Monday, April 6, 2009

The Monday Memo (2 PM Update)

News and Notes from around the Business World of Hockey.

- The Carolina Hurricanes clinched a playoff spot Saturday night, which means playoff tickets will go on sale Tuesday at noon to the public (Bizjournals).

- The Blue Jackets neared there all-time TV Ratings record last Tuesday, drawing a 3.9 with their win over the Predators on FS Ohio (Sports Media Watch). The Blackhawks ratings are surging as well, reaching a high of 2.1 on CSN Chicago with their win on Friday, March 27th against the Devils.

- It seems like a slow day business-wise, but two teams have finished their home-game schedules, which means fresh attendance statistics are in. For now, until the off season, I'm going to keep it simple with this table (click to enlarge):

As you can see, Dallas and Washington are the two teams that have no more home games for the remaining week of the regular season. If I had to describe Dallas' season this year in one word, it would be disappointment. They dropped almost 2% from their average attendance last year, which had risen every season since the lockout. If Dallas had played to their potential this season, they could have neared pre-lockout highs of an average of 18,532.

Washington, on the other hand, might have made the biggest improvement in the league. Up nearly 15% from last season and over 23% from two years ago, the Capitals are the face of the "New NHL" and Ted Leonsis has to be smiling ear to ear. Next season the Caps will have people on a waiting list for season tickets for the first time, so I expect this trend to continue, but just not at such a huge rate like 15% (the Verizon Center capacity is 18,277).

EDIT: All figures that do not have the differences next to them like Washington and Dallas are figures as of today. Those teams all have home games left, which is why I have not calculated the differences yet.

- Finally, don't mess with Eric Lindros' lucky jersey:

That is all for now, more later.

- Update, 2:00 PM EST:

- More TV Ratings news, as NBC's Game of the Week between the Wild and the Red Wings drew a 0.9/2 overnight (Puck The Media). The Blackhawks/Red Wings game from the same weekend drew a 0.6, so the 0.9 is actually an improvement.

- Are the Dallas Stars in serious financial trouble? (Globe and Mail):
"Even though Stars owner Tom Hicks went into default on $525-million (all currency U.S.) in loans, the NHL claims it is not worried about the future of the team. Hicks said there is no chance his sports teams — the Stars and baseball's Texas Rangers — will be taken over by creditors."

BallHype: hype it up!

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