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Sens Underground Forums > I have a stupid idea...

There should be a fans' union, or fans association (FA) if you will, that is part of the discussions between owners and players. Moreover, the fans should demand a cut of the pie, say 10%. This return of profits to the fans could be in the form of reduced ticket prices, renovations/upgrades to arenas for better fan experience (i.e. SBP parking lot, or should I say Grand Canyon... I'd like to see NASA park one of their devices on that piece of barren land), or anything else the fans can think of/vote on to improve their game experience.

(For the record, I think the players are at the bottom of the food chain and the owners should get a larger share due to larger economic risk they assume. But the owners should not forget who's their boss - the fans. So, they should give back, not just figuratively, but in cash terms).

It's sickening how in some markets you have to take out a bank loan to bring your family to a hockey game, while in others they do everything but pay you to attend and watch the game against the glass.

rant over.

August 22, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Registered CommenterSens Dawg

If there is a lockout, I vote for a Fan's Union (FU) instead of FA. Simply because both sides don't seem to be hard pressed to negotiate with time running out. Meeting a couple hours a week is just a slap in the face to fans.

With that said, I can see good points from both sides.

First of all, before the lockout revenue was at $2.2B and now it's at $3.3B. That's a 50% increase in revenue which gives the leagues an average $100M per team. Now we all know that not every team is making $100M. It would not surprise me that 5-6 teams make 1/2 of that $3.3B

1. Do players make too much money? Hell yes they do.
2. Should contracts be limited 5 years in length to get rid of these ridiculous contracts that circumvent the salary cap? Yes
3. Will rolling salary back 24% and limit contract length solve all the problems? Not totally convinced about that one. The GMs will find another loophole, but limiting contracts to 5 years is part of the solution.

Now for the biggest issue. The NHL want players to take a 24% pay cut so less profitable teams can survive. Is this the players' problem some teams can't make any money? No it's not. As long as the NHL as a whole insists and fights tooth and nail to keep teams in Phoenix and other non hockey markets like Columbus, Florida, Nashville, etc.. It's the NHL's responsibility to help those teams survive with better profit sharing from the richer teams.

If the NHL's richest teams don't want to share more, then it's time to cut the losses and move some of those financially weak teams to more profitable markets, like Quebec and Southern Ontario. The population of Phoenix's metro area might be about 5 times more than Quebec City's, but Quebec would have at least 10-20 times the fan support. Average attendance in Phoenix last year was 12,420 (72% capacity) despite having a successful season and winning their division. Metro population is 4.2M, so an average of only 0.3% attended games. Not 3 %, 0.3 %

Compare that to Ottawa's 19,356 (101% capacity) average attendance from the 1.2M metro area population, that's 1.6% of the local population that attended games. Actual support is much higher than that. If the capacity was 21,000, we'd attain that on a lot of nights.

Quebec's fan support would be a strong as it is in Winnipeg and their metro population is similar (765K for Quebec and 730K for Winnipeg).

A couple other things the new CBA should include.
1. Discipline and fines to players need to be looked at. The current $2,500 fine is a joke. If there isn't a suspension, then the fine should be tied to a player's salary. For example, if no suspension is warranted, then the fine could be one game's pay.
2. More significant form of profit sharing from the richest teams to the lower profitable teams. They currently have some profit sharing, but it is clearly not working.
3. The Canadian dollar. Canadian teams are doing fine now because our dollar is strong. But if our dollar should go back to the $0.70 -$0.80 range, teams not in the cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver will struggle. Not many teams can survive if they take a 20-30% cut in revenues.

If only the NHL would put in as much effort in CBA negotiations as they do in keeping the Coyotes in Phoenix.

August 23, 2012 at 10:35 PM | Registered CommenterHomer

All the more reason for a fans' union (FU....btw, liking that acronym!)

Bettman on damage lockout could do: 'We recovered last time bc we have the world's greatest fans'" Nothing like being taken for granted!!!

August 23, 2012 at 11:41 PM | Registered Commenterbeach bunny

Yeah, I really think this is the perfect timing for the fans to say the big FU to the league . The NHL is a private business, but as Fans we are the shareholders, and I plan on voting with my time and money. I won't be going to a pro game this season. I won't be spending time watching a half-assed season (even though I welcome the idea of less games until playoffs!).

I could really use a Stooli rant right now, cause I bet he tears Yoda/Betman a new one. I could go off on a 10 page rant by starting "if the league had any respect for its fans (and not just their wallets)...." But I won't. Not worth it.

September 10, 2012 at 8:28 PM | Registered CommenterSens Dawg

Dawg, there are no stupid ideas, just stupid leaf fans.

September 10, 2012 at 11:39 PM | Registered CommenterResigned Russell

Russell, you realized you just said "stupid stupid fans," right?

September 11, 2012 at 9:01 PM | Registered CommenterSens Dawg

So your saying it's stupid to call stupid stupid fans stupid?

September 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM | Registered CommenterSunburned Senior

In light of Bettman's recent press conference and what Paul Bissonette is spewing on Twitter, I'm siding more and more firmly with the owner's side.

The PA is starting to sound a lot like the teacher's union in Ontario, in my view. I found it interesting that the Commish said that they've been open to re-negotiations of the CBA as early as a year ago, which they communicated to the PA. It makes the PA sound hypocritical when they accuse the owners of using the lockout as a bargaining tactic.

I wish they would just air out the 2-3 major stumbling blocks in the whole process.
And what's stopping them from starting the season as is and continuing to negotiate? They are only hurting their own product and THEIR FANS by postponing/cancelling the season.

September 13, 2012 at 3:53 PM | Registered CommenterSens Dawg

Interesting Dawg, I havent checked twitter all day but will check out Paul Bissonnette's comments.

September 13, 2012 at 9:21 PM | Registered Commentermethottomymadness

one thing that really grinds my gears is when I hear a player saying they have to make all their money now because they only have short careers.

who ever said that just because you played nhl hockey means you never have to work again? if after your playing days are over, you have to get a real job like the rest of us chattel, BOOHOO!!!! Where does it say that its their right to sit on their asses for the rest of their lives? if you're lucky enough to make that much money during your playing days, good for you. but if you don't, welcome to the real world, princess! back in the old days, guys used to have to get jobs in the summer! these guys today are just so entitled.

and the owners are douche bags too.

September 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM | Registered CommenterResigned Russell

Interesting read from a business perspective......since when is Paul Bissonette an expert at anything other than mindless Twitter entertainment??

September 14, 2012 at 6:22 AM | Registered Commenterbeach bunny

I only needed to read the first few paragraphs to that article linked.

"Mr. Bettman, although he has some qualities that are admirable, has made a lot of bad decisions," Zimbalist said this week.

At least part of that statement is true.

September 17, 2012 at 5:03 PM | Registered CommenterSpezzial Delivery