Professional sports may seem like fun and games but in the end they are a business, and when the league is making poor business choices then the industry is eventually going to suffer. The National Hockey League is going into its 4th major stoppage of games since 1992. This is a trend that is only adding to its already diminishing popularity.
Even before this lockout was put into effect, it was a rare occurrence to be able watch a hockey game on a major TV network unless it was the postseason. While hockey is considered one of the four major sports in America, most people have more coverage of sports that used to rank behind hockey, such as soccer, available to them.
This lockout is unfortunately timed since this year could’ve been the revival of hockey in America. Last season was arguably one of the most exciting post seasons ever with an eighth seeded team winning the Stanley Cup. The Los Angeles Kings winning their 1st ever championship would’ve been a great way to bring the love of hockey back to the US and also the west coast, a place where hockey isn’t as prevalent as other cold weather states.
With the lockout underway, many of the star players around the league have already left to play overseas. About 400 players made the trip overseas during the 2004-05 lockout, players may take a similar course during this year.
Since money is the major issue in this debate, maybe the league as a whole should realize that they’re losing profit by cancelling games. Fans are the source of the league’s money. Even in a tough economic time, people choose to pay their hard earned cash to go out and watch their team.
The greed of a few is penalizing the group of people who care the most about the league. If the NHL wants to preserve a loyal fan base and keep people interested they need to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.