Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/28/13 at 01:38 PM ET
from Kristi Dosh of ESPN,
Next season, Chicago will try out Soldier Field as a venue, and Los Angeles and New York, who Horan says have been interested in hosting for a while, will each get the opportunity to host an outdoor game.
What will it mean for the Winter Classic? Dr. R. Todd Jewel, the chair of the economics department at the University of North Texas, says there might be some negative impact, but it will be offset by the positive impact of the additional games.
"Obviously, the more outdoor games, the less valuable each single game is. So yes, the Winter Classic will be devalued, but this is a question of degree. The league is betting that the Winter Classic will be devalued by less than the value added by the additional outdoor games. My guess is that there is some excess demand for outdoor games and that the league will see greater attendance and marketing from adding the games."...
Dr. Jewell says these games aren't all about the teams, however. They're also potentially part of a larger strategy by the league for a bigger television contract next time around.
"These games are events that will capture eyeballs, possibly on national television, which is extremely valuable for the NHL. The league does a fairly good job of generating revenues via game-day attendance with the exception of a few franchises in small, non-hockey markets but the real payoff for the league would be a bigger national television contract. Without insider information, there's no way to know if the outdoor games are part of a strategy to get a larger television contract, but it clearly could be."
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