SBD/Issue 174/Franchises

Canada's Six NHL Teams Account For 31% Of League's Ticket Revenue

Maple Leafs Lead NHL This
Season In Home Ticket Revenue
The NHL's six Canadian franchises for the '07-08 season accounted for 31% of the league's US$1.1B ticket revenue, according to an internal NHL report cited by Rick Westhead of the TORONTO STAR. The report also shows the six teams have "gone through league-leading double-digit increases over" the '06-07 season. While the NHL has seen ticket revenue rise almost 10%, 11 of the 24 U.S. franchises "were either revenue-flat or lost ticket income." The Maple Leafs this season topped the league with C$77.9M in ticket revenue, or about C$1.9M per regular-season home game. NHL sources reported that the Maple Leafs for the '06-07 season averaged C$1.5M a game. Sources indicated that the "increase in the value of the Canadian dollar may be responsible for as much as half of the league's revenue gains since the NHL went through the lockout" of '04-05. A U.S. NHL team exec said, "If you take out the Canadian teams, which have done so well since the lockout largely because of the Canadian dollar, the league's revenues are actually only growing at a 2[%] clip per year." NHLPA Exec Dir Paul Kelly said that the data "highlights the importance of placing more franchises in Canada." Kelly: "I think it would be a huge error not to relocate one of the existing franchises to Hamilton or Winnipeg." Former Canucks Owner Arthur Griffiths: "This really makes the case for another team in Canada, whether it's Hamilton, Winnipeg or Quebec City." Kelly noted that the "soonest the league could realistically consider relocation or expansion is in time" for the 2009-2010 season (TORONTO STAR, 5/30).

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