FanDuel - WFBC

May 30, 2008

Canadian NHL teams mean money: The six Canadian teams account for 31 per cent of the $1.1 billion (U.S.) in league ticket revenue, and have gone through league-leading double-digit increases over last season, according to the internal NHL report.

posted by tommytrump to business and law at 11:36 AM - 13 comments

But that doesn't jibe with the conventional wisdom about Canadian-based sports teams, so it must be wrong. (Hush, or they'll bring back the Winnipeg Jets again.)

posted by chicobangs at 11:43 AM on May 30

I have never understood the NHL expansion and relocation policy. Why are there teams in Florida, Arizona, Texas, Southern California, Tennessee, Georgia, or North Carolina? I know that even in these places some fans can be found, but why move a team out of Hockey crazy Canada or Northern USA, to put them in some place where it snows once every decade? I was hoping the lockout would convince the NHL to contract the league and reposition the remaining teams to more traditional cold weather hockey markets, with the exceptions being warm weather cities that have been proven to be strong supporters of hockey. Apparently they either couldn't or didn't want to, but it should be no surprise that the evidence shows that Canadians like hockey more than Americans do.

posted by Chargdres at 01:00 PM on May 30

The article touches on it, but the weak U.S. dollar has a lot to do with this statistic. The Canadian dollar was about $0.65 just a few years ago, now it's about $1.02, a 57% increase. That 31% becomes 18% in old dollars. 18% is the percentage of Canadian teams in the NHL, so it sounds like both sides of the border are pretty equal. That said, as an 'Original Sixer' I'd like to see the NHL retract to areas where winter really exists.

posted by Shotput at 01:50 PM on May 30

they'll bring back the Winnipeg Jets... Winnipeg Jets? Bobby Hull? Old time hockey? Hanson Brothers? Be still my heart.

posted by Shotput at 02:59 PM on May 30

Yeah, I think a lot of the reason is simply that the dollar was so strong compared to the C$ that it made economic sense. Especially as an attempt to turn the sport from essentially US Regional to US national. If the currency trend continues, we might see a shift of hockey teams back where they belong.

posted by Adept at 03:20 PM on May 30

Some of those Southern teams might actually stick long-term. I know, heresy, but Dallas and Tampa (not to mention all three California teams) seem to be doing alright. Just saying, Hamilton/Hartford/Quebec City/Portland/Milwaukee/etc/etc/etc.

posted by chicobangs at 03:40 PM on May 30

Why are there teams in Florida, Arizona, Texas, Southern California, Tennessee, Georgia, or North Carolina? Because someone wanted to fork out the big bucks to buy a hockey team and they wanted to put said team somewhere that sunny-weather-folk could support and enjoy the game, as well as to capitalize on an untapped market. I don't get it when I hear these arguments that certain cities don't like hockey enough or aren't cold enough to have a team. Of course it's bigger in Canada, but should that really mean Anaheim shouldn't have a team, or Los Angeles? I don't think so. Not to mention what these teams mean to the development of USA Hockey. Even though it only snows once a decade here in SoCal, and there's not a frozen pond in sight, kids are playing hockey here every day. National championships are being won at all levels. You'll be hearing about southern California being a hockey hotbed within the next 10 years, just watch, and I hope that will be justification enough.

posted by captaincavegirl at 04:09 PM on May 30

We've been hearing about southern California becoming an ice hockey hotbed for the past twenty years....it still hasn't happened. It's not gonna happen.

posted by dave2007 at 08:53 PM on May 30

Well, I have to agree that SoCal will never be a "hockey hotbed." That doesn't mean that it can't support two NHL franchises. The production of talent has never been a prerequisite for the enjoyment of a game or making a professional franchise viable.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:10 AM on May 31

Well, I have to agree that SoCal will never be a "hockey hotbed." That doesn't mean that it can't support two NHL franchises. The production of talent has never been a prerequisite for the enjoyment of a game or making a professional franchise viable. I'm from Hartford originally, where I and five or six of any ten of my friends played hockey. How's their NHL franchise doing these days? How many NHLers are from Anaheim or Tampa ? Have they won any championships lately?

posted by tahoemoj at 04:13 AM on May 31

Assuming that Gretzky gets all credit for bringing hockey to California, it's only been 18 or 19 years. It hasn't really been long enough to produce many NHLers yet and considering that most Cali kids go the college route, we're looking at at another 4 years or so before hotbed status starts kicking in. And ok, fine...maybe "hotbed" wasn't the best choice of words.

posted by captaincavegirl at 11:58 AM on May 31

AS the article points out, most of the increase could be attributed to the rise in the Canadian dollar. In General the tickets prices in Canada are higher than in the US. This could be a result of when the Canadian dollar was weaker. It is absolutely absurd to say that there should only be teams in cold weather cities. There should be teams wherever it makes economic sense. The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks sell out every game. I know that first hand as it is very difficult to buy single game tickets to either arena. I do not understand the weakness of the Phoenix Coyotes. Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the US, It has a large number of Canadians and people from the NE US, it is pretty affluent with a strong diversified economy, and a great sports city with NFL, MLB, and NBA teams. I played hockey starting as a very young child. I grew up with just the original 6 NHL teams.

posted by JohnSoCal at 08:05 AM on June 01

I get the sense that Phoenix is just not that great a sports town. The Cardinals have had attendance problems ever since they moved there from St. Louis, and despite their continuing success, I've heard stories about Suns playoff tickets being available on the day of the game. It might be that (like Atlanta) it's just not a naturally sports-boosterish kind of town. You don't need cold weather to sell the game. It doesn't hurt, but it's far from necessary.

posted by chicobangs at 10:07 AM on June 02

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