Thursday, March 25, 2010

Putting money where your mouth is

According to Puck Rakers (and following up on a question from yours truly in this week's Puck Rakers chat), the Columbus Blue Jackets hit their NHL revenue sharing target and are in line for a tidy little check from the league for up to $10 million dollars.

Aaron Portzline explains the two criteria:
This marks the second straight season in which the Blue Jackets have met the two thresholds to qualify: an average attendance of 14,000 or more (the Jackets average in excess of 15,000) and a revenue growth rate ahead of the NHL average.
You can say a lot of things about Columbus, but you can't say that we don't support the Blue Jackets. Not only do we get the arena hopping in a year when we haven't had much to celebrate since - what, October? - we buy concessions, pay for parking, buy swag and (at the corporate level) purchase sponsorships at a pace that allows the Jackets to hit their revenue sharing targets.

So, yeah, we're doing our part as a community.

Portzline also tells us that CBJ President Mike Priest is going to reinvest the revenue sharing into hockey operations, not into cutting the arena lease-driven operating deficit.  That is a very wise move, both on the practical level (more money for salaries, coaching, scouting, etc.) and on the public relations level.  The team is reinvesting in itself with the largesse that we as a community helped make happen.

Wouldn't it be something else to see the Jackets land a star-level player with a signing bonus made possible by the revenue sharing?  Perhaps that top pair D-man or an all-star caliber center?

Moves like this cement my feeling that while the Jackets aren't a perfect NHL team, they're doing the right things to become better every day.

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