Friday, September 21, 2007

Self Destruction?

1) We were floored(well not really) to read that the Nashville Predators, yes the same team that is for sale and had its roster gutted over the summer, is RAISING TICKET PRICES!! No, you didn't read that wrong, they are actually raising prices! For some tickets a whopping 100% increase will be instituted for certain games. Overall the average price increase will be in the 25% range.

2) If your like us at FAUXRUMORS that sends red flags up all over the place. This is the franchise that needed to add spectators to be able to stay in Nashville. So what do they do?

  • They take a potential Stanley Cup contender and destroy the lineup by trading away some of their best players Hartnell, Vokoun, Timonen, and not signing or even offer a contract to their UFA's(Kariya), etc.

  • Blame the fans/local businesses for lack of interest in the team. Basically saying that its their fault the team is losing money and may have to move.

  • Sign a letter of intent with Jim Ballsille to sell the team. Jim through on one side of his mouth says the team will stay put, on the other he puts season tix for sale in Hamilton

  • The team, in need of additional fans, raises their prices 25% despite having a MUCH smaller payroll than last season.

3) One of the team's new buyers is businessman, William (Boots) Del Biaggio If that name rings a bell it should. He was the person who wanted to move the Pens or get an expansion team to move to his new K.C. arena. What does this all mean? Well, it doesn't take folks who believe in conspiracies to see the writing on the wall. This team is history! Of course we have been saying that all along, but never has it been so clear publicly than it is with this amazingly colossal degree of Chutzpah that the team owners came up with; a spike in ticket price, despite icing an inferior product.

4) Raise your hands if anyone believes the Predators will get to their stated/needed goal of 14,000+ tickets/game sold this year? If they couldn't last/previous seasons why would folks pay more to get less this year?? Hmmmm, the Kansis City Predators? Get used to the sound of it folks. The fix is evidently in!



1)Just a reminder of our zero tolerance policy:
2)As promised our season preview is set to be released in 2 parts and should be ready by Monday. Look for it!
As always, keep it here for the latest!

Sauce said...

Business is business. Each local owner, plus Bootsy (notwithstanding his ultimate desire for a team in KC), entered into this deal because they want to make money. But the fact is, the team was bleeding under the old business model. So a change to that model was part of the incentive to get these guys to sign.

The new business model calls for higher ticket prices which most likely will decrease overall attendance. But the season ticket list is already over 9,000. So total revenues will actually increase. In other words... more money for the ownership group.

The new business model also calls for Metro, the municipal owner of the arena, to pick up a higher share of the arena operating expenses. Check that. It calls for them to cover ALL the operating expenses. (Metro will have to agree, or else they have an empty arena). In other words... more money for the ownership group.

Obviously, the hope of the local owners (notice, I left out Bootsy) is to change the financial structure of the team to make it profitable in the short-term, and hope that better marketing, increased corporate sponsorship and a solid prospect list can maintain the fan-base in the long run.

So my only question to you, Faux, is... what is the actual conspiracy that you allude to? Certainly Boots has a backup plan (or perhaps his Plan A) to buy out the local owners at a discount and move to KC if the teams bleeds red ink, but what's in it for the local guys if things go sour? And who is the partner in the "conspiracy"?


1) As we wrote Sauce we didn't think there was a 'conspiracy'. This is quite overt. The facts as we see them:
a) The team in order to be released from their current lease needs to average a certain number of fans.
b) Their early 'save the team' drive aside, a majority of the fans in previous years came from a robust 'walk-up' crowd. So we ask you, if the product is inferior (as most expect) and the price of the product is MUCH higher, should anyone expect the walk up numbers to stay high? Of course not.
c) Payroll is already MUCH lower, so if all they wanted to do was make money, than keeping prices at the status quo would/should have been sufficient. Especially at such a critical time when expanding the fan base was so important.
2) It seems clear to us, and to many and increasing numbers of hockey observers, that the plan is to have the lease become void so a move is easier and cheaper, and Bettman can save face by saying that he tried one last time to try to make it work in Nashville, but the team was losing too much money to remain viable in that market. 3) Now, we agree that all owners should make money. That's the American way. Its also the American way to call out someone who is pissing on you while saying its raining.

Sauce said...

" doesn't take folks who believe in conspiracies to see the writing on the wall."

Sorry, but when I read that comment from your post I just assumed you were still subscibing to a conspiracy involving Bettman. I must've been mistaken, right?

I don't buy your 'walk-up' attendance assertion. This year's season ticket list has already topped 9,000. We'd both probably agree those are pretty good numbers, in that represents over 50% of seating capacity. But the fact is, that's only the 4th highest season ticket total in the Preds history. So I think you're incorrect when you said... "a majority of the fans in previous years came from a robust 'walk-up' crowd". That's contradicted by the numbers, as this team averaged under 14,000 last year. So if, in Economics 101 terms, the attendance of season ticket holders is more "inelastic" relative to ticket prices than that of 'walk-ups' (which you appear to agree with), a MUCH higher ticket price should at least initially serve to INCREASE revenues.

Also, if, as you say... "the plan is to have the lease become void so a move is easier and cheaper"... what is the incentive for the substantial list of LOCAL owners who have put up some serious scratch to participate in this 'plan'? To move the team to a city 1,000 miles away from their homes and business interests? That's rediculous.

You toss around humorous expressions about calling out people, and 'pissing' and 'raining', but a closer look reveals that the logic is missing in the basis for your conclusions.


1) Time will only tell whom is correct here. Last we heard is that the sale to those 'local businesses' wasn't yet a done deal.
2) If we were betting folks we'd put some of your 'serious scratch' on the Preds NOT being in Nashville in 1-2 years from now!

Sauce said...

You may indeed be correct on both these points.

The sale to group, including the local equity partners, is certainly not yet a done deal. The lease concessions from Metro a necessary to meet their PROFIT objectives (i.e. their business 'plan').

Will the Preds be out of Nashville in the next few years? That certainly does look likely. But just keep in mind that a move from Music City is not, nor was it ever, the 'plan' of the local purchasing group. Unless, of course, you can show me an agreement between Boots and the locals that he's guaranteed them a premium buyout price in exchange for a profitable and lease-free team. LOL.


1) We aren't privy to any side deals, but one has to wonder why Mr. Del Biaggio is associated with the rest of this local group of potential buyers.
2) The recent moves(outlined here) and his involvement should raise red flags if we were Pred fans!

Antzmarching said...

Hey Faux, where is KansIs City?

Antzmarching said...

Look at that pathetic mug - BUTTman is an asshole!!!!!


1) The editors failed to pick up on our KC typo. As always, you're on top of things Antz.
2) No disagreement on your Mr. Bettman assessment

Antzmarching said...

You are welcome, Faux... Let me add, that you and your spelling disability are improving dramatically... In the meantime, Ol' Antz will be there to pick you up...

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