Teams: celtic and winnipeg jets
NHL Fans in Canada Pay Up
from the toronto star:
Feb 10, 2007 04:30 AM
Canadian fans truly are the backbone of the NHL.
The six Canadian teams, representing 20 per cent of the 30-team league, account for 33.3 per cent of all NHL revenues.
That means Canadian team fans cough up an estimated $733 million (all figures U.S.) of the league's $2.2 billion revenue.
Whether it's a family buying season tickets, individuals buying sweaters, advertisers buying in-arena signage, radio and television companies purchasing broadcast rights and people parking their cars in club-owned lots, Canadian teams have economic clout.
Those facts came to light this week when agents gathered at an NHL Players' Association meeting where league revenues and salary-cap issues were discussed.
"That, to me, was almost shocking," agent Carlos Sosa said. "You've got smaller markets here, but they're doing well.
"It's an interesting number. With that kind of economic strength, you'd think they'd be able to wield more power."
The agents were told the salary cap will rise to about $48 million per team next season, a bump of about $4 million and $500,000 more than anticipated. The league won't confirm the salary-cap number until after the playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are by far the largest revenue generator in the league, having put more money than any other team – between $9 million and $10 million – into the NHL's revenue-sharing fund.
Sosa said once American owners realize that Canada is such a cash cow, they might warm up to the idea of a seventh franchise here, perhaps in Winnipeg.
"You'd think (the Canadian teams) could make a case for a Winnipeg," Sosa said. "They may go back there."
Leafs GM John Ferguson said he hopes his NHL brethren will see the light. "I'm a big proponent of Winnipeg, the city and the market," he said. "There's no such thing as a slam dunk. I do think that market would support the National Hockey League."