Article: Hockey's Back, but the Isles' Fans Aren't

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Buffaloed, Jan 18, 2006.

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  1. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    NY Times (free registration or other devious means required)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/sports/hockey/15liisle.html?pagewanted=1
    The team isn't doing well, the fans aren't happy about it, and the arena is sub-par. Frustrations are running high on all sides. There's lots of pearls of wisdom from everybody's favorite former GM in the article. Have their been any revenue projections for the Islanders this season? I have a feeling if they're not profitable, Wang is going to slash the payroll.
     
  2. jamiebez

    jamiebez Registered User

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    Considering that a third of the team's payroll is tied up in two guys (Yashin and Satan) cutting payroll may be pretty difficult.

    Kind of a shame, because with Bates, DiPietro, Parrish, Blake, etc, I think they have a good, young core. If they can't find a way to rid themselves of that ridiculous Yashin contract, I shudder to think who they might get rid of.
     
  3. JDevils3

    JDevils3 Registered User

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    Wang said (on Mike and the Maddog) that he would likely lose more then 10 mil. by the end of the season... about the same as 04. But was optumistic the number would improve when renovations started on that crap-box in Uniondale.

    Oh... and they will NOT slash the payroll. Wang is ridiculously wealthy and very commited to all things Long Island.
     
  4. jerseydevil

    jerseydevil Registered User

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    Islander fans are a strange group...They don't show up for regular season games but that place is a great time id they make the playoffs..LOUD! But, If the team is not winning, the fans stay far away from the Coliseum..
     
  5. Pure Slaughter Value

    Pure Slaughter Value Registered User

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    Walk up tickets are 2x as expensive as seasons...that is the reason this year. It's absurd that if you're not a season ticketholder you have to pay $90 for miserable seats.

     
  6. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    Smart fans - unlike some markets who will blindly support mediocrity for decades.

    Same thing happened in Vancouver but put an entertaining product on the ice and the fans will support the team.
     
  7. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    Now a suthern team not drawing on the otherhand...
     
  8. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    A real pitty that fans, despite a teams mediocrity, should not want to go see a game.
     
  9. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    Television???
     
  10. CREW99AW

    CREW99AW Registered User

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    Wang's owned the team for about 5 yrs.They've never been profitable for him with the arena/lease situation.He's claimed losses of $10m a yr and not slashed payroll.

    The rumor is the cap will increase somewhere between $1m-$5m for next yr.While I don't expect Wang to be up against a $45m cap,I also don't expect him to slash payroll.
     
  11. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    Wang was on WFAN after the recent changes and basically said they missed out on quarterly advertising so they will likely lose about as much as they did before the lockout but hope to recover that in the next quarter. If the payroll is slashed it will be more for rebuilding to spend the money later.

    It seems Wang also just leveled the landscape by announcing Milbury's resignation effective end of season, his absence will increase ticket sales.

    Disappointing the Times dropped it's Islander beatwriter after thirty years but is still interested in cameo's to kick the team when it's struggling. Even the organization itself on it's website knocked the Times earlier this season for their sportsillustrated coverage of hockey. This article dealt with a lot of old peripheral items but Mr Caldwell stopped covering hockey on a regular basis a few years ago, he used to do the Islanders beat as recently as 2002-03, he did not seem up to date with some of this information.

    Islanders have four basic problems that keep attendance down that also ties into Milbury and the team struggling on the ice:
    1. Walk up prices are far too expensive for games, everything is geared toward those with plans or season tickets in terms of discounts.
    2. Msg pays the Islanders 17m a year for televison rights and for that they make sure this team get's no television exposure beyond the game itself, they are off the air five minutes after games with no coaches press conference and no special programming.
    3. Baseball media market, limited print media for all three local hockey teams.

    http://www.teammarketing.com/fci.cfm

    Islanders walk up ticket prices are very expensive and even though their avg prices have dropped here (they were in top five in 03-04 in this report) not that many folks are going to purchase season tickets or invest in plans that give them discounts. To This is what's held down the attendance along with Msg making no effort to promote them, even though they own the television rights.

     
  12. FLYLine27*

    FLYLine27* BUCH

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    There TV ratings are about as low as it can get as well.
     
  13. FLYLine27*

    FLYLine27* BUCH

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    Huh? MSG doesn't even air Isles games. FSN does, so MSG just paying $17,000,000.00 for what exactly? ANd I see plenty of Islander commericals durning the day on FSN that promotes the Islanders.
     
  14. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    I was not referring to ratings, just that Vancouver fans followed the team on TV and stayed away in droves from the rink (11,000 - 12,000 atendance IIRC). In Canada TV ratings are very good. Vancouver has CBC, TSN, Rogers SportsNet, and Pay-Per-View as well as NHL Centre Ice.

    When the Canucks put an entertaining team back on the ice, the fans filled the arena and now the Canucks are a hot ticket and long waiting list for seasons tickets.
     
  15. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    Not MSG the network, but Charles Dolan, who owns/controls Cablevision, Madison Square Garden, the Rangers, the Knicks, the MSG cable network, and Fox Sports New York. Yup - the Rangers own the cable rights for the Islanders (and the Devils for that matter).
     
  16. FLYLine27*

    FLYLine27* BUCH

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    Ah did not know that, thanks.
     
  17. Mr BLUEandWHITE

    Mr BLUEandWHITE Registered User

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    I wish we would have fans like that in toronto maybe our owners would be such morons then
     
  18. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    Msg has aired some Islander games starting with the season opener, just as a rare Ranger game has been on Fox, both teams now have the FSN-2, MSG-2 channels to limit crossover games.

    To answer your question for what exactly? A monopoly on the local hockey television rights to three and now four teams with the addition of the Buffalo Sabres telecasts.

    Bottom line, Msg is hurting the Islanders exposure which also hurts ticket sales.

    Unfortunately by doing this they have also limited hockey's exposure in their own market which has produced all time low television ratings for all three teams regardless of their records and by contrast hurt's hockey's business in general.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2006
  19. Gnashville

    Gnashville HFBoards Hall of Famer

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    Chicago Cubs fans have the same problem. They attend games win or lose; the team always makes a profit and does nothing to improve the team or win a championship.

    If this was a southern team people would be blasting them, instead of saying they are smart enough to stay away.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2006
  20. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    As TO fans continue to line up for their annual sheep shearing and MLSE listens to the ring of the cash register.
     
  21. dok101

    dok101 Registered User

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    The Islanders have a great fan base on Long Island and as much as it bothers me to see empty seats at the Coliseum, I can understand why my fellow Islander fans are staying away. It is much more enjoyable (and affordable) for me to watch the game at home than it is to go to that dilapidated hunk of concrete that we call a home arena. I (my family) had season tickets from 1989 to 1996. The season ticket packages for 4 seats in the 200's became cost prohibitive and so we watched games at home instead. I'd venture to say that our season ticket holders would probably grow by 50-100% with a new arena. Until then, even with a decent product on the ice, the Islanders will draw a lower percentage of capacity than nearly any other team in the league.
     
  22. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    That's not reflective of what happened in 2001-02 when the Islanders sold out the final twenty games of the season.
     
  23. Bucky_Hoyt

    Bucky_Hoyt Registered User

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    I am curious as to whether or not the Isles "Lighthouse Project" has had any updates? Any locals know what the scoop has been in the last two months?

    To me, that deal will basically make or break the Isles. No reno would logically = no more Isles. But the NHL and the bizarre lease and contract deals that the Isles have been involved in for the last decade have been far from logical. Not to slight the fans or the players, but the administration is really out to lunch.

    Even with the long-term lease that they do have, I seroiusly doubt they'll stay in the Coliseum without renos beyond 2015.
     
  24. Snap Wilson

    Snap Wilson Registered User

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    The Isles have fans?
     
  25. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    Isles have a cable contract that pays them 300 m until 2030, they are going nowhere.
     
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