Over the past few days I have been looking at the Pros and Cons of the Florida Panthers new division, the Atlantic. I have broken this into three parts covering the different aspects the new division could affect, the fan perspective, the team perspective and the financial perspective. In today’s article I will look at the Pros and Cons from a financial perspective. As a reminder, the Atlantic Division teams are:
The is a great chance for a revenue increase by adding Montreal, Toronto, Boston and Detroit to the division, as their fans tend to follow them no matter where they play. Florida ownership is always happy to sell tickets to opposing teams fans to make a buck, ignoring the fact that it turns their home games into away games. Even if these fans choose to purchase tickets through other outlets such as StubHub, someone has to purchase them originally to list them there. The difference may only be one extra home game against these teams per season, but factor in $20.00 for parking, concession sales, the occasional gift shop sale and any other miscellaneous expenses and ownership could be banking an extra $1 million easily just from those four extra games. Of course, whether that extra money is put towards the team, or the owners own pocket won’t be known until the first season or two has passed. In 2012, the Panthers were valued at $170 million and ranked 24th out of the league’s 30 teams according to Forbes.
Alienating home fans by marketing to the away fans. It’s been done in the past and if they’re making an extra buck, what would stop them from trying again?
The problem with this, is that home fans become less interested in attending games, knowing they’ll be surrounded by the opposing, away team fans. Several times I’ve heard home fans say they’ll be selling their tickets to certain games on StubHub to avoid this, and to make a quick buck. But honestly, that also occasionally removes the fans from the game that have been loyal to the team and may be more likely to purchase Panthers items in the gift shops at those games. If it begins to become a bigger problem over the next few seasons it may even lead some fans to dropping their season tickets and only going to a few select games. This reaction could counteract the increased revenue stated above, bringing the team back to square one again.