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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.

Forbes: NHL damaging revenue by disappearing from sports scene

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Old
11-26-2012, 02:22 AM
  #26
Crumblin Erb Brooks
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Makes a fine point, but nothing new expect

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I wrote a book on negotiation, “Winning With Integrity”, which emphasized a constructive process based on mutual interest, which would insure a “win-win” outcome.
As I said in the other thread, seriously, how big of an ******* do you have to be to pimp your book, on negotiations no less, and say win-win in the same sentence? This guy sucks regardless of his opinion.

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Old
11-26-2012, 03:14 AM
  #27
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Ok, why do people assume owners are losing money?

You do know that the sports franchise market is way more dynamic. Franchises are used for land development ploys, clever accounting ploy's, prestige, and as long term investment's where the franchise value grows, which it has. Things are not as simple as people think.

Second of all without major revenue sharing looking at the positions of individual teams is pointless, all that matters is the position of the league as a whole, that means adding all team revenues up and subtracting all team expenses to start. Without close to full revenue sharing there should be teams losing money if there are teams making money, simple logic.

The position of individual teams is not and should not be the players concern, that is the NHL's problem to solve. The contract is with the NHL, not with any individual team. That is like saying hey our company made 20 million but two of our departments lost a combined 15 million, so all the employees will need to take a pay cut. Sorry but thats some flawed logic.

IF the league as a whole is profitable then the owners should not get a ounce of sympathy. Either the league must increase revenue sharing, move franchises, contract, etc. what ever it takes. Player salaries have nothing to do with this, all they should take in to account is the profitability of the league as a whole.

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11-26-2012, 09:59 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by aqib View Post
The one thing the NHL has going for it is that its the only major league game in town in 8 of its markets and a 9th is Toronto
NHL has more Canadian teams than the others. Of those 8, isn't it six in Canada plus Raleigh and Columbus? One of the two Americans there is a struggling team despite it being only big four team in its city.

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Old
11-26-2012, 10:22 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Frkinator View Post
Ok, why do people assume owners are losing money?

You do know that the sports franchise market is way more dynamic. Franchises are used for land development ploys, clever accounting ploy's, prestige, and as long term investment's where the franchise value grows, which it has. Things are not as simple as people think.

Second of all without major revenue sharing looking at the positions of individual teams is pointless, all that matters is the position of the league as a whole, that means adding all team revenues up and subtracting all team expenses to start. Without close to full revenue sharing there should be teams losing money if there are teams making money, simple logic.

The position of individual teams is not and should not be the players concern, that is the NHL's problem to solve. The contract is with the NHL, not with any individual team. That is like saying hey our company made 20 million but two of our departments lost a combined 15 million, so all the employees will need to take a pay cut. Sorry but thats some flawed logic.

IF the league as a whole is profitable then the owners should not get a ounce of sympathy. Either the league must increase revenue sharing, move franchises, contract, etc. what ever it takes. Player salaries have nothing to do with this, all they should take in to account is the profitability of the league as a whole.
Nothing in the paragraph after losing money has the owners gaining money so you already contradict your initial premise. While true that it is more than just $$$s, it would be folly to say they aren't losing money only to come back with why it's not about money unless they really are losing money.

Actually, individual teams' health are the players concern because the players won't get paid if 5 teams make the money and the rest do not and cannot pony up the contracts that the players feel that they are entitled to make. Revenue sharing on it's own will not do anything because this league does not make enough from TV revenues. It's a gate driven league and that is the conundrum.

Costs and expenses are the driving point of this and yes, that includes the players costs and the overhead associated with them. That is why many teams are better off currently with the lockout then without. The NHL's numbers are definitely cooked but being in a locked out situation this long should demonstrate the perceived necessity of it from some owners. If this were not true, they would have ended the lockout and chose to play and pay those expenses and make their revenues from the fans. This is not the case and the future profits from 50/50 aren't a whole lot each season to compensate for it.

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Old
11-26-2012, 10:27 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by RedWings19405 View Post
I am pretty pro owner at least in this current dispute. But if they dip anything below 47% for the players now or in the future I am not supporting that. I didn't like the initial owner proposal but never believed it would come in near that. However, for future negotiations they better not coming asking for anything lower than that 47%. Why that number, I don't know seems close to the numbers I have seen thrown out for other sports and it gives the owners their share for investing the money. Any lower than that and I agree with the players sitting on principle.
So guys who got themselves into this mess because they could not control their own spending and in many cases caused their current plights are somehow going to come to some magical moment of enlightenment and NOT ask the players to make concessions the next time when they did it EVERY TIME in the past? they have had multiple chances to look at other ways to strengthen the league and it is clear that their proposals are all just quantitative differences of " get it from the players"

This whole debacle is based largely on the improbable notion of cost certainty, and it is my opinion that even at 50/50 there are still markets that will be balancing on a razor's edge. if at the end of the end of the next CBA the same teams are still crying poor, they are going to do exactly what they have done

1) demand more concessions from the PA ( and deny that there are pervasive and systemic problems with some markets that CANNOT support the team or admit that the teams has been horribly mismanaged)

2) if the players balk ( as they should) then lock them out and keep crying poor.


I think everyone wants hockey back, I hate the lockout as much or more than anyone else but if they are going to lose a whole season ( or more) then dont rely on quick "fixes" that wont do anything to shore up the current weak sisters and it simply gives these owners the incentive to lock out the players at the end of each and every CBA.

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11-26-2012, 10:46 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
So guys who got themselves into this mess because they could not control their own spending and in many cases caused their current plights are somehow going to come to some magical moment of enlightenment and NOT ask the players to make concessions the next time when they did it EVERY TIME in the past? they have had multiple chances to look at other ways to strengthen the league and it is clear that their proposals are all just quantitative differences of " get it from the players"

----

I think everyone wants hockey back, I hate the lockout as much or more than anyone else but if they are going to lose a whole season ( or more) then dont rely on quick "fixes" that wont do anything to shore up the current weak sisters and it simply gives these owners the incentive to lock out the players at the end of each and every CBA.
There is a tipping point though, the owners can lockout players now and ask for concessions because the system still needs to be balanced. At some point, in the next negotiation or the one after, the owners will lose their leverage to lockout and demand concessions. That point is when the larger portion of fans finally feel that the owners are being unreasonable and they get fed up and stay away. After the previous lockout the fans came back, obviously they sided with the owners, this time I don't think the owners have as much fan support but they still have enough to justify this lockout. The big tell will be when hockey does return, if attendance is significantly damaged, then I think it severely reduces the owners leverage when the new CBA expires.

As for the main topic of this thread, the league isn't damaging itself as much right now as some people think. Historically it's the second half of the season that the NHL really picks up in casual fan attention and dollars. If the lockout goes beyond December, that's when the league will start to feel more pressure.

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Old
11-26-2012, 12:24 PM
  #32
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If they gave up that easily in life they never would have made it to the NHL in the first place. Weak.
True that. But when you grow up in life and mature, you should learn to pick your battles. The players have deals on the table that would insure the well being of the league AND that the contracts already signed would be paid out in full. sure it might take a year or two extra but that is such a small price to pay. Had they accepted, the league would be healhy and they would have a heck of a lot more chance to see the league revenues increase ( which benefits everyone btw...)


And to comment on the article, yes it is pro-player IMO but it is even more apportunistique to make a book about it about a theoretical way to make it a win-win....? That is a load of bull.

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Old
11-26-2012, 01:58 PM
  #33
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It's too bad Harold Ballard isn't around for all this. I think he'd fit right in.

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Old
11-26-2012, 02:16 PM
  #34
sandysan
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
There is a tipping point though, the owners can lockout players now and ask for concessions because the system still needs to be balanced. At some point, in the next negotiation or the one after, the owners will lose their leverage to lockout and demand concessions. That point is when the larger portion of fans finally feel that the owners are being unreasonable and they get fed up and stay away. After the previous lockout the fans came back, obviously they sided with the owners, this time I don't think the owners have as much fan support but they still have enough to justify this lockout. The big tell will be when hockey does return, if attendance is significantly damaged, then I think it severely reduces the owners leverage when the new CBA expires.
So please tell me what concessions the league has made ( or even offered) which makes one think that the tipping point is not here already ? How is an opening volley of 43% HRR to the players and the ability to retroactively devalue signed existing contracts "reasonable" ? Where is the balance ? I've asked before and I'll ask again, how many times does the PA have to capitulate to the demands of management before one takes a stand on principle ?

The NHL got what they wanted at the last CBA ( linkage to revenue) and a cap, something the PA voicerfeously opposed. Wait are you saying that we should shed a tear because the owners got what they asked for at the negotiating table but it did not work out as they hoped ? Well boo hoo hoo. The owners will likely get what they asked for this time ( somewhere around an even split of HRR) but a lot of the teams are going to to in exactly the same position in 7 years and will cry poor, denounce the players for having the temerity to sign the contracts that the teams offered, and ask the players to cover their markers, and if they dont capitulate, well we will lock them out again ( and again, and again).

I suspect that if attendance does drop, it will be highly skewed towards the teams that are already overlooking the cliff. Toronto montreal and the other have teams know that even if the populace is pissed, they are still going to be able to fill their barns. Teams in non traditional markets are going to suffer disporportionally because it doesn't take much more than a few shiny baubles to distract a significant part of their fan bases.

Losing a season is bad enough, losing a season knowing that nothing is going to change and the exact same thing is going to happen at the expiry of the next CBA is a pill I cant swallow.

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11-26-2012, 02:38 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
So please tell me what concessions the league has made ( or even offered) which makes one think that the tipping point is not here already ?
The basis of lockout out the players is to reduce costs. Offering anything substantial in return is counterproductive to that cause. The need for "Give-and-Take" negotiation is a fallacy that most pro-PA posters on this board continue to put forward. The reality is that with nearly all of the leverage in this negotiation, the league doesn't have to offer anything more than a few small perks here and there if they are feeling generous.


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How is an opening volley of 43% HRR to the players and the ability to retroactively devalue signed existing contracts "reasonable" ? Where is the balance ?
The league is currently receiving 43% of HRR and seeks a 50/50 split. An opening offer of 43% to the players laid out exactly where the league stands and where they hope that negotiations will lead. So it's a completely legit and reasonable first offer. Anyone on the players side who took it serious is delusional and blinded by a misguided hatred/blame of Bettman for all of the league's ills.

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I've asked before and I'll ask again, how many times does the PA have to capitulate to the demands of management before one takes a stand on principle ?
I think I hit this one by highlighting the "Tipping Point" where the league can only go back to the well so many times to ask for more before they lose their leverage and thus fan support. The players at this point are better served to take the best offer they can get, get back on the ice and minimize the damage to their bank accounts. They COULD take a stand on principle, which it appears they are doing right now, but ultimately it's a foolish stance that is costing them much more than it's worth.

Quote:
The NHL got what they wanted at the last CBA ( linkage to revenue) and a cap, something the PA voicerfeously opposed. Wait are you saying that we should shed a tear because the owners got what they asked for at the negotiating table but it did not work out as they hoped ?
This goes back to "what concessions is the league offering?". The league may have "won" the last CBA, but it was certainly far from the perfect deal for them. They did make serious concessions to the players last time in order to win the Cap, linkage and rollback. Now 7 years later, they have that structure in place that they fought for last time and it's time for them to fight on other details to make the structure work better for the entire league. And no it won't be perfect this time either, but each step in the right direction is a win for the league and thus the fans. The more stability the league has and the more favorable the ultimate deal is for the teams, the better off we are as fans which is why it's so mind boggling that the casual fan seems to be leaning towards the players and even a lot of the more ridiculous that the more hockey educated die-hards on HF boards can support the players.

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11-26-2012, 03:37 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
The basis of lockout out the players is to reduce costs. Offering anything substantial in return is counterproductive to that cause. The need for "Give-and-Take" negotiation is a fallacy that most pro-PA posters on this board continue to put forward. The reality is that with nearly all of the leverage in this negotiation, the league doesn't have to offer anything more than a few small perks here and there if they are feeling generous.
.
I'm not advocating give and take, but the owners cant expect the players to become indentured servants, no matter how long they lock the players out. Are you saying that the owners could go 50/50, 60/40 then 65/35 and that if they threw a bone or two the players way they would sign ?

The players have some leverage, they can refuse to play but they dont need to threaten a strike as long as the owners see fit to lock them out over and over.

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11-26-2012, 03:45 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
I'm not advocating give and take, but the owners cant expect the players to become indentured servants, no matter how long they lock the players out. Are you saying that the owners could go 50/50, 60/40 then 65/35 and that if they threw a bone or two the players way they would sign ?

The players have some leverage, they can refuse to play but they dont need to threaten a strike as long as the owners see fit to lock them out over and over.
I'm saying that in this particular negotiation to reach 50/50 that there isn't much left on the bone to offer the players.

And in the future if the league reached for 60/40 it would in all likelihood be the tipping point that pushed a lot of fans away, that's why the idea of the NHL continuing to take more and more and more in future CBA negotiations is misguided.

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11-26-2012, 04:11 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
I'm saying that in this particular negotiation to reach 50/50 that there isn't much left on the bone to offer the players.

And in the future if the league reached for 60/40 it would in all likelihood be the tipping point that pushed a lot of fans away, that's why the idea of the NHL continuing to take more and more and more in future CBA negotiations is misguided.
the owners don't care if the fans think their offer is "fair", at least this is true in have markets. And the notion that the misinfomed opinion of fans concerning an extremely complicated negotiation with multiple balls in the air is sufficient to trump the very real reality is lunacy.

The NHL isn't locking players out because of the inherent fairness of the 50/50 split, they are doing so because several teams cant make it the way it was. so they are looking for a bigger of the pie. when the weak sisters remain weak sisters at the end of the next cba the same thing will happen, irrespective if the fans "think it is fair" because a lot of the fans will overlook the fact that the teams are poorly run and again get in line to lick some boots and decry the greedy players.

If the idea that the nhl wil try and take more and more from the players is " misguided" why is it the exact policy the owners have used ?

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Old
11-27-2012, 09:00 AM
  #39
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Is the NHL in danger of becoming even less relevant in the US?

2 lockouts in 7 years coupled with moving a team from a potentially thriving market while supporting another on life support has created a conception here in this country that these guys no longer know what they're doing. Let's not forget crapping on the best TV deal they'll ever see. What's up with that?

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11-27-2012, 09:16 AM
  #40
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2 lockouts in 7 years coupled with moving a team from a potentially thriving market while supporting another on life support has created a conception here in this country that these guys no longer know what they're doing. Let's not forget crapping on the best TV deal they'll ever see. What's up with that?
Was Atlanta thriving in your opinion?

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11-27-2012, 09:17 AM
  #41
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To answer your question, yes, it is losing relevance. But that has nothing to do with Atlanta, no offense.

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11-27-2012, 09:56 AM
  #42
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This isn't about Atlanta so much as it is about letting a rogue group ruin your brand in a major market. Atlanta could have been the most successful southern market if it had an owner that wanted a hockey team. But let me repeat. This isn't about Atlanta. It's about how the whole thing looks to the outside world.

It saddens me to think that one day the nhl might be the Canadian teams, the original six, and possibly the Philly and Pittsburgh.

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11-27-2012, 10:11 AM
  #43
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I think how the NFL referee lockout was covered as compared to the NHL lockout spoke volumes about the relevance of the NHL in the United States - the whole sport is far less important to the average American than any minute aspect of the NFL.

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11-27-2012, 10:17 AM
  #44
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I think we are going to find out that hockey is bascially dead in the States once it comes back, not talking about the major markets but the southern markets, yeah, they are going to have record lows in attendance IMO.

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11-27-2012, 10:27 AM
  #45
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I think how the NFL referee lockout was covered as compared to the NHL lockout spoke volumes about the relevance of the NHL in the United States - the whole sport is far less important to the average American than any minute aspect of the NFL.
Yep, and contrary to what many Canadians want to believe the NHL relies heavily on US money. Without our support the credibility of the league wanes. As well as the viability. And Contraction only makes the league weaker and more niche than it already is. It may do some good on paper, but it damages the game and image far more than any financial benefit.

Its a reality the NHL needs to face. They need to re-Americanize the game if they plan on growing the league. And Canadians have to give up their cynical grip on hockey being "Canada's game". Realize the old guard, don cherry era throwbacks, need booted out in favor of the faster, swifter, more technically appreciative new guard.
You're not going to draw new US fans with fighting and bruising like you did in the 80's or 90's, we've got too many outlets for that now. You're going to draw new US fans with the speed and technical skills displayed in today's game, and thats where the focus needs to be in US markets.

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11-27-2012, 10:31 AM
  #46
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I think we are going to find out that hockey is bascially dead in the States once it comes back, not talking about the major markets but the southern markets, yeah, they are going to have record lows in attendance IMO.
But But But..... those markets can be viable if the players simply keep taking haircuts and capitulating to the desires of owners seemingly wanting to run their teams into the ground. Really we can make it to the cap floor and cover our expenses by repeated buy one get three free ticket promotions or by stuffing free tickets into 6 packs or happy meals.

Yes hockey in the US ( non traditional markets or low population density) has and will continue to suffer. Will things get worse ? Probably as people have mentioned the non traditional market's fan base is drying up the longer the lockout lasts. That is not to say that in traditional markets there is not fan resentment, but the game is so engrained up there that it will not likely affect the teams bottom line. Like you I suspect that if there will be a reduction in attendance, this reduction will be highly exacerbated in non traditional markets which will further increase the disparity between the teams at the top and the bottom so that whenever the next CBA expires, the weak sisters will again cry poor and demand more concessions. Its a vicious cycle that will likely mean the end of one (or several) non traditional market teams, which sucks.

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11-27-2012, 10:42 AM
  #47
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Its a reality the NHL needs to face. They need to re-Americanize the game if they plan on growing the league. And Canadians have to give up their cynical grip on hockey being "Canada's game". Realize the old guard, don cherry era throwbacks, need booted out in favor of the faster, swifter, more technically appreciative new guard. .
This is precisely what got the league into this mess and you are advocating doubling down on this lunacy ?

Yes the game should grow, it would be great if the league could grow in the US but not all growth opportunities are equivalent and many of them are seemingly doomed to failure. The NHL took the position that they could go into untapped non traditional markets, which is a fine decision. but the league also has to realize that getting into these markets cannot be accomplished by fiat. Some of these new markets were risky, at the time they thought they could make a go of it but they also had to realize that perhaps some of these new ventures would fail.

I don't know any Canadian who wants the league to fail in the US, what they are is resentful of the preferential treatment many ( not all) these teams receive and the extent to which the same ones are STILL a drain on league resources. We dont " own" the game and want the game to be more popular, but what the "americans" fail to appreciate is that the NHL is never going to be the freaking NBA and for the most part Canadians are okay with that.

People keep saying that the NHL is a niche sport in the US like that is a bad thing. Expecting a huge swath of the country to care in mass about a sport they have no experience with and cannot participate in is completely unreasonable.

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11-27-2012, 12:04 PM
  #48
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So the original article says:

1) The NHL should try be on TV -- and not not on TV. Genius!
2) The NHL should negotiate using "win-win" tactics. Damn! I was really hoping the lose-lose tactics would work in some clever double negative, reverse psychology way.
3) Readers should buy his book.

Well, that's some Dilbertian genius advice to any sports league. Get on TV and be win-win! Why didn't we think of this before?

Unfortunately he didn't address whether we should also be proactive, use best practices, or try to achieve synergy. That's probably in the book, though.

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11-27-2012, 05:42 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by coldsteelonice84 View Post
I think we are going to find out that hockey is bascially dead in the States once it comes back, not talking about the major markets but the southern markets, yeah, they are going to have record lows in attendance IMO.
You might be surprised. Some of the things that work against these franchises as they try to build up a solid fanbase over the years, are the same things that can help them rebound from a lost season. Namely, a ton of fringe/casual fans who really don't notice when the sport is gone. As soon as the team is winning, or a buddy calls up and says "Hey man i've got some extra tickets", those fans will be back.

In markets with a more diehard fanbase that is more tuned in to the lockout, that's where you will probably get more fan backlash and folks staying away on principle when the league returns.

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11-27-2012, 06:00 PM
  #50
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In markets with a more diehard fanbase that is more tuned in to the lockout, that's where you will probably get more fan backlash and folks staying away on principle when the league returns.
Ummmmm, no. Even if you pissed of the exact same number of people in both markets, there are still way more people wanting to go to a leafs game than a preds or lightning game. The effect of the lockout will be borne on the shoulders of the teams least equipped to handle it because

1) in many us markets the fact that there is a lockout is a revelation to some

2) these fans have so many different ways to spend their entertainment dollars, the longer the lockout the further these teams fall down the list.

3) the notion that fans will stay away in order to make a point to ownership has no factual basis in canadian markets. The leafs have not made the playoffs forever and have made several questionable calls and they are still the hottest ticket in the league.
it might be true in non traditional markets, or it might be that these markets cant fill their arenas even under ideal conditions.

I can see how some would like to spin this as being good for the small market teams, but this is going to be the death knell for one or more of them if we lose the entire season or more.

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