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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, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

Would the NHL be better off with a 50 or 60 Game Schedule

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Old
03-31-2013, 08:53 PM
  #1
MinWild1
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Would the NHL be better off with a 50 or 60 Game Schedule

Would it possibly help the NHL and it's teams from losing money from playing 82 games. I first became a hardcore hockey fan a few years ago so I'm kinda new to this.

And I think it could help increase popularity, because the lesser the season the more each game matters. Kind of like this shortened season.

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03-31-2013, 08:56 PM
  #2
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Yes, as a fan I would much prefer something around 60 games. Same "density" of games as now, just start the season later and end it sooner.

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03-31-2013, 09:07 PM
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LadyStanley
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Possible? Yes. Let's see.

You'll need a new CBA (will you be paying players 100% of the $$s they have negotiated for few games or the lesser amount based on fewer games -- either way that will have to be in a new CBA).

Will you get sponsors to pay the same $$s for less exposure?

How about ticket holders? Will they accept a 25%+ increase in ticket prices?

Will TV broadcasters accept having to pay same $$s for fewer games?


Summary: possible, but very unlikely.

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03-31-2013, 09:15 PM
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No. Cities have invested a lot of money in arenas to have a certain number of events. There are a select few markets that aren't selling at least 90% of their seats. Also, by having 30 teams, to have teams play each other and have a sufficient number of division games you have to have approximately 80 games.

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03-31-2013, 09:20 PM
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Ain't gonna happen...
  1. The NHL is still heavily gate driven
  2. TV revenues will also go down with fewer games
Ignoring the above...

If we go with 2 games against every other team (home and home), that comes out to 58 games right there. So why bother with conferences/divisions? Simply have the top 16 in the playoffs.

Let's assume 4 divisions (8/7/8/7) and play against teams outside your division once once per year, and see them in your arena every 2nd year.

For teams in 7-team divisions, that comes to 23 inter-divisional games. Let's say 6 games against each of its 6 division rivals, for another 36 games. Total; 59 games.

For teams in 8-team divisions, that comes to 22 inter-divisional games. 7 does not go evenly into 37. You're looking at 5 games against 5 of their divisional opponents, and 6 games against 2 of their divisional opponents.

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03-31-2013, 09:31 PM
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In terms of game quality, yes. In terms of economic health, absolutely not.

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03-31-2013, 09:34 PM
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I wish, 82 is too much. But ya won't happen.

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03-31-2013, 10:12 PM
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I'd love it as would most I should think, but as mentioned above by LadyStanley & others, practically the entire business model would have to be trashed, the CBA ripped up, broadcast & sponsorship contracts renegotiated etc etc etc. Its radical, but tell ya what, if I was in charge of things? Damn straight we'd be doing that, and doing it for the good of the game, the players health, increased relevancy, interest & importance of each & every Regular Season Game, scheduling predominantly done on Weekends & on & on. You always receive higher revenues for a better product. Far superior business model. It'll take awhile, but building a better game & product, quality over quantity, only way to go. Will it happen?... since when did the NHL have any vision or care about the game?

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03-31-2013, 10:29 PM
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I dont believe we are able to go to 60 games now but if you asked me the question by itself how many games would be right id say in the 60 range. Less injuries, the games would have more meaning, the game dates/times would be more ideal. It would be better overall but at this point theres no way we can go back to that financially.

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03-31-2013, 11:04 PM
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I wasn't a hockey fan (too young) during the 90s lockout, but I love the shortened season. If it was even 55, I would still love it. I can honestly say I've missed 5 Jets games this while last year, I probably missed 35 while subscribing to Jets tv.

I just prefer the Euro shorter style hockey format.

The NFL is one of the 3 top sport leagues in the world off a 16 game schedule. Maybe something can be said for higher revenues over less games? I think hockey would work great as a simply Friday/Saturday/Sunday sport with occasional weekday games.

I would love it with the NHL just told all parties that within a 10 year period, the schedule was going to be down to 60. Give every party time to adjust.


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03-31-2013, 11:18 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
I wasn't a hockey fan (too young) during the 90s lockout, but I love the shortened season. If it was even 55, I would still love it. I can honestly say I've missed 5 Jets games this while last year, I probably missed 35 while subscribing to Jets tv.

I just prefer the Euro shorter style hockey format.

The NFL is one of the 3 top sport leagues in the world off a 16 game schedule. Maybe something can be said for higher revenues over less games? I think hockey would work great as a simply Friday/Saturday/Sunday sport with occasional weekday games.

I would love it with the NHL just told all parties that within a 10 year period, the schedule was going to be down to 60. Give every party time to adjust.
The NFL also has "REAL" revenue sharing and has for many years. Yet for some reason anytime it gets brought up with revenue sharing in the NHL most owners are against it and fans seem to scream even louder.

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04-01-2013, 01:23 AM
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The NFL also has "REAL" revenue sharing and has for many years. Yet for some reason anytime it gets brought up with revenue sharing in the NHL most owners are against it and fans seem to scream even louder.
Not really. Do do the math (I have). The NHL redistributes more money with it's wealth transfer system than the NFL does.

For the NHL to redistribute the same amount of money, the average ticket price would have to be around $300-350 (I can't remember exactly, but it's possible it's even higher) and that's with teams splitting 50% of the gate.

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04-01-2013, 01:36 AM
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All that would really happen is that the two extremes would become closer together. Less money to be made, but less money to be lost.

I don't think the NHL wants that.

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04-01-2013, 03:10 AM
  #14
DL44
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No...

I think one thing this season is showing is that its such a crapshoot with such a short season.

The longer the season the more apparent the 'real' playoffs teams become.. time for the 'cream to rise to the top' if you will..

I mean a crap shoot may be good for a turnover in playoff teams... but it doesn't feel as earned as surviving an 82 gm grind.

With a shorter schedule, a couple runs of loses or wins means everything...whereas over 82, it flattens itself out and end of the day those playoff teams are really the superior teams.

How many times after 82 is everyone certain of who the great teams are... right now its like 'ok.. the top 4 in each conference look good... who knows how (or who) everyone else be like?'... and we are 3/4 thru the season almost...

Longer season = better teams in the playoffs... and less 'lucky' teams...

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04-01-2013, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DL44 View Post
No...

I think one thing this season is showing is that its such a crapshoot with such a short season.

The longer the season the more apparent the 'real' playoffs teams become.. time for the 'cream to rise to the top' if you will..

I mean a crap shoot may be good for a turnover in playoff teams... but it doesn't feel as earned as surviving an 82 gm grind.

With a shorter schedule, a couple runs of loses or wins means everything...whereas over 82, it flattens itself out and end of the day those playoff teams are really the superior teams.

How many times after 82 is everyone certain of who the great teams are... right now its like 'ok.. the top 4 in each conference look good... who knows how (or who) everyone else be like?'... and we are 3/4 thru the season almost...

Longer season = better teams in the playoffs... and less 'lucky' teams...
What makes 82 special though? Why not 84? Why not 78, 92, 76?

There was a post I saw when the lockout ended that after 48 games last year, you would have had the exact same teams make the playoffs - with the exception of Phoenix.

So I don't buy this idea that a team can get hot in a 48 game season that would somehow miss the playoffs in a normal season. Would 1 or 2 teams change? Possibly but the vast majority would be the same.

It actually would be interesting to do an analysis of all modern day seasons and see which number of games is the minimum that is needed so that 14 or 15 out of the 16 teams are the same teams that end up making it after 82 games.

I don't see it as impossible that the NHL reduces the number of games. They did go to 84 for a couple seasons but reduced it back to 82 so it is possible. I don't see them reducing it drastically but 2 or 4 games wouldn't be out of the question. (I would prefer to see a shorter season).

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04-01-2013, 10:07 AM
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It could happen if the NHL ever gets to a point where they don't need the gate revenue to make a profit. Needs to be popular enough that the TV deals alone can cover it all.

I would prefer a 50-60 game schedule myself, but if that ever happens it will be at least 20 years from now.

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04-01-2013, 10:15 AM
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If I had my way, everybody would play everybody home and away. And that's it.

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04-01-2013, 10:32 AM
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Carl Carlson
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50 - 60 games would be a lot better.

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04-01-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DL44 View Post
No...

I think one thing this season is showing is that its such a crapshoot with such a short season.

The longer the season the more apparent the 'real' playoffs teams become.. time for the 'cream to rise to the top' if you will..

I mean a crap shoot may be good for a turnover in playoff teams... but it doesn't feel as earned as surviving an 82 gm grind.

With a shorter schedule, a couple runs of loses or wins means everything...whereas over 82, it flattens itself out and end of the day those playoff teams are really the superior teams.

How many times after 82 is everyone certain of who the great teams are... right now its like 'ok.. the top 4 in each conference look good... who knows how (or who) everyone else be like?'... and we are 3/4 thru the season almost...

Longer season = better teams in the playoffs... and less 'lucky' teams...
If 50 games isn't enough to determine playoff worthy team, what good is 4 wins to determine who is worthy to advance? Most of the time winning a playoff round has elements of luck involved.

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04-01-2013, 11:15 AM
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No, but I do think the season should be reduced to 70 games. Even in a long season we're seeing games being played towards the middle of June. A 70 game season with an early October start and a mid March end would ensure the season would be finished by Victoria Day.

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04-01-2013, 11:38 AM
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From a purely business standpoint, the answer is no. Besides all of the reasons listed above (mainly gate revenues, TV and sponsor exposure), less games would also take away arena dates. Less arena dates hurts game day employees, local bars/restaurants, city tax revenue, etc. I would fiercely oppose making the season any longer, but the status quo is fine.

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04-01-2013, 12:17 PM
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From a purely business standpoint, the answer is no. Besides all of the reasons listed above (mainly gate revenues, TV and sponsor exposure), less games would also take away arena dates.
While I agree with you that "no", not going to happen for the very reasons you state, its just way too radical, the short-term pain enormous likely costing several cities their franchises altogether, if done on a graduated scale, maybe not so much. Say go from 82 games down to 76, from 76 down to 72, 72 down to 68 & so on. Of course your losing dates but your also gaining openings in the schedule for non hockey related event bookings. Additionally with fewer games youd have a better quality product, driving more interest & relevancy with both traditional & casual fans, higher TV ratings, PPV, app subscriptions, higher gate prices, more money from sponsors & advertisers with ever increasing audience share. Youve got quality rather than quantity, the events, games becoming more exclusive as opposed to inclusive, trying to be all things to all people, grossly over-saturating the market as they have. Shorter season, players actually healthy when the playoff's roll around.

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04-01-2013, 12:30 PM
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Yes, as a fan I would much prefer something around 60 games. Same "density" of games as now, just start the season later and end it sooner.
Agreed 100%

I'm loving this shortened season. What great hockey!

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04-01-2013, 01:04 PM
  #24
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Yes and no. It would benefit teams that probably have less of a draw than others, but teams that routinely sell out (or near sell out) their barns? Not so much, even if you assume (and rightfully so) that they'd increase the cost of tickets in a permanently shortened season.

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04-01-2013, 01:25 PM
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If we go with 2 games against every other team (home and home), that comes out to 58 games right there. So why bother with conferences/divisions? Simply have the top 16 in the playoffs.
I like this idea.

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