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-   -   The Great Canadian Sports Attendance, Marketing and TV Ratings Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=228928)

VANRIDERFAN Jan 15, 2020 1:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8799492)
^ Yeah, fair enough. A bit of a different animal here since we don't really have (in Wpg) longstanding histories with most US teams. The first couple of years in the league we were in the old southeast division too, before getting moved which kind of disrupted things. The Jets have had some spirited games with the likes of Nashville, St. Louis and Minnesota but there is nothing remotely on the same level as the history between the Habs and Bruins. And Minnesota is the only US team that is somewhat easy to get to... everything else means a long and somewhat pricy flight. No $99 specials to Dallas or St. Louis...

Remember the Smyth Division playoffs back in the day? The Jets had a pretty damn good team but........the stinking Oilers had Gretzky and crew and our boys just couldn't get past them. The series that the Jets were up 3-0 and then lost.................I'm still traumatized.

The Nord vs Habs. Good golly miss molly that was bloody great hockey.

EpicPonyTime Jan 15, 2020 1:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djeffery (Post 8799605)
I remember when there was Calgary, then Edmonton, then Ottawa in 3 successive Stanley Cup Finals 15 years or so ago. Everyone around here was on board with Calgary and Edmonton. Ottawa made it and nobody cared. Most people I know actually cheered for Anaheim because they had a London player. I recall a lot of negativity in the media coming from Ottawa how the rest of Ontario, particularly Toronto, weren't cheering for them.

From my perspective at the time, no one wanted Ottawa to win because Anaheim was that good of a team. They were the best team and Ottawa was just a formality for them on the way to the Cup.

Now, the entire country cheering against Vancouver was something else.

Djeffery Jan 15, 2020 2:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EpicPonyTime (Post 8799734)
From my perspective at the time, no one wanted Ottawa to win because Anaheim was that good of a team. They were the best team and Ottawa was just a formality for them on the way to the Cup.

Now, the entire country cheering against Vancouver was something else.

In Ottawa's case, because they were so close on the heels of the Edmonton and Calgary runs, their fans felt like Canada should have supported them. There are people who feel they have to latch on to whatever Canadian team is left standing for as long as possible. I've never been that way, I usually find some reason to pick a certain team after the Leafs are out (local player usually, but sometimes some other feel good story).

Mister F Jan 15, 2020 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8798433)
You want proof of success? The expansion fee for an NHL team is currently $650 million. Precedent based on the successful entrance of the Vegas Golden Knights and now the Seattle ownership group. The least valuable Canadian teams are currently the Jets at ~$415 million and the Senators at $435 million. It's typically not good business to invest in something immediately worth 50% less than what you paid for. Quebec City and Saskatoon aren't exactly massive corporate cities with a few billionaires lining up to own a team regardless of profitability. They would likely be large diversified ownership groups or corporately run, and both would likely be asking for an expansion fee at least half of what the NHL currently commands based on their successful expansion into new markets.

Gary Bettman's job is to make the current owners richer. I fail to see how a league with a few more Canadian teams valued at less than $400 million accomplishes that. We can talk about what someone personally feels is right for the league regarding legacy or whatnot, but the simple fact is that Bettman's expansion has created the most valuable league to date.

And Arizona is worth barely $300 million. Florida is worth $310 million. Gary Bettman's job is to make the current owners richer. I fail to see how a league with more American teams valued at less than $400 million accomplishes that.

See what I did there?

Bettman's expansion isn't what made the NHL the most valuable league to date, trends in the entire industry is what did that. The NFL, NBA and MLB are the most valuable to date as well. All the NHL has done is try to keep up. Vegas has been a success so far but what the Golden Knights are worth in a decade when the novelty has worn off and they have the NFL to compete with is anybody's guess.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8798914)
The other teams losing money aren't being pinned down by a deflated currency, a smaller market, and a smaller arena. Winnipeg's more or less hit its ceiling under its current financials, hasn't it?

That's my point though. Florida is still bleeding money despite having 26 years to build a fan base. The NBC TV deal is still pathetic. Size of the market and the worth of the currency don't matter with a local population that doesn't care.

Acajack Jan 15, 2020 2:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister F (Post 8799985)
Vegas has been a success so far but what the Golden Knights are worth in a decade when the novelty has worn off and they have the NFL to compete with is anybody's guess.

Things could go either way in Vegas. To give due credit the NHL was smart to get in there before any of the other leagues did. The Golden Knights do appear to have made a big dent in the attendance of UNLV basketball, which used to be the big game in town with NHL and NBA sized crowds often coming out. Their attendance has dropped quite a bit over the past couple of years.

The NFL in town will obviously be a game-changer and perhaps even moreso if the NBA ever came to Vegas that might shift the dynamic significantly.

TimB09 Jan 15, 2020 2:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8800020)
Things could go either way in Vegas. To give due credit the NHL was smart to get in there before any of the other leagues did. The Golden Knights do appear to have made a big dent in the attendance of UNLV basketball, which used to be the big game in town with NHL and NBA sized crowds often coming out. Their attendance has dropped quite a bit over the past couple of years.

The NFL in town will obviously be a game-changer and perhaps even moreso if the NBA ever came to Vegas that might shift the dynamic significantly.

When we were there two years ago our cab driver said that he can see an MLB team there within 10 years as well.

MacLac Jan 15, 2020 2:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimB09 (Post 8800023)
When we were there two years ago our cab driver said that he can see an MLB team there within 10 years as well.

Funny how you say that....just came back a few weeks ago....we had some drinks with some Mucky mucks from Caesar's - they said the same thing...sooner than later apparently too.....that's an insane # of teams for 2.6M....that's over a 1.5M increase since we lived there in the late 90's.....

suburbanite Jan 15, 2020 3:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister F (Post 8799985)
And Arizona is worth barely $300 million. Florida is worth $310 million. Gary Bettman's job is to make the current owners richer. I fail to see how a league with more American teams valued at less than $400 million accomplishes that.

See what I did there?

Cool, except it's the new expansion fees that matter in this context, and entering markets that can afford the $650 million fee (Vegas and Seattle) makes more money than Saskatoon and Quebec which would never be worth that much.

The point is that a new franchise would never command the premium that it does today if the league never expanded beyond traditional hockey markets. There isn't a Canadian market left that can justify paying the current price tag for a franchise, there is now examples of two non-traditional American markets in the few years that can... Arizona and Florida are acceptable loss leaders to NHL management if it results in even a few successes like Vegas, Nashville, most likely Seattle, etc.

JHikka Jan 15, 2020 3:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister F (Post 8799985)
And Arizona is worth barely $300 million. Florida is worth $310 million. Gary Bettman's job is to make the current owners richer. I fail to see how a league with more American teams valued at less than $400 million accomplishes that.

These teams are worth double now what they were a decade ago.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister F (Post 8799985)
Bettman's expansion isn't what made the NHL the most valuable league to date, trends in the entire industry is what did that. The NFL, NBA and MLB are the most valuable to date as well. All the NHL has done is try to keep up. Vegas has been a success so far but what the Golden Knights are worth in a decade when the novelty has worn off and they have the NFL to compete with is anybody's guess.

The NHL did well just by being first into the Vegas market. You can say "so far" as many times as you like but to date Vegas has been an unmitigated success for the NHL and Seattle will absolutely be the same.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister F (Post 8799985)
That's my point though. Florida is still bleeding money despite having 26 years to build a fan base. The NBC TV deal is still pathetic. Size of the market and the worth of the currency don't matter with a local population that doesn't care.

The new media deal will be a sizable increase over the current deal. [Source]

So what do you propose? Moving Florida to Quebec City? The NHL does not get into a better situation by doing this for reasons i've already outlined and others have mentioned in this thread. Florida holds onto a pretty key area for the league (Southern Florida) and one with a lot of potential if the Panthers ever field a strong team. Florida can bleed money as much as it likes in operations - NHL revenues have doubled in the last decade, sponsorships are at an all-time high, and a new TV deal will provide additional revenue. Florida losing money every year is worth it for the overall growth potential that areas serves (~7M in pop.). Arizona's gains this year in season tickets, merchandise, and overall interest should provide a good blueprint.

TimB09 Jan 15, 2020 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MacLac (Post 8800045)
Funny how you say that....just came back a few weeks ago....we had some drinks with some Mucky mucks from Caesar's - they said the same thing...sooner than later apparently too.....that's an insane # of teams for 2.6M....that's over a 1.5M increase since we lived there in the late 90's.....

I can see it happening. Two teams already there, two more to go.

Acajack Jan 15, 2020 5:18 PM

I can't find it unfortunately but a couple of years ago there was an article that had a table in which you had the percentages of people who followed the NHL in all of the NHL markets, plus selected non-NHL markets in Canada and the USA.

All of the Canadian markets (and if IIRC they covered Quebec City but also Saskatoon, Kingston, St. Catharines-Niagara, etc.) were in the upper 40s to lower 60s % as far as people following the NHL to some degree.

Again, IIRC the highest percentage shown for the US markets was around 25% and it was Pittsburgh. Buffalo may have been in that range as well.

Many of the NHL's current US markets had NHL interest in the single digit percentage points. As did Seattle I am pretty sure.

Some smallish Canadian metros where the NHL would never dream of setting up shop actually have more total NHL fans in sheer numbers than certain US cities currently in the league.

So what we really have going on is the NHL looking solely at total population figures and disposable income, and gambling that they can turn significant proportions of people (way over and above the current minimal interest) into fans of the NHL.

They've been doing this for a couple of decades now. It seems to me that their success rate is about 50-50 at the very best.

It does fly in the face of usual business logic whereby you focus first on keeping the clients you've already got. Or at least you don't disrespect them to the point where you start to slowly turn them off your product.

I am sensitive to the importance of growing new market segments, but it's a bit odd to have people in under-served or un-served location X literally pining for your shawarma and not opening a location there, and instead opening a whole bunch of locations where people have never even heard of shawarma.

Ideally you would have a balanced approach and do a bit of both.

suburbanite Jan 15, 2020 5:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8800275)

So what we really have going on is the NHL looking solely at total population figures and disposable income, and gambling that they can turn significant proportions of people (way over and above the current minimal interest) into fans of the NHL.

They've been doing this for a couple of decades now. It seems to me that their success rate is about 50-50 at the very best.

It does fly in the face of usual business logic whereby you focus first on keeping the clients you've already got. Or at least you don't disrespect them to the point where you start to slowly turn them off your product.

I am sensitive to the importance of growing new market segments, but it's a bit odd to have people in under-served or un-served location X literally pining for your shawarma and not opening a location there, and instead opening a whole bunch of locations where people have never even heard of shawarma.

Ideally you would have a balanced approach and do a bit of both.

You're example assumes those Canadian markets that have higher absolute numbers of fans are currently net zero contributors to NHL viewership, merchandise sales, etc. They're definitely not. A net single new fan in Arizona is worth more than a converted Leaf fan who now cheers for the new Hamilton team. In terms of the real growth opportunities for the league (ie. most things other than actual butts in seats) all you did was rearrange the existing pie.

The shawarma joint needs to be in each physical location because someone from Hamilton isn't driving to Toronto to pick up a shawarma. The NHL has determined (probably correctly) that hockey viewership in Canada is relatively inelastic whether there are 7 teams or 10. Putting a team in Hamilton that carves a decent niche for itself out of the current Leafs fanbase does nothing to improve the next tv deal that the league gets.

Attendance numbers for the league would definitely be better with more Canadian representation, but to be honest those are mostly feel good stats nowadays and not representative of what drives value creation in the North American model.

SaskScraper Jan 15, 2020 5:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8800275)
I can't find it unfortunately but a couple of years ago there was an article that had a table in which you had the percentages of people who followed the NHL in all of the NHL markets, plus selected non-NHL markets in Canada and the USA.

All of the Canadian markets (and if IIRC they covered Quebec City but also Saskatoon, Kingston, St. Catharines-Niagara, etc.) were in the upper 40s to lower 60s % as far as people following the NHL to some degree.

https://i.imgur.com/s9oTkYZ.png

Canada as a whole is in the >40s% following the NHL to some degree, Manitoba is at almost half the population following the NHL, Saskatchewan is less than a third of the population following the NHL, everywhere else in Canada is some where in between, close to half the population.

https://i.imgur.com/YtiBjJM.png

Even though Saskatchewan doesn't have a team or follow the NHL as closely as all the other provinces of Canada, Saskatchewan still supplies the highest per capita percentage of NHL players in North America.
Three St Louis Blues Stanley Cup winners last year are from Sask. https://www.stltoday.com/sports/hock...fc242270a.html

Quote:

originally posted by suburbanite
...The NHL has determined (probably correctly) that hockey viewership in Canada is relatively inelastic whether there are 7 teams or 10...
not necessarily in every province.

I'd imagine if Saskatoon were to get an NHL team in the future, especially once Saskatoon builds it's new downtown arena, the number of followers in the province would double or even triple, from the ~350,000 to close to a million followers, probably even to Rider fan numbers maybe (~65% of the 1 & a quarter million of province's population)

Djeffery Jan 15, 2020 6:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8800116)
So what do you propose? Moving Florida to Quebec City? The NHL does not get into a better situation by doing this for reasons i've already outlined and others have mentioned in this thread. Florida holds onto a pretty key area for the league (Southern Florida) and one with a lot of potential if the Panthers ever field a strong team. Florida can bleed money as much as it likes in operations - NHL revenues have doubled in the last decade, sponsorships are at an all-time high, and a new TV deal will provide additional revenue. Florida losing money every year is worth it for the overall growth potential that areas serves (~7M in pop.). Arizona's gains this year in season tickets, merchandise, and overall interest should provide a good blueprint.

But the NHL isn't losing money in Florida, the owner of the team is. And the several owners they have had have each decided it wasn't worth it to them to keep bleeding cash waiting for Bettman's grand plan to payoff for them.

I always thought the location of the arena out at Sawgrass Mills was ridiculous. I always thought they should be in downtown Miami with the Heat, not out on the edge of Alligator Alley. To put the 2 arenas locations in perspective. BB&T is about as far from the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami as Copps Coliseum in Hamilton is from Scotiabank Centre in Toronto. And the drive is at least as ugly between the 2. When they originally got that franchise, Wayne Huizenga figured it would be supported by snowbird hockey fans. I figured the support they were shown from the local community originally would have shown ownership that catering to the locals would have been the way to go, instead of building way out where they actually did.

Acajack Jan 15, 2020 6:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SaskScraper (Post 8800348)
https://i.imgur.com/s9oTkYZ.png

Canada as a whole is in the >40s% following the NHL to some degree, Manitoba is at almost half the population following the NHL, Saskatchewan is less than a third of the population following the NHL, everywhere else in Canada is some where in between, close to half the population.

https://i.imgur.com/YtiBjJM.png

Even though Saskatchewan doesn't have a team or follow the NHL as closely as all the other provinces of Canada, Saskatchewan still supplies the highest per capita percentage of NHL players in North America.
Three St Louis Blues Stanley Cup winners last year are from Sask. https://www.stltoday.com/sports/hock...fc242270a.html


not necessarily in every province.

I'd imagine if Saskatoon were to get an NHL team in the future, especially once Saskatoon builds it's new downtown arena, the number of followers in the province would double or even triple, from the ~350,000 to close to a million followers, probably even to Rider fan numbers maybe (~65% of the 1 & a quarter million of province's population)

Thanks. I was able to find those numbers as well but there is another table which shows the numbers by metropolitan market.

Djeffery Jan 15, 2020 6:50 PM

kind of surprising in that chart that Alberta is so low on NHL, considering they have 2 teams. Smaller by a point than Atlantic Canada which is basically a day's drive to the nearest team, and only slightly better than Sask.

Acajack Jan 15, 2020 6:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djeffery (Post 8800374)
But the NHL isn't losing money in Florida, the owner of the team is. And the several owners they have had have each decided it wasn't worth it to them to keep bleeding cash waiting for Bettman's grand plan to payoff for them.

I always thought the location of the arena out at Sawgrass Mills was ridiculous. I always thought they should be in downtown Miami with the Heat, not out on the edge of Alligator Alley. To put the 2 arenas locations in perspective. BB&T is about as far from the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami as Copps Coliseum in Hamilton is from Scotiabank Centre in Toronto. And the drive is at least as ugly between the 2. When they originally got that franchise, Wayne Huizenga figured it would be supported by snowbird hockey fans. I figured the support they were shown from the local community originally would have shown ownership that catering to the locals would have been the way to go, instead of building way out where they actually did.


The Panthers actually played in the Miami Arena (shared with the Heat) during the first 5-6 years of their existence.

Attendance wasn't stellar there either - about the same as in Sunrise.

There aren't any sure things in terms of building hockey support in South Florida, but I think moving closer to the snowbird population in Broward County (people from the northern states, Québécois and other Canadians) is probably not a bad calculation. Compare those demographics to those of central Miami in terms of hockey-interested people.

Their arena's location is not the source of their woes.

esquire Jan 15, 2020 7:09 PM

^ I took a few winter vacations to the Fort Lauderdale area and never bothered going to a Panthers game because the rink was just too far to be worth the hassle. Meanwhile, the area I was staying in had so many Quebec and Ontario visitors that at some traffic lights you'd see more cars with Canadian plates near you than ones with Florida tags. I get that land closer to the water is pricier, but that to me would seem like pretty fertile ground for hockey? And downtown Fort Lauderdale, which is fairly substantial in its own right, is not too far away so it's not like there isn't a corporate presence nearby.

Acajack Jan 15, 2020 7:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8800304)
You're example assumes those Canadian markets that have higher absolute numbers of fans are currently net zero contributors to NHL viewership, merchandise sales, etc. They're definitely not. A net single new fan in Arizona is worth more than a converted Leaf fan who now cheers for the new Hamilton team. In terms of the real growth opportunities for the league (ie. most things other than actual butts in seats) all you did was rearrange the existing pie.

The shawarma joint needs to be in each physical location because someone from Hamilton isn't driving to Toronto to pick up a shawarma. The NHL has determined (probably correctly) that hockey viewership in Canada is relatively inelastic whether there are 7 teams or 10. Putting a team in Hamilton that carves a decent niche for itself out of the current Leafs fanbase does nothing to improve the next tv deal that the league gets.

Attendance numbers for the league would definitely be better with more Canadian representation, but to be honest those are mostly feel good stats nowadays and not representative of what drives value creation in the North American model.

You're making the huge, erroneous assumption that NHL fandom in Canadian cities (whether they have teams in the NHL or not) is maxed out and can't get any higher.

How many people in places like Pittsburgh or Green Bay follow the NFL? I betcha it's a lot higher than the 40-60% who follow the NHL in Canadian cities.

Given hockey's place in Canadian culture, history and lore the NHL should be as popular here as the NFL is in the U.S.

I'd argue that it used to be that way (or at least pretty close) but that it no longer is and it's moving in the wrong direction right now.

As esquire noted, NHL interest lapsed in Winnipeg and then surged back up when the Jets returned to town.

NHL interest has quite clearly stagnated and has even begun a slow decline in Quebec. This is not just due to the absence of the Nordiques (the Habs have sucked in a number of seasons) but it's surely a factor. As others have said heated rivalries are good for maintaining interest and passion even when teams aren't having a particularly good season.

Finally, it's a lot easier to rekindle interest in lapsed or passive NHL fans that used to follow the game than it is to attract and educate people for whom it's mostly an alien sport.

Acajack Jan 15, 2020 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8800474)
^ I took a few winter vacations to the Fort Lauderdale area and never bothered going to a Panthers game because the rink was just too far to be worth the hassle. Meanwhile, the area I was staying in had so many Quebec and Ontario visitors that at some traffic lights you'd see more cars with Canadian plates near you than ones with Florida tags. I get that land closer to the water is pricier, but that to me would seem like pretty fertile ground for hockey? And downtown Fort Lauderdale, which is fairly substantial in its own right, is not too far away so it's not like there isn't a corporate presence nearby.

I have friends for whom taking in a game at Sunrise is an annual ritual during visits to their (retired) parents' second homes in Florida. They usually make it coincide with a visit by the Montreal Canadiens.


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