An Anti-Attendance Thread: Info on Gate Receipts

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by MAROONSRoad, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    It looks like the Globe & Mail has obtained a copy of the leaked NHL data which the National Post initially reported on early this year.

    The information underlines what I wrote before about how pointless it is to debate the NHL's "announced attendance" figures, which don't tell us (i) how much the average ticket sold for, (ii) how many tickets were given away for free and (iii) perhaps most importantly -- given that they are the official attendance figures! -- how many people actually attended the games.

    Here are some interesting points from the Globe & Mail Article:

    -- the Thrashers gave away an average of 2,827 tickets a game in their first 25 home games.

    -- the Panthers gave away an average of 2,806 freebies a game, down from the 4,155 freebies they averaged last season, which was the most in the league.

    -- League documentation shows that the Thrashers' net gate receipts, after taxes, were an average of $487,890 a game for the first 25 games (this includes Luxury Suite revenue allocated to hockey). That would mean that the total gate for the Thrashers over a 41 game regular season would be around USD 20.5 million. Assuming improved gate over the final 16 games would move that figure up. However, what is most interesting to me: the Thrashers at $487,890 were 26th best in the NHL, meaning 4 teams had worse gate receipts.

    -- by comparison, Toronto Maple Leafs average $1.514 million per game in gate receipts, tops in the league

    See details here:

    http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070329.wsptshoalts29/GSStory/GlobeSports

    According to an earlier report from the National Post, leaked NHL financial information showed:

    "With the best team in the NHL to date, gate receipts in Nashville were up 28% on Dec. 31, at just shy of $525,000 per game. That still left the Predators in 23rd spot overall, with nightly gate receipts that are less than half of four Canadian teams, and not equal to 60% of the ticket revenues the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators reap on a per-game basis."

    This means that at least 7 NHL teams averaged $525,000 or less per game. Over a 41 home game regular season, that's a little over $21.5 million or less that 7 teams achieved in gate receipts.

    It also follows from the National Post article that the Oilers averaged over $1,050,000 per game by way of comparison. Over a 41 home game regular season, that's a little over $43 million in gate receipts.

    See details here:

    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/...b30cc-5abb-4a6f-ac91-1994f0bab068&k=85806&p=1

    Interesting stuff! :)

    GHOST

    [EDIT: I overlooked the Chart that accompanied the Globe & Mail article. Thanks to Fugu for having a sharp eye! Data for all of the NHL teams (paid attendance, free tickets, average ticket price, average gate receipts per game, etc., is contained in two charts in a .pdf file which can be found at this link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/v5/content/pdf/NHLweb.pdf]]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  2. Timmy

    Timmy Registered User

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    The Thrashers and the Panthers, who paid the requisite fees, have the right to exist in our league!

    Interesting stuff!



    All teams give away tickets.


    Interesting stuff!

    Posters who pretend to present an unbiased opinion while actually wanting a team to relocate to their own market:


    Interesting Stuff!
     
  3. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    Who said I'm not biased? EVERYONE is biased! I am presenting information that you can a) dispute, b) explain or c) do nothing with, Timmy.

    GHOST
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  4. Timmy

    Timmy Registered User

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    I'm not biased, actually. I'm a Canucks fan, and our team is pretty secure here.

    I'm just thinking about all of the fans of the teams that you'd like to relocate.


    Let's start with Boston and Chicago before we start attacking Nashville and Atlanta.
     
  5. undraftedstlouis

    undraftedstlouis Registered User

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  6. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Top non-Original Six team. Which is pretty freaking cool.
     
  7. Sotnos

    Sotnos Registered User

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    Indeed it is. Wow they are ripping off their fans for a substandard product.

    Anyway, their "leak" stopped at January 31st, but they have the guts to call Waddell a liar when he may be taking into account the whole season
    while they are not.
     
  8. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    Oh I'm taking that one out of context!:sarcasm:

    Fact is if Winnipeg got a team they would have 0 comps and a $5 million dollar a game gate!:sarcasm:
     
  9. Weary

    Weary Registered User

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    You've undermined your initial claim by spending the next three sentences listing your biases. Not being self-interested doesn't equate to not being biased.
     
  10. btn

    btn Gone Hollywood

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    A very sloppy piece. They question whether the Thrashers gate revenues are up this year, by comparing them to the Maple Leafs. How is that revelant.

    If the Thrashers were in that much trouble they wouldn't have started giving away tons of seats until this year...which appears to be a marketing strategy. Last year they only averaged about 400 seat giveaways per game.

    The ownership issue it the most serious issue, and they barely even mentioned it.
     
  11. Whiplash27

    Whiplash27 Quattro!!

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    First off a team like Chicago isn't going to get any attendance until they have a good team which hasn't happened in years. From the 97-98 season to present, the Blackhawks have only made the playoffs once. A lot like the Rangers except they still stink now.

    In terms of other teams, you're not in a hockey market, so it's going to be hard to get attendance. Sure Atlanta is a pretty big city, but they had hockey there once and it didn't work. I don't see why they wanted to go back. The team isn't going to get any big publicity unless they win the cup or go to the finals or something. Same goes for a lot of those smaller market teams. When you have guys like Hossa, Kovalchuk, Kozlov, and now Tkachuk on your team, you shouldn't have to give away tickets.
     
  12. ej_pens

    ej_pens Registered User

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    The problem is two-fold.

    1) They are only up about 500 fans a game in attendance, yet they are giving away over 2400 tickets more a game this year than last. It shows that people that paid for tickets last year are now taking advantage of free tickets this season. That leads into the 2nd problem.

    2) Giving away large amounts of tickets as a "marketing" strategy is a flawed, desperate strategy that usually only leads to more problems. While the theory may sound good (get people into the arena and eventually they will buy tickets), it almost never works in practice. It rarely results in more people actually buying tickets and generally results in ticket buyers relying on those free tickets and buying fewer than they did previously.
     
  13. Fugu

    Fugu Guest

    Who cares whether anyone is biased or not? Anyone with a calculator - which isn't really required if you round up - can see that an average gate receipt of just under $500 K per game isn't very good. The Thrashers payroll this year is projecting along to $43.6 MM. The take from gate receipts for 41 home games - at this rate - would be less than $21 MM. The biggest revenue sharing check sent out last year reportedly went to Nashville to the tune of $11 MM. Ergo... simple logic, no?... the Thrashers received less. Last year's cap, as we all know was $39 MM; and $44 MM this year. Nope, nothing to see here folks. Move along.:sarcasm:

    Comparing it to Toronto is relevant because Atlanta has a third of the gate receipts of Toronto. Perhaps the article only falls short in not reporting what the other league leaders' gate receipts are (as Mark Spector did). In a league where many teams mostly rely on gate receipts [41 home games + change for pre-season games, 22-man rosters, ~$1.4-1.6 MM avg salary, etc.] it certainly is telling of something. Of course there are other revenue streams, mainly from broadcast media, but if anything these types of articles show just how wide the revenue gap remains. The teams with the attendance problems also don't have all those other revenue streams upon which to draw. Using the Toronto example, the Leafs would get $62 MM from 41 home games. If the Leafs annual revenues indeed are in the $120-130+ MM range, they are only 50% reliant on gate receipts, yet their gate receipts alone outpace teams like Atlanta by a factor of 3X.

    The biggest problem the league has is still the revenue gap. Using 30 teams' revenues averaged to determine appropriate spending levels for players - when the gap is 2-3X the upper half - seems to treat the problem through revenue sharing, but at the same time feeds it with a rising ceiling and floor. That said, I'm not really sure what else the league could do short taking over all 30 teams and sharing the wealth equally. The leagues constitution - and ownership laws in both countries - would probably prohibit such moves. ;)
     
  14. jerseydevil

    jerseydevil Registered User

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    Does this really shock anyone? Hockey is a fringe sport at best here in the states...In most areas of the country..NOBODY CARES...
     
  15. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    1. If Atlanta's numbers are correct, it suggests their paid attendance has dropped from about 14,950 in 2005-06 to 13,091 this year, while their total attendance has moved from 15,286 to 15,918. Can someone do a rough check to see if the implied total attendance numbers look right?

    2. This also implies that for 2006-07, the total attendance for Chicago is less than the paid attendance for St. Louis ... which means all the people that say St. Louis is dead last in attendance must be wrong.

    3. The article makes no mention of what the comp tickets are used for - are they part of contractual obligations with advertisers and/or sponsors? That alone could spell part of the difference.

    4. Let's see what the final, audited 2006-07 numbers for all 30 teams looks like and how it compares to this list. I'm going to bet some of the numbers don't look anything alike.
     
  16. Whiplash27

    Whiplash27 Quattro!!

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    When you look at it, 11 worst attendance in the league:
    #30: St. Louis - 12,368 (#22)
    #29: Chicago - 12,610 (#28)
    #28: NY Islanders - 12,705 (#19)
    #27: Washington - 13,757 (#26)
    #26: New Jersey - 14,043 (#9)
    #25: Boston - 14,655 (#22)
    #24 - Phoenix - 14,924 (#29)
    #23 - Nashville - 15,190 (#3)
    #22 - Florida - 15,297 (#21)
    #21 - Atlanta - 16,099 (#13)
    #20 - Anaheim - 16,336 (#4)

    Those in bold are the ones that worry me the most.
    New Jersey - 9th best team in the league, were #2 in the conference until last night. Yet they have the 5th worst attendance in the league.
    NY Islanders - In the middle of an exciting playoff race, 3rd worst in the league.
    Atlanta - First in their division, #3 in the conference, 10th worst.
    Anaheim - 4th best team in the league, 11th worst
    Nashville - 3rd best team in the league, 8th worst

    Also, the fact that a team like Phoenix who is in a traditionally non-hockey market and is the 2nd worst team in the league is beating Boston (recently eliminated), New Jersey (4th East), Islanders (10th East) and is nipping at Nashville's (t-1st west) heels, says something to me.

    And Florida is actually beating all of those teams. Yet another non-traditional market that's been pretty much out of the playoff hunt for most of the season
     
  17. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    Are you comparing overall record to overall average attendance, or to percentage of capacity - because if you're comparing to the raw average, then of course Nashville (and Edmonton for that matter) are going to be way down there; they play in 2 of the smallest arenas in the NHL.

    Additionally: your number of 12,610 for Chicago's attendance is 2,000 higher than the numbers implied in the .pdf from the Globe - so something is amiss.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  18. geezette

    geezette Registered User

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    I can give you a reason for the freebies.
    Advertising on the boards is sometimes sold by those attendance figures.
    The space buyers only care about people reading the ad, not if they paid for the ticket. The same thing holds true for any other ads. In the program, on the screens and even on the arenas themselves.
     
  19. Mr BLUEandWHITE

    Mr BLUEandWHITE Registered User

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    A while ago someone tried to justify with me that every sport team in every league gives tickets away for free. I agreed with that person but not on the large scale that is being reported by the Globe and Mail.
     
  20. Fugu

    Fugu Guest

    Apparently Shoalts posted a chart with the gate receipts and ticket giveaways for all teams thru 31 January. It's the original article with a link to the chart in the left hand box.

    Chart for All Teams
     
  21. Whiplash27

    Whiplash27 Quattro!!

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    I'm taking the #s from ESPN. They may not be the best source, but they are a source.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?sort=home_pct&year=2007

    If you want to go by percentage:
    St. Louis - 58.9%
    Chicago - 61.5%
    Washington - 73.7%
    New Jersey - 73.8%
    NY Islanders - 78.0%
    Boston - 78.7%
    Florida - 79.5%
    Phoenix - 85.3%
    Atlanta - 86.8%
    Nashville - 88.8%
    Columbus - 90.2%

    Here you still have New Jersey, Nassau, Atlanta, Nashville in the crapper. Anything below 96.5% attendance is subpar. That's only based on tickets sold/given away too, not who shows up. So... yeah.
     
  22. Jarnberg

    Jarnberg Registered User

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    And people wonder why the NHL is dropping in popularity across the United States. Its own fans do nothing but trash the game and other markets.
     
  23. Mr BLUEandWHITE

    Mr BLUEandWHITE Registered User

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    When there are more deserving markets (Canada) then some in the USA I think most people hope to see those markets fail. (me included)

    The fact is that the US took 2 Canadian teams away. One of which, you have a very good case in saying the best rivalry in NHL history. (Montreal-Quebec) Now expansion/relocation comes along and these cities are not even considered, OK whatever in the expansion era they cannot survive because of the rise in salaries. But with the new CBA there is a new hope, and that hope is that a team in the US bombs and has no choice but to move, and we all (Canadians) pray that they come back to Canada.
     
  24. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    Then the numbers from that .pdf for Chicago don't even come close to what ESPN says. The .pdf indicates Chicago's total attendance through 1/31/07 is maybe 1,000 less than the total paid attendance for St. Louis in the same time frame ... and that's with the Blues having one less home game.

    Then again ... I look at Montreal, who according to the 2nd page has an average paid attendance of 20,984 ($1,276,666 per game in gate receipts divided by the average ticket price of $60.82) and add in the average 636 freebies per game and get a total average attendance of 21,620 - but their capacity (and their season average) is 21,273.

    So I'm calling shenanigans for the moment - because if I ran these numbers for every team, I'm sure there would be similar disparities ... enough to call into question either the reported numbers in the .pdf or the reported attendance numbers from elsewhere.
     
  25. Jarnberg

    Jarnberg Registered User

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    Like I said.
     

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