POLL QUESTION – MARCH 7
By Leo Haggerty

WILL THERE BE CASUALTIES

It’s Sunday and you know what that means, right?  The responses to our weekly poll question.

The question that was asked of our staff this week is as follows :

Which one of 4 professional sports leagues (NFL & NBA & NHL & MLB) do you think will have a franchise fold due to lack of fan attendance?

Below is the copulation of the opinions of our responders.  Definitely a diverse conglomeration of thoughts. Enjoy

AL CURTISS – NFC EAST CORRESPONDENT
Sad to say it will be the MLB, and not because of the product on the field but because the costs associated with the stadium.  If it was the strictly the product, I would say NBA, but they get to share their stadium with hockey teams, concerts and other revenue generating entertainment.  The baseball stadium typically has only baseball as the main revenue generator and the lack of fans in the seats will lead to the elimination of a team.. likely in California or Florida.

JOHN LENTZ – NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL ANALYST
NBA and MLB

TOM HEPLER – GUEST CONTRIBUUTOR
None. At least as long as their is a TV market and they encourage gambling.
JIM THIES – NFC NORTH CORRESPONDENT
My guess is the NHL because it does not have the TV money coming in that the NFL, MLB or NBA.

DAVID ALEXANDER – AFC WEST CORRESPONDENT
An interesting question!  One thing we have seen during this pandemic is the overwhelming importance of TV money.  The major sports have managed to survive without fans, although there certainly have been losses.  I think the NHL is probably the most dependent on having fans in the seats.  The Phoenix Coyotes have been on life support for a few years now, and their current ownership is shaky.  If I had to pick a franchise, I would go with the Coyotes.

LEO HAGGERTY – ITS SPORTS MAGAZINE EDITOR IN CHIEF
I believe if any professional league is going to have to either bail out or jettison one of its franchises it will be hockey.  I have two reasons for coming to that conclusion.  The first is that all contracts are guaranteed.  That’s means money has to be paid no matter what.  The second is their television contract is the worst of the four professional team sports organizations.  Whereas the National Football League and the National Basketball Association along with Major League Baseball have very lucrative agreements that would allow teams to stay afloat, the National Hockey League does not have that luxury.  The NHL depends on “fannies in the seats” to financially survive and, right now, that’s not happening at a lot of venues.  If that doesn’t change soon, at least one and maybe more of the teams will either cease to exist unless the league chooses to fund them until they can get back on stable monetary footing.