton, Saskatoon, Seattle and KC are given a shot, there's no excuse for these failing franchises in Phoenix, Florida, Nashville, Columbus, etc.
Yes. As proven by our inability to match the Weber offer sheet, we clearly are a "failing franchise."

Anyways, as others have said, the idea is growing the game. Short term pain, long term gain. I wouldn't be too happy if I was a big market team, but I think they understand (grudgingly).

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10-07-2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Airlines View Post
Yes.

There's no excuse for having these money-losing teams when there are plenty of viable relocation options. Until Quebec, Hamilton, Saskatoon, Seattle and KC are given a shot, there's no excuse for these failing franchises in Phoenix, Florida, Nashville, Columbus, etc.
Florida has averaged 85% attendance or higher in every single year since they've been in the league, and has only fallen below 90% twice. Now consider that the team missed the playoffs for 12 straight years.

I'll also point out that any measure that you use ("money-losing", "poor attendance") also condemns every Canadian city in the last 20 years with the exception of Toronto and Montreal. Would the NHL look better if teams losing money and having poor attendance were all shipped south en masse, leaving only 2 Canadian cities?

EDIT- Did you SERIOUSLY say Saskatoon?

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10-07-2012, 12:04 PM
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^ Your poor attempt at putting down the Canadian franchises is entirely invalid. The Canadian dollar was worth 50 cents US fifteen years ago. That will NEVER happen again. Today, the Canadian franchises are the only reason the NHL is a viable business. You could put a team in Yellowknife and it would sell out every night, plus turn a profit. Can't even say that for most major cities in the US.

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Originally Posted by Top 6 Spaling View Post
Yes. As proven by our inability to match the Weber offer sheet, we clearly are a "failing franchise."

Anyways, as others have said, the idea is growing the game. Short term pain, long term gain. I wouldn't be too happy if I was a big market team, but I think they understand (grudgingly).
Remind me again of all this profit the Preds are making

They signed Weber to the offer sheet because they had no other choice. The team wouldn't even be semi-competitive without him, and even fewer people would go to games.

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10-07-2012, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadian Airlines View Post
Remind me again of all this profit the Preds are making

They signed Weber to the offer sheet because they had no other choice. The team wouldn't even be semi-competitive without him, and even fewer people would go to games.
Nashville, with 94% and 98% attendance the last two years?

You're right though; no one goes.

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10-07-2012, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadian Airlines View Post
^ Your poor attempt at putting down the Canadian franchises is entirely invalid. The Canadian dollar was worth 50 cents US fifteen years ago. That will NEVER happen again. Today, the Canadian franchises are the only reason the NHL is a viable business.
I fail to see what that has to do with attendance. Calgary went 8 years without hitting 90% in attendance. Edmonton was under 80% for three years, and was saved by the NHL setting aside its own ownership rules to prevent a move to Houston.

In addition, the Canadian Assistance Plan subsidized the difference between the two currencies, and kept those two teams (plus Ottawa and Vancouver) at least kicking for a few more years.

If you'd like, I can go after Chicago and Pittsburgh next...might as well be an equal-opportunity assailant.

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10-07-2012, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Airlines View Post
^ Your poor attempt at putting down the Canadian franchises is entirely invalid. The Canadian dollar was worth 50 cents US fifteen years ago. That will NEVER happen again. Today, the Canadian franchises are the only reason the NHL is a viable business. You could put a team in Yellowknife and it would sell out every night, plus turn a profit. Can't even say that for most major cities in the US.


Remind me again of all this profit the Preds are making

They signed Weber to the offer sheet because they had no other choice. The team wouldn't even be semi-competitive without him, and even fewer people would go to games.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Nashville, with 94% and 98% attendance the last two years?

You're right though; no one goes.
You're lucky this guy pulled up the stats first. I would not have been as polite as he was. Please research a little before saying a team is a "failing franchise". We had our rough days, but not anymore.

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10-07-2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Nashville, with 94% and 98% attendance the last two years?

You're right though; no one goes.
Stop with all the numbers and facts, we just know that they're bad markets

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10-07-2012, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Top 6 Spaling View Post
You're lucky this guy pulled up the stats first. I would not have been as polite as he was. Please research a little before saying a team is a "failing franchise". We had our rough days, but not anymore.
Most of which was directly related to the almost-laughable ineptitude of Craig Leipold.

(First time I've ever been called "polite", even in a reserved or backhanded manner, on these boards as well)

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10-07-2012, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Top 6 Spaling View Post
You're lucky this guy pulled up the stats first. I would not have been as polite as he was. Please research a little before saying a team is a "failing franchise". We had our rough days, but not anymore.
Again, where's all this profit? Attendance numbers mean zilch without a profit to show for it.

Every Canadian team (With the exception of Ottawa) has sold out every single game since the last lockout. Can you say that for any American team? Maybe the Rangers, but that's a big NO for every other team. You can't use pre-lockout numbers to justify anything today. All pre-2005 numbers are irrelevent at this point in time. League economics have drastically changed since then. The fact is, a team in Sunrise, a team in Phoenix, a team in Nashville and a team in Columbus are draining millions of dollars every year. They aren't turning a profit. Quebec, Saskatoon and Hamilton would turn easy profits, complete with a minimum of 41 sellouts every year and millions upon millions of dollars in merchandise sales. This would happen instantly, and increase HHR by an incredible amount of money. Everybody wins.

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10-07-2012, 12:18 PM
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Thank god for for Mayor Bee, so annoying reading these same ignorant opinions being thrown every other day on this forum. I wish people would get educated before spewing hateful rhetoric.

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10-07-2012, 12:20 PM
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Just for fun, here's a list of teams that have sold out every home game in a season at least once in the last 25 years.

Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg.

Teams that have had at least one season of less than 75% attendance in the last 25 years.

Anaheim, Buffalo, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota* New Jersey, NY Islanders, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Winnipeg*.
*city had less than 75% with their previous team

Now, wait a minute...11 teams in the last 25 years have both sold out an entire season AND been less than 75% at least once. Are they bad markets or not?

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10-07-2012, 12:22 PM
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Not annoyed at the markets at all. More annoyed with the general bandwagonism the average fan displays. There are only a small handful of teams that have legitimate cases to stop supporting the team and the most successful (financially) team in the league is one of them

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10-07-2012, 12:23 PM
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Attendance #'s mean nothing it is all about revenue, without even checking I would guess that all the money losing teams that have decent attendance have very cheap tickets!

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10-07-2012, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Airlines View Post
Again, where's all this profit? Attendance numbers mean zilch without a profit to show for it.

Every Canadian team (With the exception of Ottawa) has sold out every single game since the last lockout. Can you say that for any American team? Maybe the Rangers, but that's a big NO for every other team. You can't use pre-lockout numbers to justify anything today. All pre-2005 numbers are irrelevent at this point in time. League economics have drastically changed since then. The fact is, a team in Sunrise, a team in Phoenix, a team in Nashville and a team in Columbus are draining millions of dollars every year. They aren't turning a profit. Quebec, Saskatoon and Hamilton would turn easy profits, complete with a minimum of 41 sellouts every year and millions upon millions of dollars in merchandise sales. This would happen instantly, and increase HHR by an incredible amount of money. Everybody wins.
When you found a business, do you expect to make a profit at first? No. You have large overhead costs, and it takes time for the word to get out, but once it catches on, that's when the profit comes. I agree that Nashville isn't, and likely never will be, as profitable as Toronto, Monteal, Boston, etc., but the point is that there is a ton of untapped potential in southern markets. The league is willing to lose a little money for a while in order to grow the game into a bigger sport across all of north america rather than just in Canada.

The game is growing, and there are going to be growing pains, but it'll be worth it.

As a side note, please show me where there "millions of dollars" are being drained in Nashville. We are very close to breaking even, year in, year out, and sponsorships, attendance, and ticket prices are all on the rise.

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10-07-2012, 12:24 PM
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I wouldn't lump Nashville and San Jose in with the other failing franchises as there's considerable interest in those markets for their respective teams and they draw consistently at the gates.

However, the other sunbelt teams that seem to need a 20 yr learning curve about the sport and whether they like it or not are the ones that need to go as far as I'm concerned.

They're only going to be the perpetual flavour-of-the-month in their markets when they do good, but as soon as they hit a rough patch, most of the "fans" won't hesitate to abandon ship and stop supporting their teams altogether until they start winning again.

Why are we even helping these markets that are largely indifferent about Hockey in general?

If Toronto had an NFL team, and experienced a so-so year in revenue (even though the NFL would succeed here--but I digress) owners like Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, Dan Snyder etc wouldn't hesitate to veto our ***** out of the league and force us to put the "For Sale" sign up before we would be able to hit the ground running.

The NFL first and foremost is about making money...it is a business......how is the NHL any different?? Please don't give me the hard cap argument...you had a grace period, and now it's gone.


Last edited by Darkhorse1280: 10-07-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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10-07-2012, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Airlines View Post
Again, where's all this profit? Attendance numbers mean zilch without a profit to show for it.

Every Canadian team (With the exception of Ottawa) has sold out every single game since the last lockout. Can you say that for any American team? Maybe the Rangers, but that's a big NO for every other team. You can't use pre-lockout numbers to justify anything today. All pre-2005 numbers are irrelevent at this point in time. League economics have drastically changed since then. The fact is, a team in Sunrise, a team in Phoenix, a team in Nashville and a team in Columbus are draining millions of dollars every year. They aren't turning a profit. Quebec, Saskatoon and Hamilton would turn easy profits, complete with a minimum of 41 sellouts every year and millions upon millions of dollars in merchandise sales. This would happen instantly, and increase HHR by an incredible amount of money. Everybody wins.
Philadelphia in the United States, plus Minnesota, plus San Jose, plus Pittsburgh, plus Detroit, plus Chicago since 2008, plus Buffalo (averaging 99% since 2005). And that's off the top of my head. Dallas averaged 95% of higher from 1997-2009. Los Angeles has been around 95% since the lockout.

Saskatoon was rejected unanimously in 1983 as being too small for the NHL. Green Bay can get away with being small because their NFL team has existed since the beginning, and because a major city in Milwaukee is less than an hour away.

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