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Will NHL's outdoor push pay off?

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05-29-2013, 01:00 AM
  #1
Fugu
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Will NHL's outdoor push pay off?

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Will NHL's outdoor push pay off?
Originally Published: May 28, 2013
By Kristi Dosh | ESPN.com

After five successful Winter Classics, the NHL has announced it will add an additional five outdoor games to next season's calendar. The Winter Classic will kick off the games on New Year's Day, as Toronto and Detroit meet at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
...
What will it mean for the Winter Classic? Dr. R. Todd Jewell, the chair of the economics department at the University of North Texas, says there might be some negative impact, but it will be offset by the positive impact of the additional games.
"Obviously, the more outdoor games, the less valuable each single game is," Jewell said. "So yes, the Winter Classic will be devalued, but this is a question of degree. The league is betting that the Winter Classic will be devalued by less than the value added by the additional outdoor games. My guess is that there is some excess demand for outdoor games and that the league will see greater attendance and marketing from adding the games."
...
Horan sees the Winter Classic as a separate, stand-alone event, and he isn't concerned that the league is saturating the market with outdoor games.
"The Winter Classic will always be a special national game on the New Year's Day holiday where everyone celebrates the game no matter your rooting interests," said Horan.
"The Stadium Series is focused more on lighting up the local market and community at a different time of the year. When you attend these events and witness the impact on the club's popularity, TV ratings, merchandise, media coverage, fan engagement and, maybe most important of all, the millions of dollars of revenue generated in the local economy, the games are way too important to wait 10 or 15 years either to return or to wait for a turn to host."
http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/93...winter-classic


Riding the gravy train.

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05-29-2013, 07:09 AM
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They'll fill a bunch of stadiums and bring the cap back up to the levels prior to this lockout.

Great success if you ask me.

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05-29-2013, 07:37 AM
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My opinion on these outdoor games used to be: stupid gimmick. I figured it was terrible for the fans because you're miles away from the puck, weather concerns, etc. And then a guy on one of the other threads said he'd been to one of the games, had a blast and would go again any time. I guess that's the bottom line.

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05-29-2013, 09:09 AM
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I believe Collins said they were aware it'd probably water down the games nationally, but he said they were more worried about the boost it'd give to the local areas.

Makes sense when you think about it, national TV contracts are sealed up for another eight years. Go for those local TV contracts. (And of course, the massive profits they'll make in ticket sales)

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05-29-2013, 09:14 AM
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Evil Doctor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IU Hawks fan View Post
They'll fill a bunch of stadiums and bring the cap back up to the levels prior to this lockout.

Great success if you ask me.
They are rendering it now as common place and boring. Once is an interesting novelty. Five times in one year (plus one indoor stadium game) is a case been there done that...

Leave it to the NHL to take a novel and special event and beat it to death...

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05-29-2013, 09:19 AM
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This is a business board. If it makes lots of money, it's a success. I could care less about 'the novelty' or whatever nonsense and either should or does the leaugue.

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05-29-2013, 09:29 AM
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Buck Aki Berg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Doctor View Post
They are rendering it now as common place and boring. Once is an interesting novelty. Five times in one year (plus one indoor stadium game) is a case been there done that...

Leave it to the NHL to take a novel and special event and beat it to death...
Maybe we should take the Stanley Cup Finals and make it a one-give winner-take-all event. Seven whole games just waters it down, right?

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05-29-2013, 09:49 AM
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I think it's going to be a huge success in NJ/NY area.. It'll easily sell out and for high prices.. Hopefully both teams are competitive at the time too.. Super Bowl media should help build the game

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05-29-2013, 10:18 AM
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My question is if and when this turns out to be a big money making ordeal next year, how many will they continue to add the year after? And then add to the year after that?

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05-29-2013, 10:24 AM
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I don't see how it can't be a good idea. If it turns out that six games is too many they'll just adjust it down in future seasons. No reason why the league can't successfully support more than one outdoor game per year.

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05-29-2013, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by CerebralGenesis View Post
My question is if and when this turns out to be a big money making ordeal next year, how many will they continue to add the year after? And then add to the year after that?
I think it's a step towards every team having one per year

We initially say they are overdoing it

But when thinking as a season ticket holder or a fan... It would probably end up being the first ticket I try to get

It's worse for the TV ratings but bigger for the ticket sales

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05-29-2013, 11:15 AM
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Brodie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IU Hawks fan View Post
This is a business board. If it makes lots of money, it's a success. I could care less about 'the novelty' or whatever nonsense and either should or does the leaugue.
that's exactly the sort of short sighted logic that has created most of the NHL's issues over the past 90 years. Yes, it's a quick revenue boost for a bunch of teams (and the league since all of the hosts pay into revenue sharing), but it comes at the expense of what was becoming a marquee regular season event for the league. With the Winter Classic they had a brand that was powerful and exciting to TV partners, that allowed NBC to compete with the onslaught of college football on New Year's Day, that gave them a foothold on a major national holiday to establish a tradition. But instead of patiently reaping the rewards of that work, the league decided it was time to kill it in the service of making some quick cash.

yeah, the NHL makes a lot of money. But they never really grow in comparison to their competitors, and this is why.

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05-29-2013, 11:28 AM
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We won't know until after the WC whether these games have a negative effect on it. I don't believe it will. The fact is the novelty of the WC isn't just that it's outdoor hockey, but the fact that it IS on NYD and an alternative to college football like you said. You're making assumptions that these other games ruin the value of the WC when it's too early to tell whether or not that is correct.

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05-29-2013, 12:34 PM
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The first couple "winter classic" games were great. One per season on New Years Day is great. It loses it's novelty in a rapid fashion when there's a fist full of them per season though. IMO outdoor games should be a New Year's Day tradition, with no other outdoor games played other than maybe letting Canada have the Heritage Classic, too. (They can play that one in June because it's still below zero in Edmonton then ) Once you start playing a half dozen of these a season, it just becomes lame.

But, as long as everyone is making a killing at the box office, the NHL is happy

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05-29-2013, 01:10 PM
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No word yet on when the Florida Panthers will host an outdoor game? Darn..

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05-29-2013, 01:58 PM
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if the Stadium Series is any kind of hit and becomes an annual thing we're eventually looking at a situation where some teams are playing outdoors at least every other season. I mean, we've got the Rangers penciled in to play two this year... maybe they decide to go to MetLife or Red Bull Arena for the next Stadium Series and have the Rangers play the Devils there. And then the Pinstripe Bowl deal is over so maybe they give the Rangers the Winter Classic. In that scenario, you've totally destroyed the appeal of the thing in the league's largest market.

ok, maybe that's a little far fetched but here's one that isn't... I think the Capitals are next in line for the WC with the Rangers getting their two games next season. After DC, the only options anyone mentions are (excluding those hosting the Stadium Series this year) St. Louis, Minnesota and Colorado. Are they going to keep those teams out of the Stadium Series, denying them that big local boost they've probably got their hearts set on? Of course not... if Kroenke wants his team out there at Coors Field at some point in 2015, nobody's going to tell him no. So now we're either allowing lesser markets into the WC (woo hoo Florida vs Carolina from Marlins Park!) or we're burning certain fanbases out with these games once every few years.

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05-29-2013, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
Maybe we should take the Stanley Cup Finals and make it a one-give winner-take-all event. Seven whole games just waters it down, right?
Well there are no ties in the playoffs so this might work?

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05-29-2013, 03:48 PM
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I like where the league is going with this.

I think every weekend in January and February could feature an outdoor game; basically have 8 outdoor games a season, the first of the eight being the Winter Classic, and one of the eight featuring a Canadian team vs. a Canadian team (i.e., a Heritage Classic).

The NHL should try to own the winter. By the time March hits, the playoff races begin; that's the best part of the regular season.

I still think that playing hockey in October is stupid (no one in the US will care, NFL season is fully underway and MLB playoffs are going on), and playing hockey in June is stupid too (it's so damn hot, people aren't really thinking about hockey). Cut the regular season by at least 10 games and condense the schedule.

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05-29-2013, 03:59 PM
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I see the game itself as the least important aspect of these events, because that events are what they need to be. The number of people who come down to check out trophies, shoot a puck, try and stop a puck, or whatever type of activities are available is a way of reaching fans (particularly kids) who may not be able to attend games.

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05-29-2013, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
...or we're burning certain fanbases out with these games once every few years.
It appears as Fugu mentions above theyve' decided to ride the Gravy Train around the league, and I could see it becoming actually an Annual Event in every single market including Dallas & Florida. I dont know that thats such a bad thing, as it will capture the casual fans in hopefully turning more of them on to the game, traditionalists who may only attend one or a handful of games a year & so on.

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05-29-2013, 06:58 PM
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Dallas is one I see happening ASAP, at Cowboys Stadium

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05-29-2013, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
Maybe we should take the Stanley Cup Finals and make it a one-give winner-take-all event. Seven whole games just waters it down, right?
It would be more like having multiple Stanley Cup Finals in one year. With the logic being that the Stanley Cup Finals generate so much interest we figured we would do one every weekend in the winter.

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05-29-2013, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
I like where the league is going with this.

I think every weekend in January and February could feature an outdoor game; basically have 8 outdoor games a season, the first of the eight being the Winter Classic, and one of the eight featuring a Canadian team vs. a Canadian team (i.e., a Heritage Classic).

The NHL should try to own the winter. By the time March hits, the playoff races begin; that's the best part of the regular season.

I still think that playing hockey in October is stupid (no one in the US will care, NFL season is fully underway and MLB playoffs are going on), and playing hockey in June is stupid too (it's so damn hot, people aren't really thinking about hockey). Cut the regular season by at least 10 games and condense the schedule.
The question becomes does the average viewer care about the 3rd or 4th outdoor game like they do about the Jan 1 game? My guess is no.

The NHL has a unique concept with the Winter Classic, and because its on a holiday, they are able to generate interest. But why would you be all that excited about The Isles and Rangers after you have already seen 2 or 3 of these outdoor games that season?

Who knows, they might do huge numbers for each game, but my guess is they wont. And they are risking hurting the Winter Classic itself because part of the appeal, in fact most of the appeal, is the idea of seeing an outdoor game. One every year seems special, one of 6, 7 or 8 a year, now its just another game. That said, I hope it works.

I dont see the logic of looking to axe games in October. Just because people in the US have other things to watch? The Canadian markets do great business in October, so why toss away that money? Good luck telling the Leafs, Habs, Canucks, Oilers, Flames, Sens, and Jets that they have to give up 5 home gates. Also good luck telling TSN, Sportsnet and CBC they dont get to generate revenue from hockey in October.

The NHL should do a better job with scheduling and the US markets should consider some tricks to get people into games early in the season. In terms of local markets, most cities wont have a baseball team doing anything, and football is primarily a weekend thing. So there are opportunities to grab fans. Problem isnt hockey in October, its that hockey at any time just doesnt work in certain markets that shall go nameless.

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05-29-2013, 07:17 PM
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There are some very good points from all sides, but I still think they're overdoing it. They're going from one standout/unique game, often promoted by virtue of the venue itself--- The Big House, seating 110K hockey fans. There's a hook.

To--- five outdoor games. Some in markets that don't really need any help (NY Rangers x 2 games).

It certainly dilutes the value of the WC, and moreover removes potential hooks from future WCs. If you go for broke and have ten outdoor games/venues in the next couple of years, how do you pick something unique for the Winter Classic itself? Yes, I get the local celebration aspect, the money grab for individual owners, but that's only going to work for a few short years. The Winter Classic could and should be able to stand the test of time if you'd managed to keep the unique aspects to the forefront-- location and teams involved, the venue, and the billing on New Year's Day.

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05-29-2013, 07:38 PM
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Not being sarcastic, but what if the NHL finds that it can actually throw a lot of these winter events and make a lot of money? Like if the Big House in Michigan is set up for one outdoor game, what's preventing the Detroit Red Wings from having a 4 or 5 game home stand over the course of a week and a half?

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