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

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:05 PM

I've talked hockey a gazillion times with countless people since 1995, and most of those people were Hab fans. From this area but also all over Quebec, Ontario (east and north) and the Maritimes.

I can say with confidence I've never heard a Montreal Canadiens fan say they're glad the Nordiques are gone.

In my current office environment there are about a half-dozen men, all of them Habs fans. Ages 28 to about 55.

Since earlier today I've asked them all if they'd like the Nordiques to come back. All of them answered a resounding yes.

I don't know how people could doubt what the answer would be. It's like asking an Italian if he eats pasta.

esquire Jan 14, 2020 9:15 PM

Not that it's the same as the Habs fans scenario since we're obviously a long way away, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find many people here in Winnipeg opposed to the idea of Quebec getting a team. Now, people might be opposed to certain scenarios... obviously if you framed it as 'would you be OK with the Jets moving to Quebec' then obviously that wouldn't go over well. Some people also might not want more expansion teams.

But if it came down to a scenario like "imagine the Arizona Coyotes were failing, where would you want them to relocate to? Houston, Atlanta or Quebec?" I would imagine Quebec would poll well into the 90 percent + range.

Even though the NHL is a North American league, the reality is that Canadians tend to pay way more attention to the other Canadian teams. Teams like the Flames or Leafs register way more prominently in Winnipeg than divisional rivals like the Blackhawks or Wild. If the Tkachuk/Kassian thing had happened in a game between the Golden Knights and Sharks or whoever, it wouldn't have been that big a deal. But when two Canadian teams are involved, it becomes water cooler conversation fodder clear across the country.

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 8799438)
Like Canada Russia 72, I find it difficult to accept proclamations from those who weren't even alive to know what they missed.

Not sure if I am grasping the right angle for what you're saying but I was barely more than a toddler in 72 but I've seen many documentaries and read books about it over the decades, and heard about it from my dad and other men in my family. So I know it was a big deal.

As for the Habs-Nords rivalry I lived it live and in colour during my teenage and young adult years. I suppose that for younger fans who did not that there is a sufficient amount of hockey, sports and cultural lore about it in Quebec that they're aware it was a huge deal and that something was lost.

I mean, the last installment of the classic dramatic franchise (TV series and movies) about the rivalry (Lance et Compte) was produced and broadcast in... 2015!

A couple years ago there was also a hockey-based reality show where two teams (one representing Montreal, the other representing Quebec City) were created and pitted against each other, with the coaches being former members of the Habs and Nords of course.

These are just two examples. Another one is a couple of years ago the Labatt brewery had an ad campaign where they plastered billboards all over the place for "Blue", and which said "Bonne comme le but d'Alain Côté" (As good as Alain Côté's goal), in reference to this critical goal that was (in)famously disallowed by the ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV0i2UN3iqs

I don't think there are many hockey fans in Quebec, even under the age of 30, who aren't aware that something pretty cool was lost in 1995 and that it would be great to get it back.

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8799463)
Not that it's the same as the Habs fans scenario since we're obviously a long way away, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find many people here in Winnipeg opposed to the idea of Quebec getting a team. Now, people might be opposed to certain scenarios... obviously if you framed it as 'would you be OK with the Jets moving to Quebec' then obviously that wouldn't go over well. Some people also might not want more expansion teams.

But if it came down to a scenario like "imagine the Arizona Coyotes were failing, where would you want them to relocate to? Houston, Atlanta or Quebec?" I would imagine Quebec would poll well into the 90 percent + range.

.

Likewise, I think hockey fans in Quebec were happy to see Winnipeg get back in the league, with the hope that Quebec City could get back in soon after...

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8799463)

Even though the NHL is a North American league, the reality is that Canadians tend to pay way more attention to the other Canadian teams. Teams like the Flames or Leafs register way more prominently in Winnipeg than divisional rivals like the Blackhawks or Wild. If the Tkachuk/Kassian thing had happened in a game between the Golden Knights and Sharks or whoever, it wouldn't have been that big a deal. But when two Canadian teams are involved, it becomes water cooler conversation fodder clear across the country.

This is a bit less the case in Toronto and Montreal. (Though for Senators fans their main rivals are Canadian: Montreal and Toronto.)

But for the Habs the main rivals are of course the Bruins. Then it's the Leafs and Senators.

The Leafs main rivals are the Habs, and also the Sens to some degree, though historically they've also had rivalries with the Red Wings, Sabres due to proximity and playing them often, and with other Canadian teams.

In the West you're kinda fortunate to have four teams over 3-4 provinces, for 10-12 million people. Ontario only has two teams for 14 million people. And Quebec has one team for 8.5 million people. Your situation is good for in-Canada rivalries. Plus most of the U.S. teams in the West are quite far away from you guys.

esquire Jan 14, 2020 9:38 PM

^ 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...

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:47 PM

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...

It seems like most fans of Western Canadian NHL teams have "lopsided" rivalries with the Leafs (and to some degree the Habs). That's probably due to the fact these are legacy clubs that were the only two in Canadian for generations, and in the case of the Leafs they get most of the national media attention, which generates some resentment as we know. Plus when the Leafs and Habs are in town in any of the Western cities there is always a large contingent of visiting team fans which is good for atmosphere and also rivalry-building.

You have the same thing going on with the Sens-Leafs rivalry which while it does exist for Leaf fans too, is a far bigger deal in Ottawa than it is in Toronto.

The Leafs are easily the most hated sports team of any kind in Ottawa.

JHikka Jan 14, 2020 10:11 PM

Since i'm sure this will create some spirited discussion:

"Back to the business of media. I'm told that the regional tv rights for your @NHLFlames + @EdmontonOilers both expire after this season. Those in the know believe @Sportsnet will walk away from @NHLFlames and stick with @EdmontonOilers. More as season progresses.

By all accounts, and don't shoot the messenger...flames ratings have next to no upside - they are what they are. Oilers have room to grow. Which is why Rogers would drop flames and keep oilers"


via Jonah (@yyzsportsmedia) on Twitter.

Djeffery Jan 14, 2020 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8799527)
Since i'm sure this will create some spirited discussion:

"Back to the business of media. I'm told that the regional tv rights for your @NHLFlames + @EdmontonOilers both expire after this season. Those in the know believe @Sportsnet will walk away from @NHLFlames and stick with @EdmontonOilers. More as season progresses.

By all accounts, and don't shoot the messenger...flames ratings have next to no upside - they are what they are. Oilers have room to grow. Which is why Rogers would drop flames and keep oilers"


via Jonah (@yyzsportsmedia) on Twitter.

Considering the name of the arena the Oilers play in, this isn't really a surprise either.

Djeffery Jan 14, 2020 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8799501)

You have the same thing going on with the Sens-Leafs rivalry which while it does exist for Leaf fans too, is a far bigger deal in Ottawa than it is in Toronto.

The Leafs are easily the most hated sports team of any kind in Ottawa.

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.

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.

megadude Jan 15, 2020 8:04 PM

I'm not complaining about FLA's arena location. My aunt's house in Coral Springs is a 10 minute drive. Very convenient for when I'm visiting. Was also convenient that the Leafs happened to be in town when I was last there.

But definitely an odd feeling location.

Djeffery Jan 15, 2020 9:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8800452)
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.

They were drawing 14k and change in an arena that held 14k and change, in downtown Miami. A third of their seasons in Sunrise have been lower than their best year in Miami. Only 2 seasons in Sunrise have been above 1500 per game higher than their Miami years.

Mister F Jan 16, 2020 5:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8800093)
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.

The $500 million Quebec City bid was fully submitted. Quebecor could justify paying it and I think they know a bit more about the market conditions than you or me. With the way that all team values are increasing, $650 million is within reach of potential teams in cities like Hamilton or Quebec or a second team in Toronto. The expansion fee is a bet on the future by the entity that pays it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8800116)
These teams are worth double now what they were a decade ago.

So has every Canadian team. Tripled actually. NBA team values are 3-5x higher than they were a decade ago. Same with MLB. Every team in both leagues is worth more than US$1 billion. NFL teams are almost all over $2 billion. Bettman's so called growth in the sunbelt is utterly unremarkable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8800116)
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.




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

Like I said, we'll see. The Golden Knights are the only game in town, they're still new, and they made it to the finals in their first year. They're about to have a juggernaut to compete with. If they're still doing this well financially when they're a decade old then my skepticism will have been misplaced.

If the next NBC TV deal doubles it'll still be smaller than the Rogers deal. If it triples it'll be only slightly bigger. Not very impressive considering the population of the US.

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.

Like I said, revenues doubling over a decade is hardly impressive considering what all the other sports have done. The NHL is treading water, relatively speaking.

I'm not proposing anything. This whole discussion got started when I simply pointed out that teams aren't located where the demand is and that if they were, there would be more teams in Canada and fewer in the US. For some reason a lot of Canadians seem to take offence to that fact and I have no idea why. In any case, nothing you've said has disproven my original point.

JHikka Jan 17, 2020 3:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister F (Post 8801201)
So has every Canadian team. Tripled actually. NBA team values are 3-5x higher than they were a decade ago. Same with MLB. Every team in both leagues is worth more than US$1 billion. NFL teams are almost all over $2 billion. Bettman's so called growth in the sunbelt is utterly unremarkable.

We'll agree to disagree, then.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...5ca38fe6_o.png
Harris Poll, via BusinessInsider

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister F (Post 8801201)
If the next NBC TV deal doubles it'll still be smaller than the Rogers deal. If it triples it'll be only slightly bigger. Not very impressive considering the population of the US.

It's still an increase in revenues and an increase in interest in the US, besides the fact that as of today there are a number of bidders interested in future NHL rights beyond just NBC.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister F (Post 8801201)
Like I said, revenues doubling over a decade is hardly impressive considering what all the other sports have done. The NHL is treading water, relatively speaking.

Again, we'll agree to disagree on this one.

Mister F Jan 19, 2020 4:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8802762)
We'll agree to disagree, then.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...5ca38fe6_o.png
Harris Poll, via BusinessInsider


It's still an increase in revenues and an increase in interest in the US, besides the fact that as of today there are a number of bidders interested in future NHL rights beyond just NBC.


Again, we'll agree to disagree on this one.

Since somebody brought up growth in the last decade, I Googled the actual numbers. Here's the collective value of NHL teams since then.

2009: $7 billion
2019: $21 billion
Growth: 217%

Sounds impressive, right? Until you look at what the NBA has done in the same amount of time.

2009: $11 billion
2019: $56 billion
Growth: 410%

So the NBA has grown almost twice as fast as the NHL and is almost triple the value of the NHL, and they've done it without expansion. Kind of makes the NHL's supposed growth look a bit less impressive doesn't it? A survey asking people their favourite sport is all well and good, but the money paints a different picture.

I know what someone is going to say. Canada is holding the NHL back. Which makes me sad that any self respecting Canadian would think like that, and yet here we are. Canadian teams are worth, on average, $685 million while US teams average $655 million, with sunbelt teams being significantly lower. The difference is more stark when you look at profits, and growth is the same between both countries.

EpicPonyTime Jan 19, 2020 9:55 PM

Canada isn't holding the NHL back at all. The reason the NBA has exploded in growth is because basketball is likely the second most popular sport in the world after soccer. The NBA has by far the biggest international growth potential out of any North American league, and the franchise values are reflective of the growth the league has fostered in places like China.

Acajack Jan 20, 2020 3:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister F (Post 8804751)
Since somebody brought up growth in the last decade, I Googled the actual numbers. Here's the collective value of NHL teams since then.

2009: $7 billion
2019: $21 billion
Growth: 217%

Sounds impressive, right? Until you look at what the NBA has done in the same amount of time.

2009: $11 billion
2019: $56 billion
Growth: 410%

So the NBA has grown almost twice as fast as the NHL and is almost triple the value of the NHL, and they've done it without expansion. Kind of makes the NHL's supposed growth look a bit less impressive doesn't it? A survey asking people their favourite sport is all well and good, but the money paints a different picture.

I know what someone is going to say. Canada is holding the NHL back. Which makes me sad that any self respecting Canadian would think like that, and yet here we are. Canadian teams are worth, on average, $685 million while US teams average $655 million, with sunbelt teams being significantly lower. The difference is more stark when you look at profits, and growth is the same between both countries.

The NHL's revenue sharing (or "equalization") has also siphoned off countless millions from Canadian clubs to bail out sad-sack teams in the U.S. in recent years and decades.

And the NBA doesn't have nearly as many sad-sack teams like the NHL does. In fact, does the NBA have any teams that are like the Arizona Coyotes and a couple of others? I think not.

MacLac Jan 20, 2020 3:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8805410)
The NHL's revenue sharing (or "equalization") has also siphoned off countless millions from Canadian clubs to bail out sad-sack teams in the U.S. in recent years and decades.

And the NBA doesn't have nearly as many sad-sack teams like the NHL does. In fact, does the NBA have any teams that are like the Arizona Coyotes and a couple of others? I think not.

Orlando Magic - game there last year - $9 bucks got you a ticket and a beer and we were the ONLY people in the ENTIRE section......8,000 was the announced crowd....and that number seemed high....

suburbanite Jan 20, 2020 3:54 PM

The NBA got lucky that the largest country in the world fell in love with the sport of basketball. League-wide revenue and value projections took a serious hit during the whole Morey controversy this off-season.

I would hardly use that as proof that the NHL management is holding back growth. In that case, Saskatchewan's policy makers are obviously restricting real estate price appreciation because they're not keeping up with Vancouver.

esquire Jan 20, 2020 3:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MacLac (Post 8805415)
Orlando Magic - game there last year - $9 bucks got you a ticket and a beer and we were the ONLY people in the ENTIRE section......8,000 was the announced crowd....and that number seemed high....

TV money baby. It's the same thing in Minnesota. Admittedly not a great team but $30 or so on Stubhub got me lower-bowl seats a few years back at a sparsely attended Timberwolves game. And that was a game with several players on the floor making in the $15-20 million dollar range... who knows what it's up to now.

Meanwhile in Winnipeg (or any Canadian market really) it's almost a hundred bucks for nosebleeds with the highest paid Jet earning a comparatively measly $8 million.

Maybe Americans can do us a solid and start watching NHL games on television so TV money will finally flow and they won't need to soak ticket buyers to pay the players?

suburbanite Jan 20, 2020 4:32 PM

Realistically, teams are going to charge whatever they can get away with. The perpetually terrible Knicks arent any cheaper because they could subsidize MSG losses with their tv deal. I'm sure both the Magic and the Coyotes would charge more if the demand was there.

GernB Jan 20, 2020 6:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MacLac (Post 8805415)
Orlando Magic - game there last year - $9 bucks got you a ticket and a beer and we were the ONLY people in the ENTIRE section......8,000 was the announced crowd....and that number seemed high....

Yes...when the owners of the Montreal Canadiens expressed interest in bringing an NBA franchise to the city and inquired about availability, this was the team I thought they were after. A shame it didn't happen.

Denscity Jan 20, 2020 6:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MacLac (Post 8805415)
Orlando Magic - game there last year - $9 bucks got you a ticket and a beer and we were the ONLY people in the ENTIRE section......8,000 was the announced crowd....and that number seemed high....

Vancouver would do way better than this.

wave46 Jan 20, 2020 7:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by megadude (Post 8800584)
I'm not complaining about FLA's arena location. My aunt's house in Coral Springs is a 10 minute drive. Very convenient for when I'm visiting. Was also convenient that the Leafs happened to be in town when I was last there.

But definitely an odd feeling location.

Florida is just a weird market in general. I'm not sure about basketball or football (the Dolphins seem to be OK?), but baseball's struggles in Florida have been notable.

The Marlins thought that a new modern stadium would help, but they still don't draw very well. The Rays also struggle despite being a competitive team, hence the overtures for a new stadium (which IMO won't fix the problem).

I'm not surprised that the NHL has struggled in Florida, the current Tampa Bay Lightning excepted. It almost seems like the culture of the place is unfriendly to sports in general.

But hey, there's a reason I'm not part of the NHL/NFL/MLB/NBA braintrust.

esquire Jan 20, 2020 7:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wave46 (Post 8805667)
Florida is just a weird market in general. I'm not sure about basketball or football (the Dolphins seem to be OK?), but baseball's struggles in Florida have been notable.

The Marlins thought that a new modern stadium would help, but they still don't draw very well. The Rays also struggle despite being a competitive team, hence the overtures for a new stadium (which IMO won't fix the problem).

I'm not surprised that the NHL has struggled in Florida, the current Tampa Bay Lightning excepted. It almost seems like the culture of the place is unfriendly to sports in general.

But hey, there's a reason I'm not part of the NHL/NFL/MLB/NBA braintrust.

Come to think of it, none of the major pro teams in Florida seem to do especially well at the box office:

-Magic
-Heat (unless they're in Lebron domination mode)
-Panthers
-Dolphins
-Buccaneers
-Jaguars
-Rays
-Marlins

The Lightning might actually be the best of the bunch.

I guess when you combine the nice weather and plethora of other things to do, combined with the fact that so many people come from elsewhere and don't have any allegiance to the home teams, the interest may just not be there.

Acajack Jan 20, 2020 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8805669)
Come to think of it, none of the major pro teams in Florida seem to do especially well at the box office:

-Magic
-Heat (unless they're in Lebron domination mode)
-Panthers
-Dolphins
-Buccaneers
-Jaguars
-Rays
-Marlins

The Lightning might actually be the best of the bunch.

I guess when you combine the nice weather and plethora of other things to do, combined with the fact that so many people come from elsewhere and don't have any allegiance to the home teams, the interest may just not be there.

It's a big college football state though.

U of Miami gets 55-65,000 per game and Florida (Gators) and Florida State (Seminoles) probably draw even more than that.

esquire Jan 20, 2020 7:42 PM

^ I didn't think the U drew quite as well anymore... although the Gators and Seminoles still do. Interesting snapshot of Florida culture right there, though... the northern part of the state where the Seminoles and Gators play are firmly entrenched in the southern SEC football-loving culture. You get away from that once you start to head south toward Orlando and the tip of the state where they don't care nearly as much.

As friends who are born and raised the Miami area once told us, in Florida you have to "go north to go south".

suburbanite Jan 20, 2020 7:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Denscity (Post 8805629)
Vancouver would do way better than this.

If only the NBA had the vision to support a struggling franchise with the potential to grow into a stronger fan base than the easy option across the border...

Acajack Jan 20, 2020 7:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8805686)
If only the NBA had the vision to support a struggling franchise that had the potential to grow into a stronger fan base than the easy option across the border...

LOL :haha:

Denscity Jan 20, 2020 7:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8805686)
If only the NBA had the vision to support a struggling franchise that had the potential to grow into a stronger fan base than the easy option across the border...

Yes and now Vancouver has a larger population and is more international in its mix.


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