Without paying fans in the seats, the NHL is going to have to start looking elsewhere for revenue streams whenever they begin playing games again.
It’s looking more and more likely with the re-opening of sports leagues in Asia and soon in Europe that sports can return this year in the U.S. and Canada, however, fans are probably going to be locked out for a while.
The NHL has a small history of putting ads on jerseys including a few teams doing it on their practice jerseys and most notably the World Cup of Hockey jerseys in 2016.
The Golden Knights have seen their share of patches on jerseys. In the first season, there was an inaugural season patch on the chest and an NHL 100 Years patch on the arm sleeve. Then, when they made the Stanley Cup Final, they had to find room for yet another patch. To avoid over patching, they removed the inaugural season one to add the Cup Final one.
In years two and three, the Golden Knights have been patchless aside from the A’s worn by alternate captains.
Without the patches, the Golden Knights jersey was ranked the 2nd best in the entire league in this year’s player’s poll behind only the Original Six Chicago Blackhawks.
Jersey ads have become commonplace in many sports leagues and like stadium naming rights can sometimes become synonymous with the team’s jersey.
The NHL has pushed for it unsuccessfully before, but there’s almost no way to deny it this time. Attendance is the number one revenue stream for the NHL (and it’s not close). With that out of the picture, jersey ads are an easy place to turn to and likely one the NHL won’t hesitate to capitalize on.
The bigger question becomes when they inevitably do it, will they last when the pandemic scare is completely over?
Hopefully not, I like the jerseys just the way they are. And we’re all already nervous enough about the over the top gold 3rd jersey on the way. Imagine if that thing has ads plastered all over it too.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
The neutral-sites idea looks like a no-go.
Instead, we’re looking at one NHL city per division to resume the season. Teams from that division would be brought to this location. And, it sounds like the plan is to complete the regular season — if possible. One idea, a triple-header per day at each location to get it done in three weeks. The players have to agree.
Looking at the CDC and Canadian information, I could see places like Edmonton, Minnesota and Raleigh being options if the league and the respective governments were willing.
there you have it. That is how they will continue the season