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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.

Naslund, Burke weigh in

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Old
11-05-2004, 01:25 AM
  #1
struckmatch
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Naslund, Burke weigh in

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp...80&hubName=nhl

Naslund basically thinks that this is completely hurting whatever American fanbase that there is, and that the game will never recover from this.

I have to agree, in Canada the fanbase will be here, although in the US its dwindling away with each passing day this lockout continues.

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11-05-2004, 09:19 AM
  #2
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The core hockey fan in the established US markets is in the same position as their Canadian counterparts; they will come back no matter how long this takes.

It really won't hurt the NHL to try and re-package the game in the southern US with lower costs. They were on the treadmill to obscurity anyway, so it can't really hurt them to start over with lower ticket prices. The "new and improved" tag has helped too many products over the years to be ignored in this case.

Too bad the PA will figure this out too late to do them any good.

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11-05-2004, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderstruck
The core hockey fan in the established US markets is in the same position as their Canadian counterparts; they will come back no matter how long this takes.

It really won't hurt the NHL to try and re-package the game in the southern US with lower costs. They were on the treadmill to obscurity anyway, so it can't really hurt them to start over with lower ticket prices. The "new and improved" tag has helped too many products over the years to be ignored in this case.

Too bad the PA will figure this out too late to do them any good.

You couldn't be more wrong. I suggest you look up the attendance figure pre and post baseball strike in 1994. What brought the interest back was when Sosa and McGuire were close to breaking Roger Maris homerun record.

I think all you need to do is look at the Expos. The people never came back, hence them moving to D.C.

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11-05-2004, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWI19
You couldn't be more wrong. I suggest you look up the attendance figure pre and post baseball strike in 1994. What brought the interest back was when Sosa and McGuire were close to breaking Roger Maris homerun record.

I think all you need to do is look at the Expos. The people never came back, hence them moving to D.C.
Look at the current attendance figures in the southern US. How much worse do you think it will get? Reduce the ticket prices and they'll have no problem matching those numbers.

The owners are in the southern markets in an attempt to get the ever elusive National Television Deal. If they can get payroll down they will suffer less losses while trying to sell their product. It isn't a short term goal, so the short-term loss of fanbase isn't a big issue.

Now you can feel free to criticize their decision to work towards the big bucks TV contract (and I'd be inclined to agree with you), but the bottom line is that it is THEIR money and THEIR league, so they can run it however they like.

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11-05-2004, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderstruck
Look at the current attendance figures in the southern US. How much worse do you think it will get? Reduce the ticket prices and they'll have no problem matching those numbers.
The owners are in the southern markets in an attempt to get the ever elusive National Television Deal. If they can get payroll down they will suffer less losses while trying to sell their product. It isn't a short term goal, so the short-term loss of fanbase isn't a big issue.

Now you can feel free to criticize their decision to work towards the big bucks TV contract (and I'd be inclined to agree with you), but the bottom line is that it is THEIR money and THEIR league, so they can run it however they like.
How's that Bettman Koolaide taste? Again, TICKET PRICES DEPEND ON SUPPY AND DEMAND. Mike Illitch can charge 30 bucks for a ticket and will sell out the JLA, or he can charge 50 bucks for a ticket and still sell out the building. Which one his he or any other smart businessman gonna do?? Now if he can sell the upper level out, but the lower bowls tickets aren;'t selling, whats he gonna do next year? Lower the prices of the tickets in the lower bowl. Hence supply and demand.

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11-05-2004, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWI19
I think all you need to do is look at the Expos. The people never came back, hence them moving to D.C.
And why didn't they come back?

The team lost it's chance at a World Series, and the next 10 years saw them being an elite level farm team for the rest of Major League Baseball.

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11-05-2004, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWI19
How's that Bettman Koolaide taste? Again, TICKET PRICES DEPEND ON SUPPY AND DEMAND. Mike Illitch can charge 30 bucks for a ticket and will sell out the JLA, or he can charge 50 bucks for a ticket and still sell out the building. Which one his he or any other smart businessman gonna do?? Now if he can sell the upper level out, but the lower bowls tickets aren;'t selling, whats he gonna do next year? Lower the prices of the tickets in the lower bowl. Hence supply and demand.
Ticket prices are not soley determined by supply and demand, especially when an owner/business is trying to take a long term position with regards to demand for his product or is attempting to win (win back) consumers. To pretend that a perfect market place for the goods exists, where supply and demand are the only variables, is extremely niave.

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11-05-2004, 01:54 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWI19
You couldn't be more wrong. I suggest you look up the attendance figure pre and post baseball strike in 1994. What brought the interest back was when Sosa and McGuire were close to breaking Roger Maris homerun record.

I think all you need to do is look at the Expos. The people never came back, hence them moving to D.C.
The expos were second to last in NL attendance in 93 and third to last in 94. Their attendance was just as good if not better post-strike.

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11-05-2004, 05:06 PM
  #9
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The Expos attendance has NOT been just as good, or better, since the strike. As a season-ticket holder, trust me on that. Yes, they were still down the NL totem pole in attendance in the mid-90s but it wasn't BAD attendance. And, the ball was just starting to get rolling again in '93 and '94, and the market was burgeoning when the rug was swept out from under them.

As for the American markets, I think too much of a big deal is being made about the killing off of said markets. For one thing, a new, better NHL (with a salary cap) could do wonders for survival in several markets. Also, didn't TSN report just this week about a Milwaukee Admirals game in Nashville with over 10,000 fans in attendance? If Nashville isn't a hockey town, then why are 10 k showing up to see future Predators in this, a lockout year?

Maybe because I've grown tired of hearing people talk about how Montreal isn't a baseball town, but I'm also tired of hearing people talk about Columbus, Atlanta, Nashville et al as not being hockey towns. If the system works, they can and will become great hockey towns. Also, it's pretty hard to get rid of a franchise like Columbus or Atlanta BEFORE the fans even get a taste of what TRUE NHL hockey is all about: The Stanley Cup playoffs. Look at what happened in Nashville during the first round of the 2004 playoffs. That was a GREAT playoff atmosphere. It sold me on its validity as a hockey market.

It's like what the NBA did to the Grizzlies. Those NBA fans in Vancouver never saw the playoffs, yet they were deemed an unfit basketball market. That sucks.

First, they should fix the problems that preside in the NHL. Then, after a few years if markets are still failing in a system that works, THEN they should start looking at other markets.

When the system fails, it shouldn't be at the expense of a franchise market--or their fans.

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11-05-2004, 05:47 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puck you
I have to agree, in Canada the fanbase will be here, although in the US its dwindling away with each passing day this lockout continues.
Why is it that Canadians have so much trouble understanding that American hockey fans are as passionate about their hockey as Canadian hockey fans? There's a reason why attendance didn't go down after the 1994 lockout.

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11-05-2004, 07:11 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag68Vlady27
Also, didn't TSN report just this week about a Milwaukee Admirals game in Nashville with over 10,000 fans in attendance? If Nashville isn't a hockey town, then why are 10 k showing up to see future Predators in this, a lockout year?

Maybe because I've grown tired of hearing people talk about how Montreal isn't a baseball town, but I'm also tired of hearing people talk about Columbus, Atlanta, Nashville et al as not being hockey towns. If the system works, they can and will become great hockey towns. Also, it's pretty hard to get rid of a franchise like Columbus or Atlanta BEFORE the fans even get a taste of what TRUE NHL hockey is all about: The Stanley Cup playoffs. Look at what happened in Nashville during the first round of the 2004 playoffs. That was a GREAT playoff atmosphere. It sold me on its validity as a hockey market.
It is nice to see a non-Predator fan notice the Playoff electricity in Nashville last year. I was there and to hear the last two minute solid standing ovation to the Predators and their year as they lost game 6 to Detroit gave me quite a lump in my throat. The players, coaches, and owner all commented on this specifically and the fans in general after the game. The ESPN commentators spoke of it on the air and privately. All the Playoff games sold out within less than 24 hours of going on the market. The local rag, the Tennessean, has been running a week long exposee about how the youth and high school hockey is exploding in the area. You speak of the Admirals game in Nashville drawing 10K+, the fans are begging for another one.

All this to say, given a more even playing field where a non-traditional or small market team CAN have the chance to build a winner, the interest is there and will grow. All three of my kids play year around hockey BECAUSE of the Predators being in Nashville. We all drive 250 miles round trip to every Predators home game. Kids are growing up with hockey in the Southern markets, like kids in the North. Roots are being laid down.....it just has to have time to grow and mature. And the best way to do that, for all nontraditional markets, is minimize the "out of sight, out of mind" time of the lockout, and come back with a deal to allow them to build their team and hold on to their players and be competitive.

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11-05-2004, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stich
Why is it that Canadians have so much trouble understanding that American hockey fans are as passionate about their hockey as Canadian hockey fans? There's a reason why attendance didn't go down after the 1994 lockout.
Its not the US hockey fans its the US general public. Hockey fans wil be hockey fans, in Canada most people are hockey fans so it doesn't matter if 50% of the remaining population shrug their shoulders and go else where. In the US, and in particular the non-hockey areas, there may be more casual attenders than true hockey fans. The US hockey fans might come back but the casual attenders might not, at least for a few years, and might go back some other sport or entertainment.

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11-05-2004, 07:42 PM
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Agreed, Hockey will survive in Detroit and Minnesota and Bostn and New York etc. etc.

it's teams like Florida and Carolina you have to worry about if the fan base can return right away.

and before someone bites my head off I'm just saying that the general public not the hockey fans like you guys on the board.

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11-05-2004, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
And why didn't they come back?

The team lost it's chance at a World Series, and the next 10 years saw them being an elite level farm team for the rest of Major League Baseball.
While also being told the team would be folded or moved. Lot's to get attached to eh?

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11-06-2004, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag68Vlady27
The Expos attendance has NOT been just as good, or better, since the strike. As a season-ticket holder, trust me on that. Yes, they were still down the NL totem pole in attendance in the mid-90s but it wasn't BAD attendance. And, the ball was just starting to get rolling again in '93 and '94, and the market was burgeoning when the rug was swept out from under them.
In the first full year before the strike (93) the expos drew 1,641,437 fans, 13th in the league. The first full year after the strike (96), they had 1,616,709, 11th in the league. In 94 and 95, years in which games were lost because of the strike, they drew around 1.3 million, still near the bottom of the league. I don't know what you consider bad attendance but either way, the strike seemed to have little effect on Montreals attendance numbers (other teams as well).

The Expos attendance didn't seriously drop off until around 98 after they were finished with all their fire sales. This lock out may not have the damaging effect on the american market that everyone thinks it will. LIke someone else said, it can't get much worse.

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11-06-2004, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
And why didn't they come back?

The team lost it's chance at a World Series, and the next 10 years saw them being an elite level farm team for the rest of Major League Baseball.
Pretty much. I think more than anything, fans here in Montreal never accepted the garage sale that followed and saw all their good players be traded for peanuts, while being told this would be the new way to go from now on for the Spos. Getting so close and then being told it would never, ever happen again. How can you draw any kind of fan interest with that attitude, regardless if it's economically justified or not.

There's a parallel here to be made between the Expos and the Pens. If they cannot find a way to become competitive again and continue to sell their players away, look for them to follow a similar course towards relocation in a not so distant future.

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11-06-2004, 01:52 AM
  #17
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Originally Posted by Munchausen
There's a parallel here to be made between the Expos and the Pens. If they cannot find a way to become competitive again and continue to sell their players away, look for them to follow a similar course towards relocation in a not so distant future.
I don't this is true, but for different reasons. The big problem in Montreal was the park. The big problem in Pittsburgh is the rink. The independent study done in Pittsburgh gives them $25 million more in revenues in a modern rink.

They build a new rink or they will relocate to where there is a new rink.

Tom

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