Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lynx extinct in Augusta

This isn't good. Although, if you've been paying attention, it's not surprising. There will likely be more stories of pro sports teams folding up the shop before this little economical mess we're in is over.

So, what can one learn from the failure of the ECHL's Augusta Lynx? First, you can probably put to rest the common theory that sports is an recession proof industry. Clearly, it isn't. When the sheriff is dropping by to put boards on your windows, going to watch those crazy Canadians fight at the skating rink isn't priority No. 1.

Not that we needed any further proof of it, but it might also suggest that fallacy of the false hockey market. It's not like the Lynx would have priced themselves out of the market. Even if you can still see through those windows you are probably looking carefully at how you spend you entertainment dollar. Should I go to the ball game with my son, just like my dad did with me? Or, should I check out a game played on ice by people that live in the north?

So long as things don't turn really bad, teams that play games that matter to the people they play them for should be fine. There is some truth to the idea that people will seek out distractions when the world is blowing up around them (This past U.S. Thanksgiving weekend saw the biggest box office take in history). Still, if I were a fan of a southern hockey team (and you know that there is at least one person in Augusta this morning that is devastated by the news that they no longer have a team. We should feel for that person), or any other "minor" pro sport--the NLL, MLS, AFL, etc--I should be a little bit concerned.

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