A Nuetral Site Stanley Cup Final

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by rwilson99, Jan 31, 2005.

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  1. rwilson99

    rwilson99 Registered User

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    With the future of the NHL hinging on effectively marketing the game and maximizing revenue, especially shared playoff revenue, I propose moving the best of 7 Stanley Cup Final to a nuetral site in a traditional hockey market.

    The Super Bowl tends to rotate among warm-weather sites and an occasional domed stadiums to create the best experiece for football fans and corporate sponsors who plan a vacation around the event.

    I suggest we do the same with hockey, rotating the event between Toronto, Detroit, Montreal, Boston, New York and other markets that can help maximize exposure, ticket revenue and sponsorships for the event.

    Imagine a six game Stanley Cup Final in Montreal and the economic impact on the league. Last year, Finals tickets would have been priced in the $500-$1000 range for Habs fans. Ticket revenue from such a series would be 6x750(avg. ticket)x20,000 or 90 Million Dollars. That's almost enough revenue to offset the loss of the ABC television contract that expired last year. Such an audience would also provide great opportunites for the league to sell major, high end sponsorships.

    A nuetral site would also maximize revenue from memorabillia as fans with deeper pockets attend the finals, and fans from participating teams spend more on merchandise rather than tickets. This plan would also give greater access to the media, allowing them to spend less time flying from coast to coast and more time covering the game and it's impact in major North American Markets.

    Expand the playoffs to 24 teams... let's put the 06 Cup finals in Toronto and take it from there. If we get a deal, it will be because the large market teams sacrificed. This would be a win-win for the league and those teams that gave up the most to get a deal.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. grego

    grego Registered User

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    I personally would not love that idea too much. It would be quite the disappointment as a fan to not get to see your team in the final at all. If they never had it the other way in hockey we would never know what we were missing out on. But there is nothing better for a player then to possibly win the series in front of the hometown crowd.
     
  3. no13matssundin

    no13matssundin Registered User

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    I completely agree.
     
  4. CantHaveTkachev

    CantHaveTkachev Still a joke of a team

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    boooo to this idea...
     
  5. Driftwood

    Driftwood Ron Rolston Forever

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    In a word: NO!

    Very unfair to the fans of the teams who make to the finals, especially in a regional sport like hockey. You can't compare the Super Bowl to a best of 7 series.
     
  6. rwilson99

    rwilson99 Registered User

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    But it's the only way to get the Finals to come back to T.O.

    I predict that playoff revenue sharing is the first step such a plan, it makes too much business sense for the league.
     
  7. Bicycle Repairman

    Bicycle Repairman Registered User

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    How about a round-robin tourney with the two finalists and the host city team?
     
  8. The Legend

    The Legend GW

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    As a Leafs fan, I can speak for us in saying that we really don't anything hockey that's not Canada or Maple Leafs. I can't see Toronto fans buying tickets to a stanley cup featuring Phoenix against Washington, which by the way, will be the stanley cup in 2008
     
  9. Icey

    Icey Registered User

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    So under the leagues revenue sharing plan a substantial portion of it will come from the Stanley Cup revenue. With that in mind, with your plan the team that hosts the finals would actually end up paying into the revenue fund pool rather than perhaps draw from it and a team that is actually in the finals may get no revenue from the finals.

    Also lets just take last seasons finals. Why would fans of Calgary or Tampa Bay travel all the way to Toronto for a game? And would fans of Toronto necessarily pack the AAC to see Calgary vs. Tampa Bay? Probably not. There team is out of the finals, so they lose interest and especially if it becomes a Anaheim vs. NJ finals.

    It works so-so in football. Talk to any fan of any of the teams playing or the host city and see how fair they think the way tickets are divided up are. Being a STH during the regular season does not guarantee you a ticket to superbowl.

    Sorry but I think its a lousy idea and in a league were its each team for themselves it will never fly. Remember the owners may be united now, but once the CBA is signed they will return to their normal cut throat routine.
     
  10. grego

    grego Registered User

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    I find round robin tournaments annoying in one way. The host team makes it no matter what. They could have missed the playoffs entirely and been the worst team in the league. But suddenly they are in the finals so if they got hot for a few games, and the other teams were injured, they have an advantage since they would have had over a month to heal.

    When I have seen that scenario occur in Junior hockey I always found that odd. But to have that happen in a pro league would seem worse.

    Anyone that would think a short season Stanley Cup winner should have an asterisk by the Cup. Would demand a whole series of asterix's next to it, if the host team won despite not making the playoffs in the regular season.
     
  11. rwilson99

    rwilson99 Registered User

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    With a year of promotion by the league, travel agencies and the like, the series will be sold out months in advance. It will be a great opportunity to celebrate the history of the league.

    Hockey is Canada's national sport, the league is largely Canadian. The SCF would sell out at a huge ticket price premium long before the teams are announced.
     
  12. Bicycle Repairman

    Bicycle Repairman Registered User

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    That would be true. However, it may very well be in the league's best financial interest to insure at least one major market has a chance to win the championship. Remember, it's not about the hockey.

    Rotating the Stanley Cup Finals between Toronto, Detroit, Montreal, Boston and New York on a five-year cycle would surely build interest in the sport.
     
  13. Jack Canuck

    Jack Canuck Registered User

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    I would be thrilled as a Canuck fan if they finally made it to the finals again and I didn't get a chance to see a game because they are off playing back east or something. :shakehead

    I don't think this idea stands a chance.
     
  14. grego

    grego Registered User

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    Rotating to a few cities loses the lifelong impact of the younger people, the target audience to anything, seeing the game live. That is what I worry the most about with that idea. Any of the people that got to a Flames game, even though they lost will have more of a bond with the team for life now because they will have the memory of seeing that game live.

    You can't get that from just seeing it on TV to the same level. The fans may peak in interest for a few years, but if the team declines you would likely lose more fans during the bad times.
     
  15. bhawk24bob

    bhawk24bob Registered User

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    lol, it's been a while since the canadians were in the finals, so we should bring 2 other teams to play for it in montreal. what a ridiculous idea.
     
  16. Flukeshot

    Flukeshot Hextall Activate!

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    This would be the only thing holding me back from saying yes.

    From a marketing and financial standpoint it makes loads of sense. Enough sense to go with the loads of money that could be pulled in from it. A 7 game series would be difficult though.

    This may sound even more foolish but perhaps if they split the series up into neutral and natural sites. So that they go the best of both worlds. Play the game 1 at the East's home and game 2 at the West's and then the rest at a neutral site. Or perhaps play the first 3 games neutral and then have 4,5,6&7 go back and forth between the two competing team's cities. I think that selling tickets for a Cup final game in a neutral city would be easy.

    Heck under the first 3 games at a neutral site idea you could cover 3 different markets making the likelyhood of a sellout much more increased. Game 1 in TOR, Game 2 in NY, Game 3 in Montreal. Tell me that they wouldn't sell out one game each!

    Also with the neutral site/s concept greater importance would be placed on the Conference Championships I believe. As fans of the teams competing would know that their only chance to see their team would be the Conf finals. Thus creating more playoff revenue through ticket sales.

    It could follow that the All-Star game could pull a MLB theme with the winning Conf. taking home ice advantage and the right to choose to host either games 4 and 6, or 5 and 7 under the 3 Neutral games idea.

    Just an added thought to get the best out of both the Stanley Cup's history/glory and financial growth.
     
  17. NJD Jester

    NJD Jester Registered User

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    So, basically, you want to take the Stanley Cup Finals away from the fans and give it to the suits in New York and whatever sponsors the league wants to butter up with blocks of tickets.

    Wear a helmet next time, Guy...
     
  18. hb6947

    hb6947 Hooked Since '78

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    Vegas Baby! :yo: Vegas!!
     
  19. Oh yeah, the Stanley Cup finals wouldn't sell out in Toronto. It wouldn't matter who was playing, they would sell out in an hour. That being said, I don't like the idea at all. The crowd would likely be pretty dead if nobody in the host city cared about either team.
     
  20. Sotnos

    Sotnos Registered User

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    I agree, and I cannot believe a Tampa fan came up with this idea! Just thinking of what happened here last June, I wouldn't have wanted that in some neutral location.

    The Super Bowl is one day, so if they have the money, it's not all that hard for fans to attend. A seven game series can take almost two weeks, a much longer time to get vacation for, pay for a hotel room, etc. This would be really bad for the fans of the team involved.

    Why would you put the series in a "traditional market" anyway? The League needs to sell the game to them? I don't see how this would drum up any more interest, really.
     
  21. ACC1224

    ACC1224 Registered User

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    I'm a season ticket holder and typically go to about 10 games a year and give away or sell the rest, come playoff time I go to every game. Why would any season ticket holder pay all season long and then not be able to watch the finals? It's like going to the movies knowing you have to leave before the end.

    Keep rotating the All Star game to help promote the game. I'd wouldn't care if that came back to Toronto again.
     
  22. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    No.
     
  23. Yeah, that really helped build interest in the CFL when the Grey Cup was rotated between Toronto and Vancouver for the better part of a decade. That drove the league into the crapper (which says a lot when dicussing the CFL) and people lost interest. When they got the games back into all the ball parks, no matter how cold it was, it energized the league again. You need to have the games played where the teams are based. It's a reward for the fans who support those teams through thick and thin.
     
  24. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    The neutral site system only works for a one game championship.
     
  25. puck_it

    puck_it Registered User

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    in a word NO
     
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