Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/22/11 at 07:57 PM ET
from Tom Van Riper of Forbes,
As NBA labor talks drag on with few hopeful signs, some talk has naturally turned to the potential value of basketball’s lockout to the NHL.
Unfortunately for the hockey, there isn’t much. The last lengthy NBA labor war – the one chopped the 1998-99 season down to 50 games – resulted in a flat attendance year for the NHL from the year before. Tempting as it is to pit hockey and hoops as winter competitors, there’s nothing beyond the time of year and the sharing of the arenas (in some cities) to compare the two. A Philadelphia 76ers fans is no more likely to substitute a Flyers game at the Wachovia Center than he is to check out the Indoor LaCross league’s Wings (an exaggeration there, perhaps, but just a small one).
They’re simply two different sports playing to two different fan bases. Not only is basketball far more popular in the U.S., it’s demographics differ substantially.
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