Friday, December 14, 2012

Obama to NHL and NHLPA, "do right by your fans."

President Obama was in Minneapolis, MN discussing "the fiscal cliff" last night with CBS affiliate WCCO. (for full transcript of the interview, click here)

Minnesota is a big-time hockey state, so in closing Frank Vascellaro asked if the President would intervene in the lockout.

Obama says that the owners and players should settle it themselves then voices an opinion that many fans have:  "you guys make a lot of money and you make a lot of money on the backs of fans, so do right by your fans. You can figure out how to spread out a bunch of revenue that you’re bringing in, but do right by the people who support you."

In response to his helping out, the President said he should not need to jump in on a battle that he says is between "really wealthy players and even wealthier owners. They should be able to settle this themselves. And remember who it is that’s putting all that money in their pockets."



In other news, via Puckdaddy:

Mark Cuban said that the NHL "didn't fix the problems [during the last lockout] and they should have."

NY Times writer Jeff Z. Klein says that the league today "is in many ways as troubled as it was before the previous lockout," and points out that three teams--the Toronto Maple Leafs, NY Rangers and Montreal Canadians--are responsible for 80% of the NHL's revenues. Which is a staggering number.

He taps into the thoughts of Tony Knopp, CEO of Spotlight TMS, a company that manages corporate tickets sales who says that, 'Clearly, its business model is dysfunctional."

But what's really hurting the league are, in the words of Drew Dorweiler, "wounded animal" franchises.

Dorweiler, is managing partner of a business evaluation firm in Montreal--Dartmouth Partners. Klein quotes him as saying that, “Missing so many games shows that for some of these teams, it’s better when they’re not playing, because then they’re not losing money. In a nutshell, it’s because there’s a structural nonviability of certain franchises in their current locations.”

Obviously Canadian-centric, but certainly worth noting based upon numbers alone.

But there are other ramifications of this lockout--the third one in 20 years.

“To many people, this has become a pattern, an M.O.,” said Brian Cooper, the president of the Toronto sports management company S &E Sponsorship Group “It’s almost as if consumers and sponsors are getting the message, ‘Enjoy the next six or seven years, because you know we’re going to be out the year after that.”

The only solution is labor peace, says player agent Jay Grossman. “Though the routes that baseball and football have taken to labor peace have been vastly different, both realize that labor peace equates to record growth in revenue and franchise values leaguewide,” he said. “The notion that an unconditional attack on players in three consecutive lockouts will enable growth for every N.H.L. club misses the mark.”

This particular edition of Puckdaddy's Puck headlines really touches on a lot, from the above mentioned piece, to Henrik Lundqvist and Shea Weber, to Donald Fehr, to a piece about how the ECHL and AHL have upticks in attendance that are not necessarily due entirely to the NHL lockout. (where are all the fans who'd watch anyone instead of the "pampered, greedy NHL players?)

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