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Volume 24 No. 117
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Blues' Stillman Says Team's Financials Are More Stable After Second Year Of Ownership

Blues Owner Tom Stillman and his group of investors "put many resources into this year’s team, and like the national experts, believed that the club had the potential to win its first Stanley Cup," according to a Q&A with Jeremy Rutherford of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Stillman last week made "his first public comments since the postseason ended" for the Blues, who lost to the Blackhawks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Below are excerpts of the Q&A: 

Q: Do you see the Blues as still being positioned well for success, or do you believe any changes need to be made?
Stillman: As much as we were disappointed, at the same time it's clear that we are not far away from breaking through. Mainly for that reason, I don't think anybody is thinking that we should blow everything up.

Q: How did the lack of more home playoff games and thus increased gate revenue impact the franchise?
Stillman: Obviously the result is we didn't get revenue from a second round, third round or more, so it does hit us that way. But my view of a rational way to construct a budget for a business is not to include revenue that you're not pretty certain to get. I don't think it's a great idea to build a budget and assume lots of playoff rounds. You can't base your finances on that when you don't know it's going to happen. So strictly on the business side or financial side, we hadn't counted on absolutely getting that revenue. We have tried to stay prudent and sound in our financial practices, including our budgeting practices. 

Q: How is the organization doing financially?
Stillman: We're doing better. We're more stable. But we have a ways to go to reach our goal of being a really sound, stable franchise with a secure long-term future.

Q: How is owning the Blues compared to how you envisioned it?
Stillman: The answer really is, I don’t know that I had a well-formed vision of how this would be. To the extent there was one, it wasn’t a view that we’re going to walk in, take over and everything was just going to go straight through the roof. I’ve had a parallel experience, taking over a beer business 20 years ago, and that was not a smooth ride for a lot of those years. It takes time and effort, and trial and error, to get an organization where you want it to go. On the hockey side, to me, it’s been not very much trial and error. It’s been trial and success with most of the moves that have been made. Again, we didn’t end up where we wanted to this year, but we’re going to keep at it (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 6/3).