With the lockout finally seeming to be over, it’s time to start looking ahead to the upcoming season, which is going to start seemingly in the blink of an eye. After 113-day struggle between the owners and players, there were many clear losers and only really one winner. It’s nice to have something tangible to write about though, it’s been awhile. So, how do I “score” the lockout?
If you are a player, do you really feel like you “won”? C’mon now, let’s be realistic for a minute, the players have lost 34/82ths of their paychecks, not to mention missing out on all the growth revenue that comes with the now non-existent Winter Classic and All-Star games that fell victim to the work stoppage. Add to that all of the casual fans that have spent their entertainment dollars elsewhere and it’s easy to see that players will likely “lose” further with escrow payments when revenues inevitably fall short of projections.
As for the owners, they don’t really fare all that much better, especially in the short-term, as they have lost all that revenue and garnered all the ill will that came with the lockout. While you could make the argument they will better off with the financial terms of this CBA in the long run, I don’t see how anyone can argue they benefited from the lockout, even with the gain in share of HRR from 43% to 50%. After all, 43% of a projected 3.3 billion in revenues is a lot more than 50% of say, $2 billion.
Let’s not overlook the real losers of the lockout and that’s the average people out there that have their income tied to the National Hockey League. Whether it’s your ticket takers, vendors, suppliers, team employees or local bars/restaurants near NHL arenas etc, these are the people that truly lost the most from this madness. Unfortunately, most of them will be unable to get back what was lost from the loss of 34 regular season games 3-5 preseason home dates as well.
Whom do you ask “won” the lockout of 2013? The answer is easy and can be summed up in one word…. Lawyers. Lots of billable hours. Sure, you may find some things that help a few owners and/or players, but at the end of the day, too much money and time was “wasted” on lawyers. You can even add Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr to the mix, as they are both attorneys as well. Beyond that, I don’t see anyone having won. What do you guys think?
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