Friday, March 02, 2007
NHL to go British Next Season
Why England? Probably $$$. British Pounds are worth quite a mint and the British hooligans ought to love a good NHL scrap or two. I'm sure they'll get better fan support than they do in LA, anyway.
From the NHL department of marketing propaganda:
The National Hockey League, in cooperation with the Anschutz Entertainment Group, announced today the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings will open the 2007-08 NHL regular season in London, England at Europe's most state-of-the art entertainment venue, the O2 Arena.
"Our commitment to grow the game globally has never been stronger," said NHL Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly. "The NHL is extremely proud to be represented in London by two great hockey organizations in the Ducks and Kings as well as to be recording NHL history at such a fantastic facility in the 02."
How about growing the game in the USA? *rolleyes*
If you want to go to the PREMIERE game, you better have a truckload of cash. Tickets range from 25-65 British Pounds (About USD $50-130).
You know, I thought Ticketmaster gouged us Canadians well enough, but going through the Ticketmaster site on the O2 website, the service charge is 7.75 pounds (15 bucks!!). WTF??? *growl*... We really need to punish these assholes somehow.
I know I used to correspond with a few fans from the UK. I wonder if they'll make the trek to see the game and fork over a small fortune to watch Burke's boys run over the Kings.
You know, I was thinking about this a little bit also.
For a SoCal market that does not generate automatic sell-outs, how wise is it really to take two instances where sell-outs are easily achieved and push them overseas? Why not instead pick the Blues and the Blackhawks, for example, matchups that have trouble drawing crowds?
It makes little sense to me to take a rivalry that works away from the SoCal crowds; oh wait, it's the NHL. Makes perfect sense.
Another point is the travel. The West Coast teams already get the shaft as it is, but now the 2 teams have to travel half-way around the world to start their season and then fly back. You know this is going to take a toll. The best move would have been two Eastern teams, like the Bruins and Devils (who barely draw flies).
Sadly we're used to daylight robbery when we go to sports games; Only cricket is value for money.
How about comparing with the NFL game that is coming over though?
For that over 500,000 people registered just to get a shot at the ballot for tickets. For the NHL game, I logged onto ticketmaster and picked a couple of tickets up a couple of days after they went on sale no problem whatsoever.
From what I have seen in the media here in the UK it hasn't registered a jot on the radar and I don't expect it to. The NFL game will have enough of a job getting media interest so god help this game with these two teams.
Maybe they'll roll Beckham out for some publicity...
However, I can`t imagine that many people who don`t have any US/Canadian connections getting excited about hockey... Even if they like the game, how will they get to see more? Yes, you can pay for a very expensive sports channel that will have it, but the games would be on at 3 in the morning... *yawn*