With the NHL on the brink of a lockout, what does this mean for the Winter Classic?
Keyword: winter classic, nhl, labor negotiations
With negotiations starting up today in Toronto to see if football is going to be the main attraction of our year instead of the greatest sport on earth, there is one thing that we do not think about: If there is no season, what about the Winter Classic? What is going on these days? First you can’t get P.K Subban a contract and now from what I hear they are miles apart on working out a deal for this season. I heard the Miami Dolphins let go of Chad Johnson maybe they will sign P.K?
I couldn’t think of a better reason for the league to come to an agreement than this year’s Winter Classic which is being held in Michigan on Jan 1st where the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs will face off. If this game isn’t a money making, cash cow game for all parties involved then I guess I missed the bus on the business end of the NHL. Two teams with a lot of history, two scheduled alumni games and more merchandizing and advertising that you can cram into one stadium, I say lets go guys, get this shit wrapped up and let’s move on we have a game to play.
This year’s game would break many records set by the previous five. For starters, selling out “The Big House” with over 110,000 Red Wings, Maple Leaf and other fans would make for a nice league press release the night of Jan. 1. Then once all the cash registers are counted, the revenue generated from not only the Winter Classic game, but also the Hockeytown Winter Festival leading up to Jan 1., which includes four college games, two OHL games and one AHL game, plus the two alumni games, that will likely be another press release touting record revenues generated by the event.
A lot is at stake on both ends here and a lot has been given up and sacrificed so to see this game not go on is going to be a huge disgrace. Not only does the University of Michigan hold the rights through contract to pull the plug on the game the day of, they will only lose $100,000 of the $3 million in rental fees if they do so. The NHL plus the University will take a big hit: 1) for giving up playing football on New Years Day which is a big tradition which will combine with a hit in terms of casual fan and casual media interest. BIG mistake guys after you have rebuild the NHL’s fan base in only one year.
Keep Bettman up there running the show, pulling strings. There is something to say about a man like Gary Bettman, if it looks like a weasel, eats like a weasel and walks like a weasel, well then it’s a weasel. Bottom like cut the shit and let’s get the NHL up and going.