Blues Ownership Spends Near Salary Cap To Stay At Top Of League
The Blues are "right up against the salary cap" as they look to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, something that "takes commitment from an ownership group that doesn't have the deepest pockets and is in the nation's 21st largest market," according to Tom Timmermann of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Blues Chair Tom Stillman said, "It's difficult to win or even have a serious contender if you're not in the neighborhood of the cap. So that's a commitment we made because we wanted to win a Cup for the Blues franchise and for St. Louis. That cap is a two-edged sword. If not for the cap, the St. Louis Blues wouldn't exist. Not in St. Louis. We could not have kept up." He added, "At the same time, we're going to have to keep improving our revenues and everything we do to keep up with that cap because it's going to continue to rise." Stillman: "That was a decision you have to make advisedly after a lot of thought and analysis. Our feeling in the end was, we wanted to be competitive, we needed to be competitive, so we made that commitment" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/3).
BLUES' CLUES: In a special to SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, Chris Botta noted more than 94% of existing Blues season-ticket holders "renewed for 2019-20" on the strength of winning the Cup. Better still, 4,000 new full-season equivalents "were sold this summer -- about 10 times more than the franchise had sold over the past few offseasons." As a result, the Blues "capped season ticket sales at 15,000, started a waiting list, and expect to be completely sold out this season." The Blues had been an "unprofitable franchise year-over-year for most of their five decades." But the "turn toward responsible budgeting and strategic investments that began" when Stillman took majority control of the team in '12 has "started to pay off." Since '14, total local revenue has "grown more than 30%." Since lifting the Stanley Cup, the Blues have "added eight major new sponsors, the largest of which include CarShield, Jägermeister and PetSmart" (SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/30 issue).