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HURRICANE EFFECT? NHL GATE RECEIPTS UP "ONLY" 3.3%
Published June 16, 1998
A "confidential" report obtained by Al Strachan of the TORONTO SUN shows that while NHL ticket prices "were up an average of 6.6% throughout the league this season, after-tax gate receipts increased by only 3.3%." One of the "main reasons" was the relocation of the Whalers to NC, "where the average after-tax gate was only $198,705." But "even if the Carolina figures had matched those from Hartford, league- wide gate receipts would not have increased at the same rate as ticket prices." All figures are in U.S. dollars. Other numbers showed that the Canadiens "were the only Canadian team" in the upper half of the league's receipts, with the fifth-highest total at $31.17M. That represented a drop of 2.1% from last season, despite a 1.8% increase in the team's average ticket prices. Vancouver and Toronto rank 15th and 16th in the league and have "similar totals," a little more than $21M. Strachan writes that the Flames rank 24th in receipts and are "in danger of having the league's lowest gate receipts within two years." Among the Stanley Cup participants, the Red Wings had the third-highest gate receipt in the league, while the Capitals are second-to- last, ahead of only Carolina (TORONTO SUN, 6/16). BONUS BABIES: With final figures yet to be determined, the total amount of monetary awards provided by the NHL for playoff and regular season bonuses will be $11M, an increase of $1M from last season. Of the $10M awarded last year, nearly $7M went to playoff bonuses (WASHINGTON POST, 6/16).