Athletes Who Buy Into The NHL Franchise
In terms of ownership and operation of a team most of the teams in the NHL are owned by private people
and investors, but only one player so far has sole ownership of a NHL franchise and that's Mario Lemieux
who played 17 years (1984-2006) with the Pittsburgh Penguins and when the team was in jeopardy with
bankruptcy he purchased the team in 1999. This was 7 years before his retirement from the team. He was
called by most to be the next "Wayne Gretzky" because he was equally talented as Wayne Gretzky who
basically started his playing career from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and
finishing out his career with the New York Rangers. Gretzky too also has ownership (partial) of the
professional team the Phoenix Coyotes since his retirement in 1999.
There's a lot to be said since athletes who turn around and invest in the teams they devoted years to a
successful career with for so many years tend to bring back a bigger crowd because the status of being an
owner is an even bigger place in the sport of hockey. After 17 seasons Lemieux had defiantly earned his
place in the hockey world since he owns the Penguins and what person could be better fitted since he knows
the team from the inside out and can appoint the right people to recruit talented players to the team.
Owning a team is a lot of work and can be expensive and risky if you don't know what you're doing to bring
in the crowd needed to make a team successful. Many people don't see the actual price tag it takes to operate
and run an NHL franchise. You're looking at between $50-75 million dollars to own and operate a team and
that doesn't include the cost of renting a facility where the games are played at since the numbers would be
through the roof if you had to do the math on that one. Milwaukee doesn't have a hockey team for the very
reason explained it was a financial issue and having done a survey there was a huge lack of interest. The
interest level would be much higher if they had someone like Wayne Gretzky or some well known NHL
legend either co-owning or is the sole owner of a team then there would be a chance for Milwaukee to
actually consider the idea because then the investors won't feel like they'll lose money on a project that isn't
really going anywhere if there's no standing or interest in it.
Not to mention the main focus would be the financial projections for the next 5 to 10 seasons because the
idea of having a franchise in the NHL is to make money and be a winning team. It's when you see teams
going into bankruptcy because usually that indicates low ticket sales over a course of years or in a single
season to not packing them in and looking at attendance and other factors as well such as merchandise sales.
It's not a pretty sight when teams end up being bought or sold by people, but they seem to have a chance of
surviving when the owner is a popular player because the name alone will draw in some serious revenue
when people know that a former professional player is the owner of a team that does win.
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