30 Teams One Day, All With Ownership Financial Losses

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/20/2012 07:12:00 PM |
You see a lot of these thirty teams in thirty days previews  that are completely worthless written by people that barely can cover one team but need a paycheck/page-views. 

Given our last entry for New York Islander Fan Central on-ice issues are not a story at this time, so instead this blog is going to do our own 30 teams, about how all of them sooner or later lost money or had financial/ownership issues with most in taxpayer funded facilities.

This blog will not insult our readers by using Forbes/Ozanian estimates with no teams books, instead were going  to let the owners/professional media or those who worked for the teams tell you themselves, including the trained media salesman. Some owners almost never speak.

This blog could go back over decades to look at some teams losses at different periods, including the Harold Ballard Toronto Maple Leafs, George Gillette's financial issues in 2010 as he owned the Montreal Canadiens so every team enters this discussion at some point.

New York Islander Fan Central's message, is yes--you're team too. 

Obviously we will leave out the  New York Islanders. The countless entries back to 1982/2004, 2009 on Cablevison Rangers losses with a 1982 tax exemption/low cost electricity to keep from moving, and the Devils who's losses go back to day one under John McMullen here with Jeff Vanderbeek's team still losing huge money to go with his re-financing issues so no need revisiting that. 

In the comedy department, back in March 2005 Larry Brooks claimed what were the top seven revenue producing teams and posted the numbers here  meaning the 80m payroll Rangers generated only 85.3m in revenue were absolutely losing their 25-40 million plus as they were laying off employees Feb 2004.

1. Anaheim Duck: Henry Samueli 9/23/2012: Orange County Register: How is the team doing financially? – Samueli revealed that they are still losing plenty of money with the figure in the “many millions of dollars.” “In fact, it’s actually in the double digits of millions,” he said. ”[It] is as close as I’ll get to a number. But it’s substantial.”

 2. Boston Bruins: Jeremy Jacobs 2003 AP: Jacobs was quickly asked about the perception that he cares more about milking money from the team than winning. ``Boston makes money, and it will continue to make money. When I say it makes money, it doesn't lose a lot, is a better way to put it.''

Of course the Bruins played to thousands of empty seats post-lockout.

3 Buffalo Sabres: Their financial issues from Rigas/bankruptcy through Tom Golisano  are well documented, even the scoreboard fell.

4. Calgary Flames: Their past seats ticket drives/huge losses are also well documented here.

5. Carolina Hurricanes: Despite Mr Karmanos claiming his team broke even one year, the financial issues are well documented here.
6. Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago Tribune, NY Times documented the Hawks massive financial issues, even winning the Stanley Cup.

7. Colorado Avalanche: Stan Kroenke has owned the Avalanche since 2000. Obviously since he stopped spending, and the days of the big names has ended with the Denver Post commentary in 2010 but nothing on the Avs finances beyond their spending questions.

Of course the Colorado Rockies relocated so there were financial issues.

8.Columbus Blue Jackets: Huge losses well doucmented from local media from a franchise that used to sell out every game.

9. Dallas Stars: Dallas News 2011 claimed team insiders said Stars lost 15m to say nothing of Tom Hicks financial issues with the NY Times calling it " Tens of Millions for years. "

10:  Little Ceasars/Amway Detroit Red Wings: The Wings past playoff attendance issues are common knowledge, but let Jimmy Devellano tell you in 2004 about how the Wings need the playoffs to make any money here to say nothing of the franchise issues when the Islanders owned the Stanley Cup.

11. Edmonton Oilers: Daryl Katz has claimed the Oilers lose money in his short-time as owner here and historically have lost money back to Peter Pocklington's days.

12. Florida Panthers:  Between the ownership changes, the layoffs a few years ago, ten years without playoffs, even though there are not many owners comments it's hard to put this franchise in the profitable category.

13. Los Angeles Kings: The losses are legendary from a doubting fan accountant given access to their books in the 2004 lockout to Tim Leiweke in April.

14. Nashville Predators: Tennessean reports the Predators have lost money despite revenue sharing and local public money which extends back over many years. 

15. Minnesota Wild: Enough entries this summer from Wild owner Craig Leipold's claims of losses with articles going back a few years on a partly funded public arena they want money back from.

16. Ottawa Senators: In May 2010, Sens President Cyril Leeder reported on the Sens losing money for a second straight season here. to say nothing of the franchise past bankruptcy which owner Eugene (Failure Is Not An Option) Melnyk confirmed  here.

17: Comcast/Smg/NBC Sports Network Philadelphia Flyers: Here's Mr Snider in 1994: "It's been a gradual thing. I've been thinking about it as the financial aspects have deteriorated," Snider said. "I can't continue operating at a loss. We're losing millions of dollars right now." Snider said the Flyers had revenues of more than $30 million last season, but had an operating loss of about $3 million.

Snider in 2004: here on more losses despite season his team had.
Snider on Sixers losses in 2011 as he sold team.
Snider in 2008 complaining about his 16m debt service on his arena. 

Snider's salesman do what their told led by Tim Panaccio.

18. Phoenix Coyotes: Enough said.
19. Pittsburgh Penguins: You want the pre 2007 version, the 2000 version, the Mario lottery that saved the franchise before that in front of 10,000 fans?
20. San Jose Sharks: There's Sharks CEO, Greg Jamison (the one trying to purchase the Coyotes) in  2009 along with their well documented fifteen million dollars in losses reported again 8/20/12 by San Jose Mercury News.

21. St Louis Blues: Their financial issues have been well known forever back to Ralson Purina, here is Phil Siddel, Blues Executive VP of Sales/Finance on losses in March 2011 here. 

22. Tampa Bay Lightning: In 2010 Tampa Bay Times here reported on teams financial issues.  Gary Bettman painted a far more positive picture in 2011 under the latest new owner here.

When the late Bill Davidson sold the club after winning a Stanley, The Tampa Times reported about " his people " complaining about losses.

23. Vancouver Canucks: Their losses are legendary back in 2000/late 90's here.
Salesman Tony Gallagher forgets where his franchise came from in 2012 here. when the Canucks were surviving from franchise fees from Minnesota/Columbus and the sale of the Vancouver Grizzlies here.

24. Washington Capitals: Ted Leonsis receives revenue sharing here. and lost money in 2009 according to club President, Dick Patrick, Washington Post. "But that's something we're hoping to change in the future," Patrick said. "The plan is not to lose money, but that's the reality right now."

To say nothing of a generation with empty seats since the team moved from Landover.

25. Winnipeg Jets-They did not relocate to Phoenix because they were profitable in Winnipeg Arena.

Bottom line? Yes--you're team too.