It's a Horned Frog World

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

All quiet on the hockey fans front

The National Hockey League has canceled their season after a long dispute between the owners and the players. Hockey has a past history of several problems involving the players association and the team owners resulting in strikes and lockouts but never canceling an entire season. As the ice rinks are melted down and put away for the year so are the fans.
The question is can the fans simply be put away for the year and come back to the game as nothing happened? No!
The cancellation of the NHL season will see the largest amount of fans not returning to the game than any other major sport in the nation. Unlike professional baseball and football, hockey does not have the power and prestige to cancel an entire season and not see devastating setbacks to the future of the sport.
The cancellation is a result of labor disputes between the owners and the players. The owners were not generating enough revenue to pay their players and produce profit. The players offered a pay cut however the decrease was not enough to come to an agreement.
Can you imagine what it will be like next season, if there is one?
The game has lost a lot of fans and it will take years to rebuild their loyalty. The players agreed to a huge decrease in salary to play this season, how much of a cut will they have to agree to now to play next season?
Owners will experience a decrease in ticket sales, merchandise and other sources of revenue really putting the game on thin ice. Unless there is a major restructuring of the NHL, you might as well kiss the game goodbye!

Matt Winter

2 Comments:

  • There is an interesting argument that has gone on in sports for years. People yelled, back in the 70's, that Jim "Catfish" Hunter was greatly overpaid when he got a contract that paid him $1 million for a season. The sports economists answered that as long as someone was willing to pay that amount of money, he was NOT overpaid. He can NEVER be overpaid, because when he reaches that level of payment, nobody will pay it. I think the sports economists were correct and you are seeing the results in Hockey. Look for more of this in the distant future in baseball, basketball and football. It is not over yet. The fans will only pay so much for a ticket and the teams can only afford SO MUCH for a player. Don Meredith used to say "it ain't braggin' if you can do it." Well, I say that it is not greed if someone will pay it. However, greed will eventually take its toll. It may take a few years, but it will happen. Arlington fell for the stadium gimmick. Lets see what they think when it comes time to pay the fiddler. It will not be pretty when we realize we are idolizing a game and its employees. Hopefully someday we will come to that realization. I speak as a former athlete who has the highest respect for the players, but little respect for the dollar that drives the love of the game.

    By Blogger Mark Homer For State Representative, at 8:53 AM  

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