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Report- Lightning Will Still Lose Money

from Mike Ozanian of SportsMoney at Forbes,

It has been a great season for first-year Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, who paid just $93 million for the NHL team. The Lightning finished the regular season with 103 points, 23 more than the 2009-10 season, while attendance increased by almost 2,000 per game, and Vinik’s team currently holds a 2-0 lead over the top-seeded Washington Capitals in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

But the Lightning will still post a pretax loss of around $30 million even if they reach the finals, according to a person familiar with the Lightning’s finances. In large part this is because the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, which began with the 2005-06 season. Playoff teams must pay the N.H.L. a low six-figure fee to help cover the league’s costs to produce the playoffs, including expenses for travel, marketing and officiating.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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How does a “low six figure fee” become a large part of losing $30,000,000?

Posted by false_cause from DC on 05/02/11 at 06:28 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

Yeah, whatever you say Vinik.  Your math doesn’t work on my 3rd grade son.  And how can you claim on losing $30 million when, by modest estimates, you are clearing at least $2 million per game and you don’t know how deep your playoff run will be.  Do you think being up 2 games to none on the Capitals you just might have a few more home tilts?  Oh, I get it, your getting us ready to jack up season ticket prices for next year because your losing $30 million.  Wait a second while I grab my ankles and check your math again.

Posted by wolverine on 05/02/11 at 06:54 PM ET

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Wolverine, do a little research and you’ll see season ticket prices are frozen for next year. What Forbes doesn’t know is the Lightning has been killing in season ticket renewals and new accounts. Even if $30 million is accurate, that franchise is going up. Vinik has plenty of resources, this isn’t like the two cowboys who previously owned the team.

Posted by tj77 from USA on 05/02/11 at 06:58 PM ET

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How does a “low six figure fee” become a large part of losing $30,000,000?

That is exactly what I want to know.  What a horribly-worded statement by the journalist.  It’s just sensationalism, we can’t honestly expect to believe that a league fee for playoff marketing and travel will really play that much into a team’s losses.

It’s likely that they simply invested a lot into the team, expecting an operating loss for the season, in order to hedge their bets on the next 5+ seasons.  Don’t these journalists realize that the team owners don’t operate on a seasonal basis?  Sure, it sucks to lose money year-over-year, but I’m sure plenty of owners are thinking in a much longer-term basis, and Tampa Bay seems like they’re on their way up.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 05/02/11 at 09:38 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

tj77,
Forgive me for not knowing season ticket prices are frozen for next year.  What I am trying to figure out is why rain on your own parade?  Vinik has the potential of 9 more home games for the playoffs (maybe even 11 if they become the higher seed and they go all the way).  If you’re pulling in $2 mill per home contest, how do you know you’re going to lose $30 mil.  That smells of crying poverty and rooting against your own team.  Where’s the faith Jeff?

Posted by wolverine on 05/03/11 at 10:29 AM 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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