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HOCKEY COMES OUT ON TOP FOR TICKET PRICES
Published October 5, 1994
TOP TICKET: The latest TEAM MARKETING REPORT shows hockey to have the hjghest average ticket price ($33.66), compared to $31.05 for the NFL, $27.12 for the NBA and $10.45 for MLB. TEAM MARKETING REPORT's Alan Friedman: "One reason [NHL] teams can charge so much is that they have a very loyal and intense following. The NHL is in a better situation than the other sports to absorb an interruption like this because it doesn't rely on the casual fan" (KNIGHT-RIDDER/TRIBUNE BUSINESS NEWS, 10/5). NHL LOSSES CHALLENGED: NHLPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler challenged the figures in the Uniform Report of Operations that put league losses at around $32M for '92-93. Kessler said the figures "did not include franchise fees, adjustments for recent huge increased values of franchises, adjustments for owners' salaries and private expenses and adjustments for creative financing by teams that also own the team, arena or the station or network that televises the team's games" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/5). WHO'S LOSING? If the $32M figure for '92-93 "is to be believed," the Whalers accounted for 1/4 of the loss. Also, the Whalers lost $14M in '93-94 and are projected to lose $8-10M this year (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD COURANT, 10/5). Winnipeg Jets Owner Barry Shekarow: "We will lose less money by not playing than playing" (Damien Cox, TORONTO STAR, 10/5). In New York, Joe LaPointe calls on the owners to make public more detailed financial data than they have. LaPointe's column runs next to a chart profiling the owners and their franchises' values (N.Y. TIMES, 10/5). SAVE THE SMALL MARKETS: Larry Brooks writes the NHL's general proposal "makes sense" and that it's "vital for the league's unique character that as many teams as possible survive in Canada even if that means the average player salary reaches just $775,000 and not $900,000 in the next three years" (N.Y. POST, 10/5). Jim Proudfoot writes that the NHL could forego $200-300M in lost expansion fees if troubled franchises move to new cities (TORONTO STAR, 10/5).