HOCKEY — 14 February 2013

Looks like the forgotten victim in the battle of Billions between the NHL and the Players has come to surface. The Fans are lucky to see a 5.7% increase on the cost of tickets. NHL teams had the larger increases then the NBA and NFL for the past two seasons. Which is surprising because the NBA and NFL both were in lockout situations but it could be argued that both leagues rebounded successfully. I think the NBA and NFL have had success and it hasn’t been from ticket price increases.

You can fight over a pile of money but the reality is somewhere there is a bubble and when you focus on fighting over money instead of improving the game, it is no wonder teams struggle no matter the CBA. The league should focus on making better location choices for teams and not hold onto a dying dog in Phoenix. The Toronto market could easily suffice and the league would benefit from more rivalries, ticket sales and properly saturating the demand of one of it’s biggest markets. Instead they bicker about building a model that will benefit the rich and the poor… Nobody wins because the poor are the ones who end up paying the rich. That’s the fans of the sport that end up becoming the victim to the cruel world of business.

Now that hockey has been back for a month it is clear that the fans have taken a step back and aren’t as committed as they once were. I wouldn’t be eager to rush back to pay players salaries at a 5.7% increase in ticket prices. I think ticket prices should have been discounted and the league/players should have taken one on the chin and do the right thing. The hotels, restaurants, employees and everyone who ended up being short changed from the NHL lock out are now being asked to fork out more money to watch hockey.

I personally will enjoy watching the NBA and upcoming Toronto Blue Jays baseball season. In 10 years prices will be even higher, what’s to like about hockey if you don’t wear a suit and tie!


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