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NBA Lockout Won’t Help The NHL

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.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nba

Comments

Red Winger's avatar

The article makes some points that are hard to argue against.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 09/22/11 at 08:39 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The article neglects to mention that the NHL already has been outdrawing the NBA at the gate for the last 3 or 4 seasons at least anyways.  The NBA would need to be making inroads at the gate vs the NHL, not vice-versa.

It also ignores the fact that some fans are fans of BOTH, and have in the past split their time, money, and allegiances.  If there’s no NBA though, that time and money might go towards the NHL for now instead.

It’s not going to be huge.  It’ll impact though if those fools in the NBA can’t get it together.  There simply isn’t another sport INSTEAD of hockey either, which this article all but states.

Posted by Primis on 09/23/11 at 09:19 AM ET

Avatar

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.

This seems anecdotal and has no numbers to back up what he states as a fact. I could just as easily have rattled off his description of NHL vs NBA fans by stating stereotypes.  If he had actual numbers I would believe the article a heck of a lot more. 

Using a single season is also not statistically telling. NBA and NHL teams are often co-owned and cross promoted.  Drawing in NBA fans also promotes the NHL, but how this impacts long term trends is hard to say from one season. Attendance may have been flat, because the NHL is already a big draw at the gate, it needs to improve its TV numbers.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 09/23/11 at 10:44 AM ET

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If the NBA ceased to exist, it wouldn’t break my heart!

Posted by timbits on 09/23/11 at 11:27 AM ET

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This seems anecdotal and has no numbers to back up what he states as a fact.

You mean besides the fact that the NHL didn’t see an increase in 98-99 when there there was NBA labor issues?

Posted by Garth on 09/23/11 at 03:43 PM ET

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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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