Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
League executives will gather at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon to trumpet the first NHL game to be played outdoors in the United States, one that should shatter the league’s attendance record. The Sabres will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in the home of the Bills.
NBC, one of the league’s television partners, has been pushing for a marquee New Year’s Day event, Collins said. The holiday is one of the busiest days of the year for television use. It traditionally has been an afternoon of college football bowl games for sports fans, but since the advent of the Bowl Championship Series to determine a national champion, most of the top games are on other days.
The league views that as an ideal time to attract fans.
“It will really build a national and North American platform for the league,” Collins (NHL Sr. VP) said. “There’s a lot of interest in the game.”
more including ticket information…
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail, in response to Gary Bettman’s statements today regarding Mark Bell’s suspension,
Bettman’s phrasing is eerily reminiscent of the wording of commissioner Roger Goodell’s statement when he suspended a couple of NFL miscreants (Pacman Jones and Chris Henry) last May. Goodell talked about the “integrity” of his league; how it was a “privilege to represent the NFL” and that its members must meet “the highest standards of conduct.”
All of which sends a clear signal to professional athletes everywhere — that whatever standard of behavior was tolerated in the recent past by the NHL, NBA, NFL and major-league baseball, the rules are starting to change and that part of the “covenant” with their fans that Bettman alluded to is becoming good role models again.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
Vegas thinks NBA is hot. She knows he’s the quickest ticket to social royalty, but also the hardest ticket to get. She bats her eyes at him from across the room and flashes a smile. He ignores her like a polar bear ignores the salad bar. He has definite interest in her but – again – there’s that reputation.
What NBA needs is a sacrificial lamb.
What Vegas needs is a sacrificial lamb.
I think NHL is about to ask her to dance.
read on... you’ll get it…
From the LA Times,
Prospects for an NHL or NBA franchise here increased Wednesday with the announcement of an arena partnership deal between AEG and Harrah’s Entertainment.
A privately financed, 20,000-seat arena, which would open in 2010, would be on 10 acres of Harrah’s land holdings, which is behind Bally’s and Paris resorts, one block east of the Strip. Groundbreaking for the facility is scheduled for 2008.
The AEG-Harrah’s alliance was first reported this morning in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A news conference to discuss the project was scheduled here for later this morning.
There is no shortage of potential homes for hockey or basketball franchises in Las Vegas. There already are announced plans in the works for a multifaceted $9.5-billion project, which would also include a 22,000-seat arena, aimed for a completion date in 2010.
continued… *LA Times link may require registration
from James Mirtle,
In order to get a closer look at how the NHL’s salary structure is evolving, I took the 20-man rosters of all 30 teams from two time periods — early in the 2003-04 season and at the end of the regular season of 2006-07, this past campaign — and ran that 600-player sample through a spreadsheet.
So, what’s the difference between salaries prelockout and postlockout?
from the News & Observer,
This season, the third under the salary-cap system the league adopted to end the lockout, the average salary will fly beyond that mark and approach $2.2 million.
The league isn’t concerned about that, because salaries are tied to revenue. If more money is going out, it can only mean more money is coming in.
“I don’t think this year’s free-agency period suggests a return to days when high-revenue clubs had a competitive advantage in the players marketplace,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “Aside from a couple of high-profile signings, the distribution of signings is significantly more diverse than under the CBA
from the Edmonton Journal,
Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, could be the model for a multipurpose facility to create jobs, housing and tax revenue in downtown Edmonton, says Lyle Best, chairman of the Arena Feasibility Committee.
He and five other committee members visited Columbus recently to see the benefits of thinking big.
In Edmonton, with about the same population as Columbus, “just an arena would not have much economic impact,” Best says. “It’s unlikely that just hockey and concerts could generate enough revenue.”
from David Naylor of the Globe and Mail,
So what’s pushing values so high despite the NHL’s apparent downward trend in popularity in the United States and the fact that salary expenditures this coming season are equal those of the final season before the lockout?
The answer seems to be that, while NHL teams remain money-losing ventures in many cities, investors are attracted to businesses where they can at least project what those losses will be.
In other words, “cost certainty” - the buzz term of the 2004-05 lockout - apparently has a lot of value to both to those looking to buy into hockey as well as those cashing out.
from the Tennessean,
If taxpayers don’t pay an additional $3 million per year to support the Nashville Predators hockey arena, a deal to keep the team in town could fall apart, the leader of a local buyers group said Thursday.
David Freeman, CEO of 36 Venture Capital and leader of the group, said the partners are working with the city to have the public money come from sources like sales tax generated by the hockey team.
“We are trying to identify revenue streams that reflect incentives associated with having the Predators in town,” Freeman said. “For example, sales tax revenues generated out of the arena are an appropriate revenue stream to consider donating to this cause because those revenues would disappear without the team.”
Freeman’s comments came late in the day, after Tennessean.com reported on a city analysis that said the buyers group was seeking Sommet Center lease changes that would cost taxpayers $5 million more per year at the city-owned facility.
added 11:59am, from the Tennessean,
The Predators have surpassed last season’s season ticket total.
The team finished Thursday with a total of 8,764 full-season ticket equivalents, topping the 8,758 the Predators finished with in 2005-06.
Predators vice president Steve Violetta said he feels confident Nashville can hit the 9,000 level by Labor Day, and added that ticket sales traditionally pick up in September, just before the season starts.
from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,
From the outside, it has tended to come across as irrational behavior. But to experts in sports economics, the recent surge of interest in NHL franchises is being interpreted as shrewd, calculated investment strategy that is likely to be emulated by others.
“The fundamentals that we’re being told about these teams certainly don’t support the sale prices we’re seeing, but the numbers don’t lie,” said John Vrooman, a Vanderbilt University economics professor who specializes in professional sports franchise valuations.
“The true value of a team is reflected more in the purchase price than it is in the rhetoric. Owners always poor mouth and say they’re losing money, yet these franchises appreciate at rates that make them a high-performing investment, way beyond what we would think.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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