Grade 10 ELA
April 5th 2012
Why the National Hockey League Is Losing Money
The National Hockey League, otherwise known as “The NHL”, was at one point one of the biggest grossing sports leagues in the entire world according to forbes.com. Over the course of a few years, many teams have been relocated partly due to the fact that fans of certain cities do not care for hockey. One of the largest factors that impact the NHL is that there are teams in cities that perhaps used to care for hockey in the past, but after a period of time have lost interest. The NHL is losing money because of a major lack of attendance at hockey arenas, another possibility is that players are constantly asking for more money, and the league cannot afford this increasing cost. A final example could be that the NHL often goes into lockouts in which no hockey games takes place. Besides not generating ticket sales, this obviously upsets some fans and in protest, they have possibly lost interest and support for their hockey teams.
Hockey fans in the NHL can be very devoted to the game and their team, but over time it is not unusual for certain team’s fan bases to disintegrate after a long run if their team gets on a losing streak or is not making the playoffs. For example, the Phoenix Coyotes (formerly known as the Winnipeg Jets until 1996) have only made the playoffs once in their 17 years in Arizona. This can easily result in fans being upset with the team, giving up on them and switching to other sports. When the team loses fans, they lose money. The league also has billionaire owners who buy teams and move them to their local small town city, when they do not have a big arena to generate more fans, the league earns less money. Finally, the NHL is just losing fans to other major sports leagues like The National Football League or the up and coming Major League Soccer. The fact of it is, many NHL owners and fans do care about their team, but lots do not sell out games like they needed to in order to make a profit.
Another major reason the league is losing money is that players are continuously asking for more money from the team’s management and, because of limited or insufficient funds, the team struggles to pay for players contracts. According to yahoo.ca, the average salary in the NHL is approximately 2.4 million dollars which is the third highest average salary in all of the major sports. The second highest salary is Major League Baseball (3.31 million,) and the highest average salary is in the National Basketball Association (5.15 million). This leads to some teams being unable to sign big household name hockey players to their team. This could also spark a chain reaction for new draft picks if they refuse to sign with the team they have been drafted to due to the dismal environment during games if it is boring and not at all exciting. Greedy players can take the fun and excitement away from the game that detracts fans…
The final reason that the National Hockey league is losing money is because the league will sometimes have to go into a lockout. A lockout is when the league and the players association (NHLPA) cannot agree on a new collective