Checking in on the business landscape of the post-lockout NHL
A few months ago, the second NHL lockout in 10 years threatened to wipe out one of sports’ most enthusiastic fan bases. Analysts all chimed in with opinions on how this work stoppage might be the deathblow to a sport already resting in the shadows of the other major North American professional leagues. We are now almost 30 games into the NHL season, and with all the hoopla around boycotting games and the fans voicing their disdain for the league office, the numbers show that despite the lockout PR blow, the NHL is more popular than ever.
As the sports money machine continues to churn its wheel with lucrative sponsorships, big TV deals and booming attendance numbers, this NHL lockout proved once again that the demand for sports entertainment far outweighs the public’s communal resolve to “stick it to the league.”
The numbers don’t lie:
- League-wide attendance is up by 1.3%
- Certain NHL teams are reporting numbers as high as 15% increases in average attendance
- Over half the league sells out their arena for home games on a regular basis
CBA’s expire, fan support doesn’t.