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Contraction a necessary evil for survival of NHL says economist

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Old
11-30-2012, 01:57 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by Habtchum View Post
Yeah. Let's have a more diluted sport. No wonder they call that equity. It's hard to find 2 or 3 top talented players in each team anymore. Some teams don't have any.
God forbid hockey be a team game where you don't need a star player

I agree the talent pool would be diluted by expansion, but I have no problem with a team not having a star.

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11-30-2012, 01:58 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by KINGS17 View Post
Please define "false parity", because I think the parity is real. The GMs are forced to compete on a level playing field, even more so after this CBA when a lot of the cap circumvention loopholes will be closed.
It's not. There are still crappy teams, just a lot more now because you have to watch the cap and you can never fill all the holes. More then half the NHL made the playoffs before the Cap, people forget this.

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11-30-2012, 01:59 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Habtchum View Post
Yeah. Let's have a more diluted sport. No wonder they call that equity. It's hard to find 2 or 3 top talented players in each team anymore. Some teams don't have any.
I hope you realize there's more talent in the league today than there was at any point in the history of the NHL. There's plenty of talent to add new teams and not be stretched too thin, not even close to a scenario where there's so little talent they need to remove teams.

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11-30-2012, 02:03 PM
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They don't give the economist a chance to defend his opinion. He just states that:

--The NHL, as a sport, is too small to be supported in the South.
--Therefore, they need to contract them.

Those are his opinions, and the article does not give him a chance to defend them. Which is a shame, because the implication of the article is that a sports economist will offer a never before seen analysis of why we need to contract these teams.

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11-30-2012, 02:16 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Faidh ar Rud Eigin View Post
I hope you realize there's more talent in the league today than there was at any point in the history of the NHL. There's plenty of talent to add new teams and not be stretched too thin, not even close to a scenario where there's so little talent they need to remove teams.
There is, but it's not spread out at all.

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11-30-2012, 02:21 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Melrose Munch View Post
There is, but it's not spread out at all.
I can only name one team that severely lacks high end talent, and that's Columbus. Two more teams isn't going to aggrevate this. We don't need 2 less teams to alievate this.

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11-30-2012, 02:28 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Faidh ar Rud Eigin View Post
I can only name one team that severely lacks high end talent, and that's Columbus. Two more teams isn't going to aggrevate this. We don't need 2 less teams to alievate this.
Agreed. And Columbus had Nash until this year, plus they had Carter at one point last season. JJ, Wiz, and Murray all have skill.

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11-30-2012, 02:39 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by coldsteelonice84 View Post
It's a fact better left ignored if you are in favor of keeping the team in Phoenix.

They finished dead last in attendance.
Maybe if you are talking about re-location. The little discussion we were having was about how the salary cap has helped on-ice parity.

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11-30-2012, 02:53 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Faidh ar Rud Eigin View Post
I hope you realize there's more talent in the league today than there was at any point in the history of the NHL. There's plenty of talent to add new teams and not be stretched too thin, not even close to a scenario where there's so little talent they need to remove teams.

When the NHL expanded by adding the WHA teams, they had to start looking for talent in the NCAA and to some extent, in Europe which was something unheard of in the 1960's and 1970's. With the massive expansion in the 1990's, more European and former Soviet states talent entered than ever imaginable in prior eras. I believe at it's peak, the NHL had close to 35-40% non-North American content. That figure has actually started to dip. The Czech Republic had a precipitous decline, probably due to less youth playing hockey.

So if all the hockey producing countries have been fully tapped, the only way you will get more talent is to increase the development. The US has made some in-roads in recent years with more and more US-born players entering. Canada can always try to increase its programs so that more kids are pushed through, but... hockey is very expensive to play.

I don't subscribe to your view that talent is easily available and that there's plenty of NHL-level talent remaining in the world. Something will have to change to make that true, as all the low lying fruit has been picked.

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Old
11-30-2012, 03:49 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Top 6 Spaling View Post
Ok, your favorite team is the first one cut.

I'm not saying contraction is an all bad idea, but it isn't that simple. I think relocation is a much better strategy, but even then, you're taking hockey away from the passionate fans in an area. There may be a smaller number of die-hards in, say Phoenix than in Montreal, but the ones who are committed deserve a team just as much. They different in quantity, not passion.
May ? Really ? Is this the same way that if I jump from a boat in the middle of the ocean, I May get wet ?

No one denies that there are great passionate knowledgable fans in small markets. The problem is that there simply are NOT ENOUGH OF THEM. Instead of interpreting every mention of contraction as a personal affront, you would do far better to help promote the game in your small markets and stabilize your team.

I live in the middle of nowhere but I really like the blue man group. should they play in podunk auditorium if I'm the only one there ? but what if I really really like them ?

The fact is that the extent of individual fan passion means nothing to the owners, they would chose an area full of bandwagoners over a half empty arena full of hockey scholars.

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11-30-2012, 03:53 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Melrose Munch View Post
I know your half joking but this is what I am talking about. You hit the nail on the head. This is part of the reason why I support the players. The NHL is so two face. They talk about growing the game, yet look who is on NBC. The NHL is doing the same thing baseball does but because of the salary cap people like to pretend there is parity while turning a blind eye to the fact even the NHL know showing markets(outside LA) in the west is not a money maker. This is league is just like the MLB, except the salary cap gives people hope of false parity.
A few facts...
  • NBC pays based on what they think they can draw in ratings. If they were forced to carry games like Winnipeg versus Phoenix, there is no way they would've offered $200 million a year.
  • The profitable markets have their own regional cable deals. The team gets 100% of revenues. In the case of nationally broadcast games, they get 1/30th of the revenues. I.e. they take a financial hit for each game broadcast on NBC.
Summary... the NBC contract is pure revenue-sharing. Ditto for CBC in Canada.

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11-30-2012, 03:54 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by TOML View Post
Forbes has recently released the historical earnings of all the NHL franchises.

Since the last lockout:

-TO has seen profits balloon from $14.1m to $81m
-Habs $55m to $66m
-Canucks $1.3m to $30.4m
-Edm $3.3 to $16.2m
-Ottawa $5.5m loss to $14.5m gain
-Cgy $2.3m to $11m


Meanwhile,

-Phoenix has increased losses from -$7.4m in 2004 to over $20m lost last season.
-Nashville went from a $6mil profit to a $3.4m loss
-Columbus went from a .9m profit in 2004 to a $13.5m loss last season
-Florida went from -$3m to -$12m losses
-Tampa went from a $8m profit to a $13m loss

Canada has been subsidizing Gary's expansion into the states?

And sure, while the economy went south in 2008, the losses have grown not grown as substantially for teams in established markets in the States. In fact their profits have grown:

-NYR has seen profits from from a $3.3m loss in 2004 to $74m profit last season.
-Detroit has seen profits grow from -$13m to +16m
-Boston $2.3m to $14.3m
-Philly -$4m to $11m
-Pittsburgh from -$.9m to +$9.1m

It seems that the last lockout didn't really help matters for small market teams. But the established markets have all flourished.


So while the last lockout was justified, in that several established-market teams were taking on losses prior to that lockout, i'm not sure how this current lockout helps anyone but the rich teams' owners even further.

Unless far more drastic profit-sharing is put into place, Bettman's current model will lead to inevitable contraction.


TOML
And for a good chunk of that time period the Canadian Dollar was worth more then the U.S. Dollar. I'm just trying to point out how dependent the NHL is on Currency values. To say the Canadian teams subsidized the southern expansion is wrong. The Southern expansion took place when the Canadian dollar, and Canadian franchises were struggling in the 90's.

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Old
11-30-2012, 04:01 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Habtchum View Post
Where is the TV contract ? Show me the money ? I see nothing at the horizon.

As long as you have New-York, Chicago, LA markets, that is already a good start. Don't tell me people cannot live without hockey in Florida, Phoenix and Nashville .

Thre is no NFL teams in Canada. People are watching and loving the game anyway.
The funny thing is downtown Nashville is already feeling the heat without the preds. Our city could lose millions in tourist dollars because of that. If the preds moved we'd be a lot worse off.

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11-30-2012, 04:07 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by knorthern knight View Post
A few facts...
  • NBC pays based on what they think they can draw in ratings. If they were forced to carry games like Winnipeg versus Phoenix, there is no way they would've offered $200 million a year.
  • The profitable markets have their own regional cable deals. The team gets 100% of revenues. In the case of nationally broadcast games, they get 1/30th of the revenues. I.e. they take a financial hit for each game broadcast on NBC.
Summary... the NBC contract is pure revenue-sharing. Ditto for CBC in Canada.
Interesting, I think the BOG wants the big teams on, because they make the most money.

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11-30-2012, 04:08 PM
  #90
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Contraction is a necessary evil. Revenue sharing wont fix the real problem, that people won't pay more then the bare minimum to see teams in locations in non traditional markets. There is no future in a market where you can't convince people to pay more for a product. Giving Phoenix 20 million in revenue sharing will just fix the problem that Jamison and his investor group won't make any money from the Yotes without it.

99.99% of the population of Arizona will pick the higher priced tickets from one of the other pro sports teams over dirt cheap Yotes tickets.

There is no real demand for NHL hockey if you can't convince anybody in the region to come to the game unless the other pro sports teams aren't playing that night and the tickets are basicsally free.

You need to call a spade a spade and begin contracting teams with no hope of ever making any money.

Toronto makes more money in one sold out game than Phoenix would in almost four sold out games. The law of supply and demand apparently doesn't exist in the NHL so we get teams like Phoenix that basically exist as fluff for Bettman and his legacy.

Sorry for the actual fans of teams who are put in this position through no fault of their own, but pretending that revenue sharing will fix everything is basically asking for another lockout.

Contraction and relocation needs to happen for atleast 3-4 teams.


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11-30-2012, 04:14 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
May ? Really ? Is this the same way that if I jump from a boat in the middle of the ocean, I May get wet ?

No one denies that there are great passionate knowledgable fans in small markets. The problem is that there simply are NOT ENOUGH OF THEM. Instead of interpreting every mention of contraction as a personal affront, you would do far better to help promote the game in your small markets and stabilize your team.

I live in the middle of nowhere but I really like the blue man group. should they play in podunk auditorium if I'm the only one there ? but what if I really really like them ?

The fact is that the extent of individual fan passion means nothing to the owners, they would chose an area full of bandwagoners over a half empty arena full of hockey scholars.
Bad word choice, I didn't mean "might". I meant it in the same way a coach says "We may have lost the game, but we played hard." Obviously there are less fans, it's just the tense of the word there. But minor details. Obviously I know there are less die-hards.

I don't take contraction talk as an attack against me personally, I, just like you, am voicing my view on the subject. It's no different. I am firmly against contraction because I know that an NHL team does a whole lot more than just play 41 games a night there. Four years ago, Atlanta sponsored three travel teams per age level. They are now down to one (that I know of at least). It kills youth hockey. Also, as SoundGarden said, it hurts tourism. Downtown Nashville bars get a ridiculous amount of revenue from fans, home and away, and I'm sure other teams have similar relationships with local business.

For the record, as mentioned early, Nashville ranked #20 in attendance at 97.5% filled last year. Not bad.

My point is this: You have to let it grow. As you said, it is the responsibility of me - and other small market fans - to grow the game, but going downtown and shouting "Go buy Preds tickets!" won't work. It is a long process. As soon as I have kids, I will be taking them to games, getting them to play youth hockey, etc., but a city becoming a hockey town doesn't happen over night. Right now, many markets are going through growing pains. The hard part is figured out which ones need a few years to mature and which ones are truly just not going to work.

I think that, with the ownership they had, Atlanta was doomed to fail. No problem with moving them, as much as it sucked for Atlanta fans. Phoenix...it's close, and if they are relocated/contracted, I honestly would understand and not be too up-in-arms. But uprooting a team with a consistently growing fanbase and strong community ties shouldn't be uprooted before it has a chance to grow.

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11-30-2012, 04:47 PM
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Contraction makes a lot of sense but then the owners and the players both have reasons to be against it so I doubt it will ever happen as long as dying franchises can still be sold to someone who wants to move them.

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11-30-2012, 05:49 PM
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedWheel1987 View Post

99.99% of the population of Arizona will pick the higher priced tickets from one of the other pro sports teams over dirt cheap Yotes tickets.
Can you prove this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedWheel1987 View Post
There is no real demand for NHL hockey if you can't convince anybody in the region to come to the game unless the other pro sports teams aren't playing that night and the tickets are basicsally free.
Can you prove this?



Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedWheel1987 View Post
Toronto makes more money in one sold out game than Phoenix would in almost four sold out games. The law of supply and demand apparently doesn't exist in the NHL so we get teams like Phoenix that basically exist as fluff for Bettman and his legacy.
The Boston Red Sox make more money in one sold out game than the San Diego Padres make in more than 3 sold out games. (source: http://fancostexperience.com/pages/fcx/fci_pdfs/8.pdf)

The Lakers make more money in one sold out game than the Detroit Pistons make in slightly less than 5 sold out games. (source: http://seatgeek.com/blog/nba/nba-tic...10-11-averages)

The New York Jets make more money in one sold out game than the Cleveland Browns make in slightly less than 3 sold out games. (souce: http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/201...rage_tick.html)

It seems that such amazing economic disparity between the "haves" and the "have nots" of each league is very common. When compared to the other North American sporting leagues, the Toronto vs. Phoenix disparity does not seem that out of place.

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11-30-2012, 05:51 PM
  #94
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Originally Posted by Top 6 Spaling View Post
Bad word choice, I didn't mean "might". I meant it in the same way a coach says "We may have lost the game, but we played hard." Obviously there are less fans, it's just the tense of the word there. But minor details. Obviously I know there are less die-hards.

I don't take contraction talk as an attack against me personally, I, just like you, am voicing my view on the subject. It's no different. I am firmly against contraction because I know that an NHL team does a whole lot more than just play 41 games a night there. Four years ago, Atlanta sponsored three travel teams per age level. They are now down to one (that I know of at least). It kills youth hockey. Also, as SoundGarden said, it hurts tourism. Downtown Nashville bars get a ridiculous amount of revenue from fans, home and away, and I'm sure other teams have similar relationships with local business.

For the record, as mentioned early, Nashville ranked #20 in attendance at 97.5% filled last year. Not bad.

My point is this: You have to let it grow. As you said, it is the responsibility of me - and other small market fans - to grow the game, but going downtown and shouting "Go buy Preds tickets!" won't work. It is a long process. As soon as I have kids, I will be taking them to games, getting them to play youth hockey, etc., but a city becoming a hockey town doesn't happen over night. Right now, many markets are going through growing pains. The hard part is figured out which ones need a few years to mature and which ones are truly just not going to work.

I think that, with the ownership they had, Atlanta was doomed to fail. No problem with moving them, as much as it sucked for Atlanta fans. Phoenix...it's close, and if they are relocated/contracted, I honestly would understand and not be too up-in-arms. But uprooting a team with a consistently growing fanbase and strong community ties shouldn't be uprooted before it has a chance to grow.
At least half a dozen teams in the last decade had horrible/toxic ownership and many we're rumored to relocate (and in a couple other cases almost did). I felt horrible for the fans going through that, regardless if it was an established market or a relatively new one. I felt horrible when Winnipeg moved to Phoenix, when Quebec moved to Colorado. Regardless of how bad the owners were and/or how bad the situation that causes a franchise to move, I could never take such a casual approach to brushing off a team when they do move (even if the rational/pragmatic part of my brain tells me it was the correct choice).

In Atlanta's case, they were never even given a chance to grow; the owners didn't do one significant thing to promote/market the team or the sport. And as soon as they got legal control, they did everything legally possible to make sure the team was moved.

You do seem a bit contradictory in that regard but I agree with the point of giving a team time to grow. Too many people think that a franchise, if after only 10 years, isn't at or close to the level of other franchises that have been around for 30, 40, 60, 70 years; then they should close up show and move somewhere else. Building a true fanbase takes a generation; then you'll really start reaping the rewards when people who started following the new team as a kid, has kids of their own to take to games. That's a slimmed down view of what it takes to grow a franchise, many other factors come into play. But none of them can ever be accomplished after a decade.

The internet generation has no patience, so it's not surprising that the concept of giving something time to grow is foreign to many of them.


Last edited by cws: 11-30-2012 at 05:58 PM.
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11-30-2012, 05:54 PM
  #95
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I'd actually be a fan of expanding to 32 teams. There are definitely 32 viable markets in North America for NHL hockey. It's just a matter of matching them up with teams without pissing off current owners.

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11-30-2012, 05:59 PM
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My issue with contraction is the continual term "weak market" and "non traditional"

Are the Wild not a traditional hockey market? They lost money last year. Contraction on the table?

The Capitals? Same thing again.

The Ducks are considered by many to not be a traditional hockey market, yet the LA Kings are a second six team...and only made $5 Million less gross revenue last year than the Blackhawks, $8 million less than Detroit.
San Jose to the north has been quite successful over the years once they overcame their initial stumbling blocks.

Dallas is non-traditional...and turned a profit last year.

The Blues lost money and are now considered to be the lowest valued team in the NHL...also a second six team which traditionally has done relatively well. Does the NHL contract them?

Nashville for example is/was a good gamble. There is only one other professional sport played there which means from February through the Stanley Cup there is no competing sports. (No, Vanderbilt does not count)
Does the NHL contract what should be a very solid franchise in the future?

Questions to which there are no easy answers to, which is one of the many reasons contraction is a pipe dream for some fans of teams who have the financial wherewithal to successfully snap up the free agents that would come from a defunct team.

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11-30-2012, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Multimoodia View Post
My issue with contraction is the continual term "weak market" and "non traditional"

Are the Wild not a traditional hockey market? They lost money last year. Contraction on the table?

The Capitals? Same thing again.

The Ducks are considered by many to not be a traditional hockey market, yet the LA Kings are a second six team...and only made $5 Million less gross revenue last year than the Blackhawks, $8 million less than Detroit.
San Jose to the north has been quite successful over the years once they overcame their initial stumbling blocks.

Dallas is non-traditional...and turned a profit last year.

The Blues lost money and are now considered to be the lowest valued team in the NHL...also a second six team which traditionally has done relatively well. Does the NHL contract them?

Nashville for example is/was a good gamble. There is only one other professional sport played there which means from February through the Stanley Cup there is no competing sports. (No, Vanderbilt does not count)
Does the NHL contract what should be a very solid franchise in the future?

Questions to which there are no easy answers to, which is one of the many reasons contraction is a pipe dream for some fans of teams who have the financial wherewithal to successfully snap up the free agents that would come from a defunct team.
If contraction ever did happen it would only be 2 teams tops. Phoenix is a guarantee and then you look at the dynamics... I would say Florida/Tampa is a good option. 2 teams in a market that struggles for all sports other than basketball (for obvious reasons) and in a very non-traditional hockey market. Even with teams like Columbus, St. Louis etc. struggling money wise, you know they can turn a profit given the right circumstances. I don't think the same can be said for Phoenix or for Florida/Tampa with any consistency.

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11-30-2012, 06:05 PM
  #98
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If you contract a team or two who pays out the owner(s)....other teams or the NHL head office


wont happen

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11-30-2012, 06:09 PM
  #99
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The funny thing is, under the expired CBA the league would have been less profitable but healthier overall if the Leafs, Habs and Rangers did not exist...

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11-30-2012, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyforhockey View Post
If you contract a team or two who pays out the owner(s)....other teams or the NHL head office


wont happen
I don't think there would be much fuss when Phoenix is owned by the league and the other team(s) would be a team that consistently loses money.

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