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NHL Betting Tips - Why Haven’t These Franchises Been Successful Investments?

Posted by Don Melrose on 7/30/2012 6:18:49 PM

From sports betting to overall profitability, sports have largely been about money since its inception and now it is only getting bigger and bigger. Owners are now spending hundreds of millions of dollars on franchises to keep them running and to make sure their facility is a modern, state-of-the-art arena, not to mention player salaries and other expenses that go into making sure a team can compete with the best in their respective leagues. Many businessmen are looking into sports as an avenue of profit, but they should stay away from hockey because the franchises in the NHL aren’t setting the financial world on fire.

In terms of which franchises have been the worst investments in sports, eight of the top 10 are from the NHL, lead by Colorado, who are valued in 2012 at the same price they were at in 2000. The New York Islanders, Florida, New Jersey, St. Louis, Winnipeg (formerly from Atlanta), Philadelphia and Nashville are all included in the top 10, with Major League Baseball’s Cleveland joining in at fifth and Indiana of the NBA coming in at ninth. The Flyers may be the biggest surprise seen to sportsbook players as Philadelphia has one of the most rabid fanbases in the league and they ranked third in attendance, but the Flyers also led the league in spending, so that cut into their profit margin.

Even the Devils could be considered a surprise after going to the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to Los Angeles, but New Jersey is still considered a small-market team, especially compared to their cousins from New York, the Rangers, and that is a major reason why they weren’t in a rush to re-sign Zach Parise, who eventually went to Minnesota. Speaking of New York, the Islanders are less profitable than the Devils, but that is because the Islanders have been one of the worst teams in the league over the last five years and fans aren’t going to support the product if you’re not winning….unless you’re in Toronto or Montreal, but that is because these franchises have been around forever and their fans aren’t going anywhere, for better or for worse.

These aren’t good numbers for commissioner Gary Bettman, who is in the middle of negotiations for a new college bargaining agreement that threatens to shorten the NHL season. Bettman has long stated that he has expanded the NHL in a positive way and that it is a more fiscally responsible league than the NFL, NBA and MLB, but now he has to look at facts and finally admit that, maybe, the league expanded too much for its own good. Teams like Florida and Nashville were brought in to help the NHL compete in the southern United States, and they may have even carved out a small piece of real estate, but not enough to validate their existence for this long. Not only does the NHL have to deal with the other professional leagues in the southern United States, but they have to deal with college sports, which is second in some markets behind the NFL and it just isn’t profitable to shoehorn a hockey team in down there.

Can these teams break out of it and start making a profit for their owners? It isn’t likely if you’re in the NHL. The Stanley Cup champions from Los Angeles rank 17th on this list and that is saying something, when your league champs were valued at $160 million 12 years ago, but are now sitting at just over $230 million. That may seem like a lot, but when you factor in growth since then, the numbers aren’t that good at all, especially when you consider that the Kings were the springboard for American expansion thanks to their acquisition of Wayne Gretzky in the biggest trade in NHL history.

The NHL is very traditional in terms of its fanbases and you won’t find very many “new” fans following teams; if you are a fan of an NHL team, it is because you have been following them for a long time, or it is ingrained in you. For example, five of the six most profitable teams in the league are from Canada, so that should tell you something about how fans support their team in the NHL. Out of the top 10 list that started this article, Winnipeg is probably the most likely to experience growth as they’ve only been in Winnipeg for one season and are trying to dig the franchise out of the hole they got into when they were in Atlanta. But it will take some time to see an improvement, much like it’ll take time for the team to improve their online betting chances.

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