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Heat president resigns; figures on budget losses

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07-24-2011, 05:22 PM
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Majik1987
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Heat president resigns; figures on budget losses

OK, not really interesting that the Heat's president resigned, but I did find the budget numbers and pay outs interesting...

Quote:
He also said the Heat operate in a “unique environment” due to the public scrutiny which comes from the hockey team’s supply fee agreement with Global Spectrum, the company that operates the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

The Heat are two years into a 10-year deal that guarantees the team a break-even budget of up to $5.7 million annually. The City of Abbotsford covered a shortfall of $450,637 in 2009-10, and the estimated deficit for 2010-11 will be in the $1.2 million range. The Heat averaged 3,807 fans per game last season, 26th out of 30 AHL teams.
Link

Now, it doesn't break down those shortfalls, but they are interesting to note.

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07-24-2011, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
OK, not really interesting that the Heat's president resigned, but I did find the budget numbers and pay outs interesting...
You are right. It is interesting. I am curious about the budgets and balances over the AHL now. Does anybody know where I could go to find this information out?

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07-24-2011, 07:37 PM
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If they were like an ECHL team they would have been toast awhile ago...

I can't imagine 2 home games off the schedule will help next season either.

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07-24-2011, 09:54 PM
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Majik1987
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Maybe. Two less home games means two less travel subsidies for a team coming in.

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07-25-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
Maybe. Two less home games means two less travel subsidies for a team coming in.
and two less travel days out.....

Also, it might get rid of 2 mid week games as well.

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08-07-2011, 12:04 AM
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Thanks Majik, I totally missed this story!

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08-07-2011, 02:05 PM
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Is anyone really surprised that a Calgary Flames farm team is struggling in a market that is located just outside of Vancouver? I have yet to meet a Canucks fan that doesn't hate or dislike the Flames. Want this team to be financially successful? Partner up with the Canucks and you will see the attendance jump drastically. Yes I know the club has a 10 year agreement, etc etc. But something needs to change, otherwise the city of Abbotsford will continue to see more of this:
Quote:
The Heat are two years into a 10-year deal that guarantees the team a break-even budget of up to $5.7 million annually. The City of Abbotsford covered a shortfall of $450,637 in 2009-10, and the estimated deficit for 2010-11 will be in the $1.2 million range. The Heat averaged 3,807 fans per game last season, 26th out of 30 AHL teams.

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08-08-2011, 03:43 PM
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^^I agree.

It never made sense to me why you would out the Flames farm team in the heart of Canucks territory.

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08-08-2011, 10:38 PM
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^^I agree.

It never made sense to me why you would out the Flames farm team in the heart of Canucks territory.
I'd guess it was a matter of beggars can't be choosers. It's not like there are a lot of affiliations just floating around from which to choose. At the time, they weren't going to pull away Vancouver from Manitoba, and there weren't a lot of other teams that were going to put their affiliate so far out west.

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08-09-2011, 11:57 AM
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abbottsford should have a team in the whl instead.

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10-06-2011, 07:04 PM
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abbottsford should have a team in the whl instead.
Perhaps Swift Current's Broncos?

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10-06-2011, 07:21 PM
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Is that $450K in US or Canadian dollars? I know that the NHL has teams write all player contracts in US dollars. The last I heard a Canadian dollar was equal to .95 US. It was the other way around a few months ago.

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10-07-2011, 10:51 PM
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As an Abbotsford resident and Heat season's ticket holder from the beginning I can tell you that the 2010/2011 short fall was actually $1.4 million, not 1.2 and there are many reasons for this.

1) The team is very poorly marketed, it's getting better but for the past 2 years the only place you heard anything about the team was on the 1 local radio station that carries the game.

2) The Calgary farm team thing is an issue because every time Moose came to town the building was sold out. The marketing, colours, and name are reminders that the team is Calgary's farm team

3) The City (who financed the Arena) never sold the naming rights to the arena so there is very little advertising revenue in the kitty to off-set operating costs. Now with poor attendance numbers, there aren't any sponsors lining up for the gig.

4) The team is piss poor and boring to watch. The Flames have very little in the way of high end young talent so lots of games are either blow-out losses, or boring, slow, grind-it-to-a-halt style games. If there were players to be excited about then hockey fans would come to watch. Mitch Wahl and Lance Bouma aren't exactly "must see" prospects.

5) Because teams have to travel from out East every home game is a back-to-back game so if you have seasons tickets you have to go to 2 games in a row which is a lot. There were parts of the schedule when there were 6 games in 8 days which definitely causes viewer fatigue, not to mention some games I (and I assume others) just can't make.

So unless the team starts to do some different things it's going to be an expensive 10 years for Abbotsford tax payers (like myself) :-(

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10-08-2011, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondock View Post
As an Abbotsford resident and Heat season's ticket holder from the beginning I can tell you that the 2010/2011 short fall was actually $1.4 million, not 1.2 and there are many reasons for this.

1) The team is very poorly marketed, it's getting better but for the past 2 years the only place you heard anything about the team was on the 1 local radio station that carries the game.

2) The Calgary farm team thing is an issue because every time Moose came to town the building was sold out. The marketing, colours, and name are reminders that the team is Calgary's farm team

3) The City (who financed the Arena) never sold the naming rights to the arena so there is very little advertising revenue in the kitty to off-set operating costs. Now with poor attendance numbers, there aren't any sponsors lining up for the gig.

4) The team is piss poor and boring to watch. The Flames have very little in the way of high end young talent so lots of games are either blow-out losses, or boring, slow, grind-it-to-a-halt style games. If there were players to be excited about then hockey fans would come to watch. Mitch Wahl and Lance Bouma aren't exactly "must see" prospects.

5) Because teams have to travel from out East every home game is a back-to-back game so if you have seasons tickets you have to go to 2 games in a row which is a lot. There were parts of the schedule when there were 6 games in 8 days which definitely causes viewer fatigue, not to mention some games I (and I assume others) just can't make.

So unless the team starts to do some different things it's going to be an expensive 10 years for Abbotsford tax payers (like myself) :-(
I would guess Abbotsford Mayor George Peary has some sort of out clause somewhere in the fine print. And even if not, I'm sure he can threaten to make life difficult enough for local owner Lane Sweeting, in order to force a re-negotiation (or a move of the franchise). Otherwise, say good-bye to re-election Mr. mayor.

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10-08-2011, 11:00 AM
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I saw an interesting article the other day by a Heat season ticket holder who thinks the team wouldn't be losing money if they received money from premium seating (apparently it goes to Global Spectrum).

Anyways, I think this is going to be a good year for the Heat. I believe Ryan Walter is the right guy to take this team forward, they have a more offensive group of players, and people are realizing that there's great hockey in the lower mainland not named the Canucks.

If the team can get over 4000 people at every game, which isn't that difficult, then the team will break even and hopefully start making a profit.

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10-12-2011, 10:24 PM
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If the Heat leave, I guarantee you'd see a WHL franchise moved there pretty quickly. It could service the Chilliwack area too, although Chilliwack was doing alright with the WHL - too bad ownership wanted out and the league let them move...

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10-14-2011, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
Is anyone really surprised that a Calgary Flames farm team is struggling in a market that is located just outside of Vancouver? I have yet to meet a Canucks fan that doesn't hate or dislike the Flames. Want this team to be financially successful? Partner up with the Canucks and you will see the attendance jump drastically. Yes I know the club has a 10 year agreement, etc etc. But something needs to change, otherwise the city of Abbotsford will continue to see more of this:
Yeah, this exactly

It would be hard to change given the legalities of it all, but something should be done otherwise Abbotsford will not be in a good position a few years down the road.

No one there I know is a Flames fan. No one. Everyone is Canucks. Hence Moose road games there were the only time the house really got packed.


Its almost similar to why the Bulldogs never worked in Quebec City...who wants to watch a farm team that doesn't fit the market?

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10-14-2011, 01:15 PM
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The problem, as I see it, IS the legalities. There's been no indication that I've seen that the City has _any_ out clauses in either the lease or the revenue agreement... and without those in place, I don't think there's a single course of action the City can take other than to suck it up and pay the million-plus dollars a year to balance the Heat's books.

Want a new affiliate? Tough noogies. The Flames know they have the best deal they are ever going to have for their previously-Flying-Dutchmanlike franchise, and would be stupid, frankly, to allow themselves to be pried out of Abbotsford. The local management/part-ownership _could_ try to purchase the Flames' share of the team, but in order for that to succeed, they'd have to convince the Flames to sell... and they've shown zero indication that they'd like the $1.5 million or so to dump their share, and again, the revenue agreement gives them zero incentive to sell their share.

The City made a bad, long-term deal, and unfortunately, the City's coffers, as well as the hockey fan base in the area, are just going to have to live with it for another eight seasons. By that point, the foul taste in the mouths of the locals may have poisoned the well for any team that might come in to replace the Heat for the 2019-2020 season.

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10-14-2011, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
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The problem, as I see it, IS the legalities. There's been no indication that I've seen that the City has _any_ out clauses in either the lease or the revenue agreement... and without those in place, I don't think there's a single course of action the City can take other than to suck it up and pay the million-plus dollars a year to balance the Heat's books.

Want a new affiliate? Tough noogies. The Flames know they have the best deal they are ever going to have for their previously-Flying-Dutchmanlike franchise, and would be stupid, frankly, to allow themselves to be pried out of Abbotsford. The local management/part-ownership _could_ try to purchase the Flames' share of the team, but in order for that to succeed, they'd have to convince the Flames to sell... and they've shown zero indication that they'd like the $1.5 million or so to dump their share, and again, the revenue agreement gives them zero incentive to sell their share.

The City made a bad, long-term deal, and unfortunately, the City's coffers, as well as the hockey fan base in the area, are just going to have to live with it for another eight seasons. By that point, the foul taste in the mouths of the locals may have poisoned the well for any team that might come in to replace the Heat for the 2019-2020 season.
I think I heard on the radio that there's an out clause after five years but I don't have anything to back this up. I'm just pretty sure it was said on Team 1040.

Anyways, you're right, Calgary would be stupid to move the Heat.

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10-15-2011, 03:19 PM
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Well, the team can be successful, if they market right. Chilliwack lost its WHL franchise last year (blamed on the Heat) so you'll probably have some former STH of the Bruins (Chilliwack) shift to the Heat rather than watch the BCHL Chiefs that play now in Chilliwack. Also, you need to market, and promote your schedule and bring in some flex packs that allow fans to make it out what works best for them. Seeing the same team play back-to-back every time would get old in some ways.

Either way, it's now year 3, and the Flames have ONE heck of a deal there. Too bad that it's so close to Vancouver ( just like the Hamilton Bulldogs suffer because they play close to Toronto).

We'll see what happens after 5 years. The City continues to be embarrassed by this deal...

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