Re: Running back to Saskatoon?
posted at 3/3/2012 11:57 AM EST
In Response to Re: Running back to Saskatoon?
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Running back to Saskatoon? : I agree that a team, especially in a small market can't depend on tickets alone, and I doubt Saskatoon would have the other revenue streams, even if they had enough people, to support a team. But I do think you would get a decent amount of people willing to pay top dollar (just not enough of them). The same question was raised about whether people would pay NHL prices for a team in Winnipeg. The Jets have the second highest average ticket price in the league, only behind Toronto, and they completely sold out for the next three years in about 5 minutes. I do think Prairie folks are willing to pay top dollar (The two other Prairie teams besides Winnipeg - Edmonton and Calgary - are 4th and 6th in avg. prices), but don't think Saskatoon has the population base. Here's a listing of the average ticket prices foor this season http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/stars/post/_/id/13315/stars-have-cheapest-ticket-in-nhl
Amazingly, the Jets' average is $40 more than the Bruins.
Posted by red75[/QUOTE]
What Bettman should note from this list is that it demonstrates the price inelasticity of NHL hockey. In general, the highest prices are charged by franchises which routinely sell out their venues, while the lowest are charged by those with the lowest attendance. Thus, potential customers in a non-hockey market are not lured to games, despite relatively low ticket prices, while hockey-mad markets will literally pay anything to see their team.
The main lesson moving forward for the NHL, in my opinion, is to not look at the metro area's population as an indicator of potential success, but the number of hockey fans. For example: Kansas City, metro area population 2.2 million vs. Quebec City, metro area population 765,000. Which area has more hockey fans? In KC, maybe 20% (that's a wild guess), yielding 440,000 fans. In QC, probably 65% (again, a wild guess with no stats to back it up), yielding 497,000 fans. AND, one could argue that the QC fans are "hard-core", with a lower percentage who would self-identify as "casual fans", as would likely be the case in KC. Getting back to the list, a KC franchise (despite the distant past history of NHL hockey), would need to re-build their fan base, likely with low ticket prices, while a QC team would be able to charge top dollar right out of the gate (a la Winnipeg v2.0). Thus, a QC franchise will be financially stable right from day one, while a KC team may struggle to maintain a salary at the cap floor, negatively affecting its competitiveness (and thus, its appeal to new fans).
Again, I caution that the percentages are a complete wild guess, but I doubt that they'd be so far off to render the exercise a complete waste of time.