December 29, 2005

Hockey does not get it right the second time.....: Second time the players were locked out didn't get the most important errors fixed.

The biggest mistake the owners have made with the reformulation of the National Hockey League is their failure to address the concept of their customers, viz., the fans. It's noted in a hundred places that the attendance is improved over 2003-2004. It has been said that the parity of the teams is greater than pre-lockout. This might be disputed by the fans in St. Louis and Chicago, but their ownership is debatable at best. It has been said by many that the mostly-conference play is a bonus, although I myself dispute this with fervor. But the fan has been sordidly forgotten in many respects. The lockout was supposed to solve the ticket price excessive problem. It didn't. A ticket for an NHL game in typical cities STARTS at nearly $40, and this is for an upper-level, semi-blocked view seat. Prices for lower-level formerly red-line seats (another debatable move) begins well over the C-note mark, in most cases nearly $150. Lord, how the hell can a man with a wife and two kids afford to even walk in? The seats alone are going to cost him near $200. I used to purchase season tickets to a minor league hockey team for 32 games for a trifle over $200. So what has been fixed? Well, the players salaries have supposedly been capped. Hoop-de-doo. So the team ace goal scorer now gets $8 million instead of $19 million, but the seats didn't go down. They no longer have a redline, and they eliminated the two-line offside pass call. Hoop-de-doo, those of us who used to (and still do) play have a hard time understanding why, except to make scoring easier for fleet-skating forwards. The enjoyment of this new hockey is hard to reason because so many can't afford it YET. Perhaps the owners should have had some round-table discussions with their fans before agreeing on the new terms. From my recollection of the lockout, it began because the owners wanted a salary maximum to control ticket prices. They got their salary maximum. They just didn't control the ticket prices.

posted by mrhockey to at 05:56 PM - 0 comments

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