The Wild Lost Money? And ECHL Conference DifferencesShareThis
Wait, hold on, did I hear that right?
The Minnesota Wild, who have never NOT sold out a game (mmm double negatives), LOST money last year?
From TwinCities.com (found via Puck Daddy Headlines): “Leipold, who admits the Wild lost money last season when they failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season, shrugs off the possible end to the streak.”
Now, I’m no accountant – but is it just me, or is that just horrific business management? Basically, you did as good as you could possibly do (minus making playoffs, which should be gravy anyway – pretty sure you’re not supposed to build a business strategy that counts on non-guarantees) and still ended up in the red.
Every single seat sold every night. And that’s not enough to make money. Why own the team then? How’s about charging more and finding the tipping point? Not exactly pushing the supply demand thing very far there…. (says Fat Cat Capitalist Bourne).
Enlighten me, anyone. How is it possible to sell every conceivable printed ticket and not end up making bank?
Nearly every AHL team is on the east coast – there are some minor exceptions, but the bulk of them are out that way. Often, call-ups are a last minute thing. So it’s easy for an AHL team to call-up a nearby ECHL team and have some lucky kid hop in his car and drive the hour or two. So if you want to get a lot of AHL opportunity as a young guy with no two-way deal, it makes a lot of sense to be out there. More pro scouts out East too.
The cities in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference are, um, (tactfully put) “suspect”: Wheeling (of the song written performed by ECHL/AHLers “Death is Better Than Wheeling“), Johnstown, Trenton, Elmira…. the list goes on and on. And most of the arenas are fairly average, as far generalizations go.
The Western Conference, on the other hand, generally has sparkly, nice new buildings. And the cities?
They’ve lost a few of these teams in the last year or two, but when I played there it was:
Las Vegas, Phoenix, Victoria, Long Beach, Salt Lake City, Boise etc. etc. Great places to spend your winter.
Since it was harder to get called up from there, those teams generally have committed affiliates with lots of two-way contracts, and lots of older players on one-way ECHL deals who were comfortable staying where they’re at.
They had the guys who want to still play hockey and live somewhere nice (some may be on the downside of their careers), so you get players like the brothers Ferraro (Peter and Chris), Marty Flichel, Kimbi Daniels and so on.
It makes the hockey totally different – the Eastern Conference is younger, faster and more reckless, while the Western Conference is older, smarter, and more NHL style, because it attracts guys who just want to settle down in a nice city for the winter and play puck. Just thought I’d pass along that strangle little nugget for everyone.
If you’re in the mood for little tidbits like that, check out Puck Daddy today – I did a Top Ten of “Things I Woudn’t Know If I Didn’t Play Hockey.” Fun.
I’m finally getting into a routine of creating columns and blogging – if you haven’t noticed, most posts will probably be shorter, but they’ll link to my daily post wherever it is around the ‘net. Thanks for your continued support of Deadspin Bourne’s Blog! Somehow we’re setting personal traffic records in pre-season, weee… welcome our new friends!