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NHL Might Move Games So Fans Can Attend, Revenue Not Lost

Any threat Canadian teams might lose the revenue that comes with no fans in attendance, means the NHL might think about moving games.

There have been a few reports over the past 24 hours that the NHL is seriously considering moving some games where fans are unable to attend so that the buildings will have the revenue that comes with ticket sales. Not doing so could result in changes to the expected salary cap projections and any potential bumps the league has told teams they could make over the coming seasons.

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According to Elliotte Friedman and Pierre LeBrun, there’s talk about how no fans have affected (or will affect) the Montreal Canadiens. Friedman writes, “when Montreal played Philadelphia with no fans, there was a lot of grumbling.” He added that there might not be much the NHL can do, but LeBrun tweets:

If the Habs can’t have any fans at their home games in January (their next home game is Jan. 4), the NHL is looking at the idea of potentially re-scheduling some Habs home games to later in the season when they can (hopefully) have fans in the building. But nothing for sure yet.

Friedman notes that there’s a lot of money lost when these games go on without fans in the building. Anywhere from $2 million to $3.5 million is money these teams lose and will never see again. He writes, “There’s real worry about what cuts to Canadian gates will mean for revenue and salary-cap projections” and notes the following teams and how much they lose per game with no fans in the building:

  • Toronto ($3.5M)
  • Edmonton & Montreal ($2.3M)
  • Vancouver ($1.8M)
  • Calgary & Winnipeg ($1.4M)
  • Ottawa ($650,000)

No one wants to see these revenues disappear and speculation is that the NHL will try to ensure this money can be made up by moving games should that be necessary.

Next: Montreal Canadiens Quick Hits: Guhle, Gallagher & Drouin



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