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Could an "old arena game" be profitable for the NHL

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Old
12-19-2011, 01:02 AM
  #1
saskriders
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Could an "old arena game" be profitable for the NHL

Just a thought, could the NHL make a lot of money if once a year they had a game in an old arena (with higher prices to compensate for less seats).

"Old" rinks that are still around (according to a quick wikipedia check)
Pacific Coliseum
Stampede Corral
The Forum
Windsor Arena (Detroit Played 1 year there waiting for Olympia)
Izod Center
Ottawa Civic Centre
Maple Leaf Gardens* (new arena in old building)

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12-19-2011, 01:32 AM
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Short answer? No.

Long answer? Hell no.

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12-19-2011, 01:39 AM
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sh724
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If the arenas are still being used in some capacity the NHL might be able to make money if people were willing to pay enough to see it, but most probably wont see the point. There is a reason new arenas get built.

If the arenas are not being used there is no way the game would be profitable. They would have to bring in ice making equipment, update all of the food stands so they would pass health inspection, bring in all the merchandise, etc.

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12-19-2011, 01:52 AM
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Sergei Goldenhands
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I don't see how it would attract more fans to the games, as most of those places are now (sadly) dumps.

BTW, this is what's left of the Forum

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12-19-2011, 02:32 AM
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OP, you're going to have to go into some detail as to why you think this would be profitable.

Why would anyone want to go to a ****hole arena, let alone pay more?

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12-19-2011, 02:37 AM
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kaiser matias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saskriders View Post
Just a thought, could the NHL make a lot of money if once a year they had a game in an old arena (with higher prices to compensate for less seats).

"Old" rinks that are still around (according to a quick wikipedia check)
Pacific Coliseum
Stampede Corral
The Forum
Windsor Arena (Detroit Played 1 year there waiting for Olympia)
Izod Center
Ottawa Civic Centre
Maple Leaf Gardens* (new arena in old building)
You can add the Boston Arena (now Matthews Arena) to the list. Original home of the Bruins.

But to answer the question, not. Most of these arenas are terrible and not suited at all for NHL games. I really doubt people would want to watch games in these arenas if they had the choice.

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12-19-2011, 05:48 AM
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No. Most old arenas have been abandoned by the NHL for a very good reason.... they're not up to snuff by modern standards. At least the Winter Classic has the novelty appeal behind being at an outdoor NHL game at an iconic venue for another sport, but playing in an old arena just wouldn't have much appeal to most fans, I think.

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12-19-2011, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by f2d View Post
OP, you're going to have to go into some detail as to why you think this would be profitable.

Why would anyone want to go to a ****hole arena, let alone pay more?
Personally I would love to see the Lightning play at the Fairgrounds again for a game. I didn't live here back when they played there so I never got to experience it.

I think the small barn-like atmosphere would make a higher price of ticket more than acceptable. It only seats about 10k I believe, in a very tiny building. I think it would be enormous fun. They could even wear their old Cup winning uniforms for the game and sell them for more money.



That's the inside of the Fairgrounds. How would that not be fun?! Small arenas make the best atmosphere.

Of course this is just the Lightning, and I might be the only one who wishes they would do that. I'm sure it depends a lot on the arena and the team.


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Old
12-19-2011, 08:05 AM
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Raym11
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people pay to see the GAME, not the arena. So no. The venue being a dump would not help

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12-19-2011, 08:59 AM
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I think a game at Maple Leaf Gardens could potentially be an amazing event. The tickets would be so costly that they could probably even make it a black-tie affair with celebrities in the crowd, turn it into a big production like the Winter Classic but classier. Put the Leafs and Habs out there in O6 era jerseys and play nothing but organ music over the game.

I don't really see a downside to that concept, other than that they may have already converted the building beyond the point of no return.

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12-19-2011, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Raym11 View Post
people pay to see the GAME, not the arena. So no. The venue being a dump would not help
Why do people keep saying every old arena is a dump? The Red Wings, Islanders, Oilers, etc seem to be fine with the idea of playing in old arenas.

The appeal of a game in an old arena would not be the modern amenities obviously, it would be nostalgia.

the chicago cubs' stadium and fenway park aren't exactly amazing feats of modern amenities, so your point is flawed from the very beginning.

I can't believe so many people are against this idea because of the lack of "modern amenities". Are people only capable of being entertained when they have sparkling new bathrooms? Does nobody care about history?

European teams play in arenas that are almost a hundred years old... North Americans are so spoiled.

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12-19-2011, 10:26 AM
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people pay to see the GAME, not the arena. So no. The venue being a dump would not help
Some of the old areas hold alot of history and that does appeal to alot of people.

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12-19-2011, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I think a game at Maple Leaf Gardens could potentially be an amazing event. The tickets would be so costly that they could probably even make it a black-tie affair with celebrities in the crowd, turn it into a big production like the Winter Classic but classier. Put the Leafs and Habs out there in O6 era jerseys and play nothing but organ music over the game.

I don't really see a downside to that concept, other than that they may have already converted the building beyond the point of no return.
There is no going back now with maple leaf gardens and with so few seats a game could not work.

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12-19-2011, 10:47 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Originally Posted by wjhl2009fan View Post
There is no going back now with maple leaf gardens and with so few seats a game could not work.
How many seats are there? I thought they left enough to be able to have junior games, but TBH I haven't paid much attention because it makes me kind of sick.

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12-19-2011, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
How many seats are there? I thought they left enough to be able to have junior games, but TBH I haven't paid much attention because it makes me kind of sick.


I don't think I've ever seen a definitive number, but the general presumption seems to be 2,000-3,000. Just looking at the picture above, it seems about the right number.

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12-19-2011, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
Why do people keep saying every old arena is a dump? The Red Wings, Islanders, Oilers, etc seem to be fine with the idea of playing in old arenas.

The appeal of a game in an old arena would not be the modern amenities obviously, it would be nostalgia.

the chicago cubs' stadium and fenway park aren't exactly amazing feats of modern amenities, so your point is flawed from the very beginning.

I can't believe so many people are against this idea because of the lack of "modern amenities". Are people only capable of being entertained when they have sparkling new bathrooms? Does nobody care about history?

European teams play in arenas that are almost a hundred years old... North Americans are so spoiled.
Some of the best areas in canada are not so much the new ones but the old areas some of them you walk into and get chills because of the history they hold.

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12-19-2011, 11:05 AM
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Seeing games in a small venue can be amazing. That's part of the reason college hockey games are so much fun. Feels like it's just you and the players.

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12-19-2011, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
Why do people keep saying every old arena is a dump? The Red Wings, Islanders, Oilers, etc seem to be fine with the idea of playing in old arenas.
Madison Square Garden is 43 years old. Nassau Coliseum is 39. Rexall Place (née Northlands Coliseum) is 37. Joe Louis Arena is 32. The Saddledome is 28.

Matthews Arena is 101, and seats less than 5,000. Windsor Arena is 87, and also seats less than 5,000. The Stampede Corral is 61, and seats about 8,000 incl. standing room.

We're talking facilities that are much, much older and smaller than the Red Wings, Islanders and Oilers' homes.

Quote:
I can't believe so many people are against this idea because of the lack of "modern amenities". Are people only capable of being entertained when they have sparkling new bathrooms? Does nobody care about history?
Yes, people mostly want new (and more) bathrooms and new amenities; at least that's what I've gleaned from the comments from every single season ticket holder in any city I've ever talked to. It seems to be all about the selection of beer offered by the stadium's concessions kiosks and how quickly said booze can be pissed away in a bathroom.

And no, no one really gives a crap about playing in an old venue ("history" as you put it). If the teams thought this was profitable they never would have moved to new facilities in the first place.

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12-19-2011, 11:15 AM
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I don't think I've ever seen a definitive number, but the general presumption seems to be 2,000-3,000. Just looking at the picture above, it seems about the right number.
Yeah, that might be just a bit too small for a marquee game. I could imagine something in the 5,000-10,000 range working on television, but not the size in that photo. Might as well have it at a community rink or something.

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12-19-2011, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by saskriders View Post
Just a thought, could the NHL make a lot of money if once a year they had a game in an old arena (with higher prices to compensate for less seats).
It's not just the number of seats that determines a team's profitability. Today's arenas generate lot of revenue from luxury boxes as well. A team would have to increase ticket prices high enough to compensate for the lost revenue from the luxury boxes as well as less seats at which point they might have priced themselves out of reach of many fans.

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12-19-2011, 11:40 AM
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I understand that for the diehard fan and the hockey purist there is something really exciting about the concept of a small venue and a lot of history, but to the other 14,000 people expected to show up the concept of being able to go to the bathroom and not miss an entire period is just as exciting. If old arenas made any kind of sense, no team would ever build new ones. The fact is that without luxury suites and competitive concourses, etc. an arena just isn't a viable place.

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12-19-2011, 11:43 AM
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tarheelhockey
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It's not just the number of seats that determines a team's profitability. Today's arenas generate lot of revenue from luxury boxes as well. A team would have to increase ticket prices high enough to compensate for the lost revenue from the luxury boxes as well as less seats at which point they might have priced themselves out of reach of many fans.
You're right about the luxury boxes, but I suspect that in the places where this might work (ie, a handful of large Canadian cities plus maybe Boston) the pricing model will not be based on fans at all. With so few seats, it would be like cutting the top off the ACC or Forum... the only people in the building would be corporate STH and people for whom money is not a consideration.

The problem would be offering a "luxury" experience without luxury boxes. People paying $5000 for a seat aren't going to want to just come to the game, sit in their seat and eat hot dogs, then go home. There would have to be a lot of perks involved, both before and after the event, since there's only so much you can do for people sitting in stadium seating at an old arena. We're probably talking about something on the scale of an All Star Game or a Winter Classic, but for a much more exclusive crowd. I still think a black-tie event with a gala type atmosphere might be the only way to attract enough wine-and-cheesers to make it work. Possibly build a temporary gathering place next to the arena and offer exlusive events there as part of the ticket cost... meet Gary Bettman, tour the locker rooms before the game, that sort of thing.

I can't imagine the league actually making money on it, but it would be a possible way to get closer to corporate partners and perhaps attract some celebrities for photo ops.

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12-19-2011, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I don't really see a downside to that concept, other than that they may have already converted the building beyond the point of no return.
There all gone tarheel. If Boston Garden, the Olympia, Chicago Stadium, the Forum & Maple Leaf Gardens were still standing, frozen in time, then sure, you'd have a waiting list a mile long, people coming from near & far for the experience & paying a pretty penny to do so. Unless there was some magical way to retro-fit and transform their interiors into the 21st century it wouldnt be sustainable. It would be novel however to perhaps have a meaningful, regular season game played in Windsor at the 1924 built "Barn" (original home of the Detroit franchise) which is still standing, between say the Red Wings & Black Hawks. Full-on vintage equipment, no helmets, Old School Rules including no forward passing, Goalies forbidden to drop to their knees' etc.

The past is a different country, they do things differently back there...

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12-19-2011, 12:08 PM
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The Izod Center? You mean the place the Devils couldn't wait to get out of? Naw...

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12-19-2011, 12:12 PM
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I understand that for the diehard fan and the hockey purist there is something really exciting about the concept of a small venue and a lot of history, but to the other 14,000 people expected to show up the concept of being able to go to the bathroom and not miss an entire period is just as exciting. If old arenas made any kind of sense, no team would ever build new ones. The fact is that without luxury suites and competitive concourses, etc. an arena just isn't a viable place.
There are some old arenas that are viable take the Ottawa Civic Centre it is home to a major jr team plays host to concerts and events it does have boxes and a competitve concourse the only issue is the size as its just under 10,000 seats.

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