What is Newsday So Scared Of?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/05/2009 03:15:00 PM |
Who knew a little blog like NYIFC had the Newsday crew panicked into a corner to such a point they rejected my entry on their blog yesterday?

Anthony Rieber had a Question after Mr Botta wrote in Point Blank that the Isles in their current situation would lose money if they sold out every game and won the cup which is common knowledge for well over a decade.

So Mr Rieber created a blog entry and asked a question " for everyone who wants to weight in " (apparently except for us) Would Wang make money -- or at least break even -- if the Coliseum were renovated but the rest of the Lighthouse Project never happened if he paid for the renovation but gets to keep all of the profits from the building, then writes that is his " boilerplate " for sports teams -- the town/city/state/county or whatever gives you the right to build on their land, you pay for it, you keep all the profits with no public financing beyond infrastructure, transportation....ect but if the answer is no, even in a new Coliseum the Islanders can't make money, then isn't that proof that the Islanders in that location are not a sustainable business and should be allowed -- mandated, really -- to move somewhere else here.

I answered his question respectfully that Smg or Nassau County is not putting that on the table for Wang at this time for his to receive revenue from all Coliseum events but did point out that there is an example of a team that lost this kind of money already and that is his employers hockey team which did get all the things Rieber had in his " boilerplate " and still led the league in losing money as late as 2004.

The Rangers lost 25-40 million for several years as late as 2004 who enjoy a tax exemption from 1981 that kept them from moving at the time which is common knowledge here and other perks like a discount on electricity paid for by Con Edison customers according to the 1982 settlement in the NY Times here.

In Feb 2004 the Times reported Msg had to lay off 3.5 percent of it's work force to cut costs here.

I also questioned why Mr Rieber or the Newsday staff would not write about this or are they in fear of the Dolan's and their jobs after lead Newsday editor John Mancini walked off the job in January here & here and here with some staffers because he wrote something about the Knicks the Dolan's did not approve of about his sports teams?

I'm not throwing out this information or making a single claim without professional media documentation to support this.

Is Anthony Rieber or Jim Baummbach (along with the rest of the Newsday staff) that much in fear for their jobs they are not allowed to be critical of the garden, their teams or questioned their finances and ask same hard questions they do of the Islanders viability?

Does this not mandate if they ask these questions of the Islanders they must ask them of the Rangers if they have a history of losing significant amounts of money themselves?

Who knew these kinds of questions would be such a threat and evoke such fear among Newsday staff they could not address them or allow them?

I guess they only accept responses that say maybe it's time the Islanders relocate which helps their employer or to talk about Milbury's trades and Wang's signings.
Once again NYIFC presents it's documentation that as late as 2004 the Rangers lost money. The Post, Washington Times, NY Daily News and Arthur Levitt wrote or said the Rangers lost money, this is not my personal claim nor would I make such a point without supporting documentation.

A few of these links are outdated but these are the dates they appeared in the respective papers. I had them available because Islanders-Sound Tigers has them on my mailing list from that season so it's not as if I sat here researching them for days.

Why can't we have full transparency from Newsday if their sports bloggers/writers are asking these questions when the idea is to provide information?

I guess some questions they cannot go near which means they are doing our fans and their customers a dis-service.

Excerpts from interview with Arthur Levitt
On 640 Mojo Radio in Toronto, Sept. 30, 2004

Watters: And I agree with you -- they are whacking away at the wrong syllable -- if I could use that term. The one thing that seemed to play into the union's hands -- and you can clarify this Mr. Levitt --Bill Daly was talking on ESPN last week and said that the New York Rangers lose money. ... Can you envision the New York Rangers losing money when the building is packed every night?

Levitt: Yes, they do lose money and I did see those numbers. And we accounted for those numbers -- we accounted for revenue that went to television ownership that the club has -- there are a number of clubs that own their own television stations and their own arenas.

Watters: And the Rangers do that, do they not?

Levitt: Yes. We analyzed those revenues and included them in our overall computation. I've asked the leadership of the Players'
Association that if they have questions about the report if they'd
want to meet with me and talk about it. They wrote back and indicated that they did not think that that would be productive.

Watters: To go back to the Rangers -- because I think that your
explanation certainly solidified my opinion at least of the validity
of what the owners are saying. And I think they are close to being
right on as they can be. What about television -- the television
market in New York. Do the Rangers as a hockey club receive a fair market value for their television rights from MSG Inc. Or were you able to ascertain that?

Levitt: We were able to account for television revenue received by
the Rangers by setting up a template which compared revenue for
various clubs in different markets. We were able to account for it
and we did account for it.

Watters: And it was not unreasonable?

Levitt: No. It was not unreasonable.

Watters: Because that is where the attack would be made. What about paying rent for Madison Square Garden per se. Was that disproportionately large so that Rangers appear to be losing money when the other people in their lodge don't pay nearly as much in rent.

Levitt: No. I don't think that's the case. What we did with the
Rangers, as well as with every club that owns their arena is to not
only take into consideration the fact that the arena isn't used
exclusively by the hockey club but we actually set up a formula that established precisely how much revenue was received and we accounted for that.



September 17, 2004 -- The owners of the perennially money-losing Rangers hockey team are going to plug up a big red-ink hole with the National Hockey League shutdown of the season. The Rangers haven't made the playoffs in seven years r any profits in years.

In fact, industry sources say the team loses between $25 million and $30 million a year with its highly paid players and steep overhead in Madison Square Garden arena.

With the team now on ice, owner Cablevision, controlled by media
mogul Chuck Dolan, won't have to write that many big checks for
hockey players.

It'll lose revenue, of course, from the 41 home games at the Garden, but analysts say the typical $45 per seat for Ranger games is hardly a drop in the bucket in Cablevision's fortunes.

"It's barely negligible. It's so small that Wall Street doesn't even
forecast it," said Jason Bazinet of J.P. Morgan Securities.

Cablevision, which controls Madison Square Garden along with the Rangers and the Knicks basketball team, gets about 13 percent of its $4.2 billion revenue from the Garden.

NHL owners reject players' proposal

By Eric Fisher

Twenty teams lost money during the 2003-04 season,
according to the NHL.

As the two sides again grappled unsuccessfully with a governing
structure for the sport, yet another side fight broke out on the
NHL's claims of fiscal distress. According to Bettman and Daly, the NHL has lost more than $500 million over the past two seasons and nearly $2 billion over the nine-year life of the current labor deal.

But union officials say more than two-thirds of a listed $224
million loss for the 2003-04 season was because of six teams and
about a third arose from just New York-area teams. Saskin declined to identify those teams, but both the Rangers and Islanders have sustained heavy losses in recent years.

"You shouldn't hide behind a leaguewide loss figure if most of
the problems are centered on six or seven unique situations," Saskin said.

Canada wins, worries


How far apart? The Daily News has learned that the Rangers were among the teams to have claimed to have lost the most money last season -approximately $40 million. The Players Association finds that claim incredulous.


September 17, 2004 -- With the NHL season shut down abruptly this week by team owners in a desperate cost-cutting move, experts fear the deepening turmoil could also shut down several teams permanently by next year.

The NHL admits its sport is broke, and lost $1.8 billion in the past
decade. Owners blame their players for draining team treasuries with high pay averaging $1.79 million per man.

"Twenty of our clubs are losing money," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "There have been too many bankruptcies and too many close calls. The losses cannot continue."

He said 75 percent of the league's $2 billion in revenue last
season ? the highest rate in pro sports ? went to payroll.

New York's home team, the Rangers, is one of the league's biggest losers, with red-ink estimated at between $25 million and $30 million a year.

Owners are also stressed that they have nowhere to turn for revenue except their own pockets.

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