The Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup playoffs can increase the popularity of a franchise and be a positive effect on the hosting cities. Attendance trends vary for each team and the teams that are in the playoffs. The Blackhawks saw an increase in attendance when they won the Stanley Cup twice in four years.
Nevertheless, when on a losing streak attendance and revenue decreased. This fact stand true for all of the NHL teams. The Los Angeles Kings although generally more consistent than most NHL teams, experienced an increase in attendance and revenue after each of its three Stanley Cup wins.
Carolina Hurricanes are a perfect example of a team that did not have a strong following but once they were in the playoffs and won the Stanley Cup suddenly there was a noticeable difference in the interest and attendance for the team.
Unfortunately, they have not lived up to expectations thus attendance and revenue is down. One important fact that must be acknowledge hockey is not America’s favorite sport. Football is America’s number one sport. In some respects hockey only appeared on the sports scene relatively late compared to the history of football.
Society is so mobile today that has help increase the interest and franchise all over the country not just in the northern states.
ESPN noted that attendance and interest has slowly but consistently grown since they started to air games. All studies agree that as teams win interest and increased revenue for host cities increase. The increase during the Stanley Cup reached an all-time high for the 2013-2014 season playoffs.
The host cities had busloads of fans traveling in days before the game to watch practice, visit the city, restaurants and bars thus the economical burst in revenue.
Studies demonstrate that interest and growth in hockey generally and more specifically during playoffs has increased at a steady rate over the past fifteen years.
This correlates to the fact that the United States over the past fifteen years has become more mobile. Secondly, with the increase network coverage reaching more people has resulted in more interest in the sport and in particular the playoffs. In 2006, 1.8 million watched the playoffs. In 2008, the amount of viewers broke the 2 million mark with 2.6 million watching the playoffs.
The 2012 season hit an all-time low due to the owners’ refusal to negotiate with the players. A major rebound in 2013 through 2014 with above 3 million watching the playoffs. An excellent sign that the popularity of hockey and the Stanley Cup playoffs are steadily on the rise.
Revenue within the teams regardless of Stanley Cup wins has stayed relatively consistent from 2008 to 2014 at $21.5 million. Nevertheless, Stanley Cup host cities have seen significant economic benefits up to $10 million for tourism, restaurants, lodging, and bars.