Issues

We’re providing this compilation from various authors to present their asserted views about European opportunity for the NHL.

  1. It seems that the time is right for a European expansion. About 30 per cent of league rosters are made of European players. Compare it with less than 10 per cent 20 years ago. 25 to 35 per cent of unique NHL.COM Internet traffic comes from Europe
  2. Eurogames are considered as the NHL and European hockey leagues growth opportunities
  3. Having a division of NHL teams based in Europe would place teams in cities where the sport sells very well
  4. In the past markets for hockey games included Stockholm, Helsinki, Prague, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Moscow, and cities in Germany and Switzerland
  5. Currently, the best opportunities are in the most stable economy in Central Europe – Poland
  6. Central Europe is considered a dynamic business landscape
  7. Historically the KHL demonstrated unmatched success and is now geared towards expansion into Western Europe
  8. Challenges confronting NHL expansion to Europe include taxation laws that would impact players’ salaries; the distance of travel between Europe and North America, and. finally, the time difference between the two continents is an issue related to television broadcasts
  9. A concern is whether a hypothetical European NHL clubs would generate enough revenue to compete with North American payroll demands
  10. The North American sports generates a sizable level of revenue; the question is whether European sports economies could match that level and balance expense accounts
  11. Sponsorship initiatives could potentially mitigate lost income from ticket sales, which in Europe are less expensive
  12. Sponsorship opportunities in Europe are in general better than in the USA
  13. KHL expansion, in particular into Central Europe is a fact;  further KHL’s expansion includes 64 team leagues in 22 nations from Far Eastern Russia into Western Europe.  What should be the NHL answer?
  14. Who is going to control the lucrative markets in Europe?
  15. The acquisition of a prominent Finnish Hockey team Jokerit to the KHL shows how serious the KHL is about total European market. Would KHL expansion continue westwards?
  16. There is a nine hour difference between the KHL most westerly and easterly located teams.  The league still functions well providing high quality games.
  17. Are the hockey arenas big enough? The Ericsson Globe has a capacity of 13,850; the Hartwall Arena, Jokerit’s Stadium, has a capacity of 13,506. The new arena for the New York Islanders, the Barclays Center, has a capacity of 14,500. Both of the two biggest arenas in Europe are not even as large as American arenas, considered to small for the NHL hockey games
  18. Another concern is the International Ice Hockey Federation. When asked back in 2010 his opinion on European expansion, Rene Fesel, head of the IIHF, replied “Try to come. Good Luck”. According to IIHF, European hockey should remain European. “This is our territory and I will fight like hell to not allow anybody to come from abroad, I think in Europe we are strong enough to do something on our own, and then have the competition between Europe and North America. That makes the fan happy,” said Mr. Fesel.