Monday, 3 September 2012

CHLPA Figures Just Plain Wrong

I’m just a mild-manner radio broadcaster, but math was one of my strongest subjects in high school a couple of decades ago.

I guess what I’m saying is, based on the latest round of tweets from the CHLPA, I’m more qualified to put out accurate figures than those working behind the scenes for the fledgling organization.

Last night, the CHLPA began a series of tweets that put together the estimated tickets sold for last season and estimated revenue for each team from those tickets for every team in the Canadian Hockey League, including the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Brandon Wheat Kings est. tickets sold for 2011/12 = 154,226 with est. revenue of $3,423,820.00. Just in ticket sales alone.

And, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here’s the tweet that came just minutes earlier.

Ticket sale estimates DO NOT INCLUDE pre season games, or playoffs.

Based on the CHLPA figures, the Wheat Kings average ticket price was $22.20 (154,226 X $22.20 = $3,423,820)

Ponder this for starters: How could the average price of a Wheat Kings' tickets be $22.20 when their season ticket price averaged out to less than $10 per game ($350 / 36) and their highest individual game ticket was $17?

And now, lets actually put some sense into this dollars and cents routine for ticket revenue.
The Wheat Kings actual attendance to their 2011-2012 regular season home games was 149,071, roughly 5,000 less than the CHLPA estimate.

Considering the two rain-check nights a season that Wheat Kings hold, I seriously doubt there were more than 5,000 tickets that were sold but not used.

In fact, I would suggest that the actual number of tickets sold by the Wheat Kings would be lower than 149,071 considering the tickets for the rain check games are freebies and count toward the total attendance.

Anyways, let's do some calculations that make a little more sense.

2,013 X $325.00 = $654,225

The Wheat Kings sold 2,013 season tickets prior to their early bird deadline. Early bird season ticket prices were $325.00 for adults, $175.00 for youth (Under-17). I’ve put them all down as adult season tickets, although that would not be true.

987 X $350 = $345,450

The Wheat Kings sold just fewer than 3,000 season tickets in 2011-2012. With 2,013 of those being early bird tickets, that leaves 987 sold at the regular price of $350 would be $345,450.  Again, the figure might be a little off because I couldn’t find the exact number of season tickets the Wheat Kings sold last year, only references to just fewer than 3,000.

So, you have 3,000 season tickets sold for each of 36 home games for the entire season, which would be 108,000 of your attendance figure.

149,071 – 108,000 = 41,071

41,071 would represent the number of single game tickets sold by the Wheat Kings during the 2011-2012 season.

Granted, I’m sure not every season ticket holder attended every one of the Wheat Kings’ home games. For the sake of argument with those figures, I’ll suggest each season ticket holder missed six games during the season.

3,000 X 6 = 18,000

That would still leave you with 90,000 for your attendance figure from season ticket holders, meaning Brandon sold about 60,000 individual game tickets.

Brandon offered a variety of price ranges for those 60,000 tickets:

Adults: $17
Gen X (18-30): $14
Seniors (60-Plus): $14
Youth (13-17): $12
Children (12-and-under): $7

The Wheat Kings also offer group pricing for ticket sales for group of 20 or more people. All those factors would lead you to believe that average price of those 60,000 tickets would be less than the 17 dollars per person.  However, I’m going to use that $17,00 figure...

60,000 X $17.00 = $1,020,000

For those of you wondering, because you paid $20 for a Wheat Kings’ ticket last year, remember there’s a $3 surcharge on the tickets that went to Ticketmaster and the Keystone Centre. The Wheat Kings don’t see a penny of that money.

Okay, so let’s do some simple addition:

Early Bird Season Ticket Revenue = $654,225
Non Early Bird Season Ticket Revenue= $345,450
Individual Game Ticket Sales = $1,020,000

$654,225 + $345,450 + $1,020,000 = $2,019,675


Remember, that figure of $2,019,675 is probably high considering I’ve calculated it using the HIGHEST PRICE POSSIBLE for each season ticket and the HIGHEST PRICE POSSIBLE for each individual game ticket sold. I would be willing to bet the actual figure would be at least 10-15% less.

Perhaps the CHLPA’s goal in throwing these misleading figures out is to get the CHL teams to open their books to them, I don’t know.

All I know is if I had a bookkeeper that was that inaccurate, they probably wouldn't be my bookkeeper anymore.

I’ve said to a number of people over the last couple of weeks that I’m keeping an open mind about the CHL Players Association because I do think there’s some room for improvement for what the players receive.

Having said that, it’s my belief that the Canadian Hockey League won’t have to lift a finger to deal with the CHLPA.

If the organization continues to spew out inaccuracies, misleading figures and other ‘propaganda’, they’ll be dismissed quickly by the very people they’re trying to get onside before they ever get a chance to deal with the CHL.


Stuart said...

The claim is that the CHLPA got these figures from the CHL website. They posted that twitter message today. I have searched high and low on the CHL website looking for ticket sales and find nothing.

The best exaggeration is the Portland Winterhawks who apparently charge nearly $45 a game to see the Hawks. Our season tickets are about $14 a game and the highest price STH is $1300 which is an all inclusive package which is $36 a game but has food included so that figure is about $26 realistically.

I agree this whole posturing is necessary for the CHLPA to look like it has something, it appears they've blown their wad coming out of the gate. Posting Tweets at midnight Pacific Time (3am Eastern) means that unless players were coming home from tournaments, the tweets were barely seen except by bleary eye media who of course had to investigate.

Who are you going to call from the CHLPA at 3am?

Credibility is shot as far as I am concerned.

However, that said, I believe all players should be attending and passing classes at ALL age groups in order to play.No one should be exempt. Currently the WHL clubs that do this are Lethbridge and Portland.

In talking to player's parents in the past, they have done a great deal of research on the teams that are interested in them to ensure it's a good fit for their son, something a 15 year old isn't really capable of doing.

Maybe i'm missing the whole point of what this CHLPA is doing, but it appears from my vantage point, that they are are nowhere ready to present any type of plan and are instead, looking to throw muck and see what sticks.

I expect that behavior from politicians, not an organization that purports to want to protect young hockey players

Anonymous said...

Box ticket prices? Pretty expensive... Certainly would not include that huge difference, though.

Luber said...

Those attending Wheat Kings' games in the seven private suites at WCPG are included in the teams' attendance figures.

Each one of the suites buys 20 tickets at face value.

The revenue generated from five of the seven suites is split between Wheat Kings and Keystone Centre, the other two go completely to the Wheat Kings.

I would that that wouldn't count as ticket revenue. More likely goes down as corporate sponsorship sales.