4th November 2009
The NHL may be making a come back compared to the work stoppage year(s), but there are some markets that are getting hammered due to the economy and other factors, namely, attendance woes due to lackluster performance in the standings.
No club in the NHL exemplifies this at this stage better than the Phoenix Coyotes. I’ve written ad nauseum about the love (or lack thereof) between the NHL, owner Jerry Moyes, and RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie over at The Biz of Hockey (here’s but one example) as it pertains to the bankruptcy filing by Moyes, his attempts to sell the team to Balsillie (who was going to hijack the team and relocate them to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, against the NHL’s will), and the general bleeding of red ink that can be viewed in just some of the many documents filed in court, here.
How has all this impacted the gate (and we didn’t even bring up Wayne Gretzky)? Attendance has been colder than the ice the Coyotes play on.
Case in point, Monday’s game against the Kings which drew a paid attendance of 5,855. Remember, paid attendance is the number of tickets sold, not rears in the seats, so the abysmal figure listed was certainly worse.
What’s worse? Try Saturday’s game against the Ducks, which drew 6,495 in paid attendance. Remember, that’s a Saturday night. Average for the two games: 6,175
The bankruptcy judge overseeing the sale of the Coyotes recently approved a deal for the NHL to purchase the club for $140 million. No word on whether they place the beleaguered club on eBay anytime soon.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.