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Do NHL teams really lose money?

Stashed in: Business Facts, Hockey, Wealth!, Billions!, Florida!

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The Panthers are generally considered one of the weakest NHL teams on a financial basis. Forbes estimated that they lose an average of $7.5mm per season. However the Broward County auditor, who actually gets to see the books, states that the owners made $117.4mm IN PROFIT between 1998 and 2012. How is that possible? The way all fortunes in the US were made: sweetheart deals involving government and real estate.

This is eye-opening, and makes me want to buy a professional sports franchise.

1. NHL teams are gateways to favourable arena deals, and thus greater revenue.

2. Hockey-related revenue is defined in such a way so as to maximize the appearance of losses on the hockey side.

Bottom line is that there's a big difference between "losing money" and losing money.

It's also amazing to see that the Florida Panthers are one of the least valuable hockey franchises, according to Forbes:

They're ranked #26 in value, yet even so, they're worth $162 million. Sheesh.

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