Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 01/15/07 at 05:17 PM ET
Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that the Preds and Blues are in the same boat when it comes to flagging corporate support:
—The modern NHL business plan calls for heavy underwriting from the local business community. That is the only way mid-market teams can sell all those expensive lower bowl seats. Ordinary people have been priced out of the good seats.
—Corporate ticket purchases are notorious bandwagon riders. Nashville rallied its business community around its expansion effort. Those purchasers stayed through the honeymoon period . . . until the novelty wore off. So even as the Predators turned the corner and began to win, they were drifting away.
—The economy in most markets isn’t all that great. How many local businesses are flush with cash? This is not a boom era in America by any means.
—The corporate landscape in St. Louis has changed dramatically since the Blues moved downtown. This market no longer boasts a disproportionately high number of major headquarters. Newer, smaller employers have replaced some of the larger employers like the old Monsanto and the old Southwestern Bell.
—The idiotic NHL lockout sped the decline of corporate sales in markets like St. Louis. And for what? To gain a salary cap that is at least $10 million too high for most hockey markets?
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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.
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