This is one of those stories where owners and fans might see success differently. It might also partly explain what has looked like a Marlins style fire sale after the Blackhawks beat the Flyers for the Stanley cup. The Chicago Blackhawks are losing money.
Wirtz first revealed that the team was not profitable in private. "It's going to take four (or) five years before we can actually get back in the black," Wirtz said at an April 19 forum at the Economic Club of Chicago, according to a transcript. "And right now we're still supporting the Blackhawks with our other Wirtz organizations."
The article mentioned how several times this past season the team literally ran out of cash to fund day to day operations and the ownership had to transfer funds from their other businesses to prop up the team. Winning didn't cure the Blackhawks ills, getting high profile young stars like Kane and Toews didn't help make money... so the next obvious step is to pass the costs of running the team on to the consumers. The team will hike season ticket prices 20% this year.
Luckily, the team's ownership has deep pockets but you have to wonder how long they'll be interested in funding a financially failing business. We've already seen teams like the Coyotes and Texas Rangers basically fail only to be bailed out by their leagues. Could we see a day when one league pulls a Lehman bros and just lets a team die?