The Effects of the 04-05 Lockout on the St. Louis Blues
After 7 years of rebuilding its fanbase, the NHL decided it would be a good idea to destroy it, once again. I mean, what better way to make more money than to stop doing what makes you money, right?
Let’s take a look at how the last lockout affected the St. Louis Blues, and figure out why it’s a bad idea to go through this ridiculous charade all over again.
No Fans Equals No Money
It only took one year for people to forget about hockey. Just look at what happened to the Blues’ ticket sales. Attendance dropped nearly 6000 seats from 03-04 to 05-06, and the average ticket price in 2006 was 43 bucks. After a quick calculation, we discover that’s about $258,000 a game, or $10.5 Million annually, that the Blues missed out on. If the fans aren’t going to show, then you aint got no dough.
No Money Equals No Performance
Because of the lockout, the Blues were practically hemorrhaging money, causing the Laurie ownership group to gut the team of its best players (Pronger, Weight, Etc.). On top of the $10.5 million we just mentioned, they lost $31.7 million from the canceled season. You can’t pay Chris Pronger without that!
The lack of high caliber players essentially ended the Blues’ 25 year playoff streak. Because of the loss of revenue, the team could not afford to pay its best players, hence, the Blues sucked… hard.
No Performance Equals No Fans
Ok, well, that’s not entirely true. The Blues didn’t have the greatest performance for years, and I was still a fan. Just recently they got better - just in time for another lockout!
Anyways, we’ve come full circle. If there are no fans, you get no money. If there is no money, you can’t pay high performing players. If there is no performance, you have no fans.
So what am I saying? I’m telling the NHL to take a look at the past, and realize that another lockout is not the answer. Will it really make that much of a difference, in the long run, to get a couple more percentage points of the revenue sharing? Maybe. But will it be enough to offset the losses from the lockout? Who knows. I’m sure they have “top men” working on it.
The Blues took a huge hit from the last lockout, and it took almost 6 years for the team to recover. I’m not sure they can take another.