NHL must learn from Jets 22
And it latest research into the business of hockey provides a fascinating look at how a small market owner in Winnipeg has turned the game on its ear and how similar franchise relocations could only benefit the business.
Of course, the NHL would rather stay in several lousy Red Bottom Shoes markets and make the players or in the case of Phoenix, the local taxpayers shed their blood to pay for its stubbornness.
According to Forbes, the Winnipeg Jets franchise is worth $200 million, a 22 percent jump from a year ago when the team was based in Atlanta.
The Jets rank 20th in the NHL, a significant increase from the $170 million Mark Chipman and David Thomson paid for the team and the right to move it.
The more astonishing figure: the Jets turned a $13.3 million profit in Year 1, ranking 10th of 30 teams in the net revenue take.
Thanks to a sold out building, one of the higher ticket prices in the league and a relatively low payroll, the Jets were more profitable than one Canadian team, the Calgary Flames, and 19 others, including those in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
At $105 million in total revenue, the Jets ranked 16th, according to Forbes.
Nobody from True North Sports and Entertainment would comment on the Forbes numbers no surprise there.
The report pegged Toronto as the league most valuable franchise, worth an estimated $1 billion the first time an NHL franchise has hit that threshold.
But here the rub: feeding at the bottom are the St. Louis Blues, valued at $130 million, and the Coyotes, at $134 million, a price tag that seems rather generous, given how the new owner there needs $16 million in subsidies per year to make a go of it.
As Forbes points out, the gap between the haves and have nots has become a canyon.
The top five teams Toronto, New York Rangers, Montreal, Chicago and Boston average $605 million in value.
The bottom five Carolina, New York Islanders, Columbus, Phoenix and St. Louis average $145 million.
And if you want to see why we experiencing yet another lockout that threatens the season, here it is: the top three teams, the Leafs, Rangers and Habs, made 83% of the NHL total profit.
Meanwhile, Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Columbus and Phoenix combined to lose an astounding $73.8 million.
In all, 14 of 30 teams lost money last season, says Forbes.
Makes you look at the NHL overall record revenue of $3 plus billion a little differently, doesn it?
Also makes you wonder how far the league is prepared to go to boost at least a handful of money losers to the black side of the ledger.
Short of serious revenue sharing, and I not even sure that would be enough, the NHL needs to get down to a 50 50 player/owner split, and then some.
It either that or lop off half a dozen teams and 150 or so player jobs.
At the very least, the league eventually has to come to grips with another relocation or two.
success of the Winnipeg Jets buttresse Red Bottom Shoes s ( Red Bottom Shoes the) case for moving a team to Quebec, is one of the conclusions of the Forbes report.
Of course, the NHL will keep whistling its way through its southern graveyard, continue to tell us all is well then attempt Red Bottom Shoes to gut the players every time the CBA comes up.
Talk about a dysfunctional business.
The Winnipeg Jets turned a $13.3 million profit in their first season back in the NHL and saw a 22% increase in the value of the franchise from its last year in Atlanta, according to Forbes annual look at the business of hockey.