The Blue Jackets have lost a boatload of money and are so bad off they would not have made a profit if they went to the Stanely Cup Finals?
And this bit:
Priest met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly more than a year ago, asking them to look at the Blue Jackets business model and tell them what’s wrong. The Blue Jackets have had decent ticket sales, decent corporate revenue streams, etc., and yet — even in the post-lockout NHL — were losing gobs of money. The NHL got back to the Blue Jackets with one answer, Priest said: the building.
Excuse me, but Mike Priest is an accountant, a seasoned one at that who rose through the ranks at Worthington Industries. He needed the NHL to tell him that he was spending too much on the lease? And this gem, “Priest said the Blue Jackets would be in good financial standing if they got this part of their business model rearranged.” No shit, I would be in great shape myself if I didn’t have a mortgage to pay every month, but like other people who own real estate, I have to make those darn payments.
So the Blue Jackets, with a wink and a nod from the Franklin County Commissioners, will push this through without voter approval. The only way for voters to show their displeasure is to vote the Commissioners out of office.
You know, I used to take great pride in the fact that the Jackets were different, that we had this terrific facility that was not directly paid for by the taxpayers, that we had this benevolent owner who didn’t care about the cost, he just wanted the people of Central Ohio to have a professional sports team. Well, I see that benevolence has a high price tag. We’re just like everyone else. Or in our case we want to be.
So every few years, we can look forward to the “Oh no, the team is in trouble and may have to move if we don’t get our way” stories. And Buckeye Nation, keep your mouths shut because you enjoy one of the finest government subsidized programs in the country.
I don’t like this and I am not going to join others in the blogging community saying that we need to support our team. I will not grab my ankles and say have your way like they did in Cleveland. And the rest of the story in Cleveland is that all three teams were subject to relocation stories before they arrived at this tidy solution up there. The Browns were yanked away by a greedy owner, the Indians were subject to rumors of either being sold away or re-located to Arizona, and the Cavs became a team that nobody cared about.
We need more information on this, why it suddenly broke this week, why it took a whole season to discover that the lease is too high, why there don’t appear to be other options. Raising a sin tax is the first step; ticket prices are next.