John over at Light The Lamp has a nice post about Dougie making some comments about the current Nationwide Arena crisis. I have to say, and remember that I despise Doug MacLean more than most people, that our ex-GM has some good points. MacLean points out that the Blue Jackets TV contract is not helping the club and even though Doug was involved in the negotiations of that contract, it is what it is. Columbus is #34, ahead of only Carolina, Nashville, and Buffalo. I would very much like some information on the TV contracts that those three teams have compared to Columbus. But in reality, we are a small TV market and the team is not going command big dollars, until they win a few Cups.
I think there maybe something to the charge from MacLean that the team has too heavy of a non-player payroll. But if Doug felt that it was an issue, why did he fill all of the head count with his cronies? I know, Doug can claim that he filled a couple of slots himself, (Vice President, General Manager, Alternate Governor, sometimes Coach) but I’m sure that MacLean always cashed the checks for all those slots.
What I want to know is that if this lease is so onerous, can it be re-negotiated? I mean who has leverage of who here? Why would Nationwide Realty Investors or Properties want to stiff their best tenant? If they lose the hockey team, who is going to move in? Not an NBA team, dreamers. The Pacers are staying in Indianapolis. (Whew!) Besides, the NBA is looking at another lockout anyway. So I want to hear something other than the usual evasive non-answers from the Jackets’ landlord.
It would help Nationwide if it didn’t have to compete with OSU (Value City) for entertainment venues. I can’t find The Dispatch link about the story they ran regarding the lower price war between the two for concerts, the circus, and other entertainment. But they both are here to stay, so maybe Nationwide should put some of their MBA’s to work and come up with a plan to make the Arena District more viable.
No, the sky is not falling, but it is very cloudy. And as I said earlier, this is just the start of a constant cry of financial woes by the team and Nationwide. After they get their way on this, what will they demand next?