Thursday, March 04, 2010
SALE OF TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING EXPOSES JUST HOW WEAK PARTS OF THE NHL ARE
A minority owner of the Boston Red Sox - Jeff Vinik - just completed his purchase of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The deal includes the company that operates their arena, as well as 5 acres of adjacent land. Total cost: $110 million.
The previous owners paid $206 million when they bought the team in '08.
That's almost a 50% drop in value in just 2 years. How? Why? Shouldn't the implementation of a salary cap help to make a sports franchise more valuable?
The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004. But they've only qualified for the playoffs twice since then, and lost in the first round. Percentage wise, their attendance is 3rd to last in the NHL. Nearly 25% of their seats are empty on average. And their road attendance is the 2nd worst at 89.2%. Only the Florida Panthers draw smaller crowds when they travel.
The Tampa area is the 20th largest media market in the country. Why is there a hockey team there?