SBD/April 22, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NHL Stands To Generate $180M In Revenue From Six Outdoor Games Next Season

Six outdoor games are part of a three-year strategy to raise HRR by $1B
The six planned outdoor NHL games for the '13-14 season "are worth about $30 million apiece" and the extra $180M will be split down the middle for the league and the players, something that is a "big factor in the fact that all of these games are going to happen," according to the CBC's Elliotte Friedman. The salary cap is set to decrease next season, leading to a "big concern among players what the escrow was going to be next year." The CBC's Glenn Healy noted scheduling the outdoor games is part of a "three-year strategy in which the NHL will make an extra $1 billion in HRR." The plan includes "things like the outdoor games, it'll include a World Cup, it'll include some great money in regards to their sponsors with TV revenue and with merchandise." Healy added of the outdoor games, "I like the fact that they're going to have the games, have the strategy, and load everyone's pockets" ("HNIC," CBC, 4/20). However, CSNPHILLY.com’s Tim Panaccio wrote no matter how the NHL “tries to spin this, what you have here is an attempt to capitalize off of an event that generates as much as $35 million in revenues and duplicate it five more times to make up for a windfall of money shortages caused by the 2012-13 lockout.” This “isn’t necessarily greed at play here,” but rather the NHL’s “'quick fix' to revenue shortages.” Adding the games is “purely about recouping lost dollars from a lockout that the NHL brought upon itself” (CSNPHILLY.com, 4/21).

HIGH RISK, HIGH REWARD
: In N.Y., Larry Brooks wrote the additional outdoor games bring "risk along with reward" for the league. The decision is "about capturing dollars and the imagination of the sports fans who spend them." It also is "about expanding the reach of this sport that for far too long has operated in a creative time warp." The two games that will be played at Yankee Stadium the week before Super Bowl XLVIII at Met Life Stadium should be a "home run for the NHL." The whole sports world will "be here and watching." But the games must be "conducted in the same first-class manner that has marked the Winter Classic." The ice must be "as pristine and safe as possible," and the weather conditions "must merit a go." The operations "must run seamlessly." The NHL "always shines when presenting special events," and the league will be "obligated to shine six times" next year (N.Y. POST, 4/21). Meanwhile, Stars analyst Daryl Reaugh said, "Mark my words today. There will be a game at Cowboys Stadium. There will be a game there. I would say in the next three years there will be a game at Cowboys Stadium" (DALLASNEWS.com, 4/19).
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