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Bettman adds to expansion denial: $1.4B wouldn’t be enough

Sep 3, 2014, 5:38 PM EDT

2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

Gary Bettman and other NHL executives have shot down expansion rumors already this summer, but he provided the Canadian Press with an interesting wrinkle on Wednesday: even if expansion was happening, a $1.4 billion haul in fees for four teams wouldn’t do the trick.

“The part of the story I found particularly difficult was the suggestion we would sell four franchises for $1.4 billion is way too low,” Bettman said. “It undervalues our franchises.”

Bettman was elaborating on his previous denial of an August 26 report from the Sports Business News’ Howard Bloom that the NHL would add four teams (Quebec, Seattle, Las Vegas and an additional Toronto team) by 2017 with that aforementioned $1.4 billion in expansion fees.

Naturally, such a claim won’t stop people from speculation. One can just imagine responses along the lines of “how much would it take for such an estimate to be proper value in the NHL’s eyes?”

Either way, it sounds like expansion speculation will remain just that, at least for now.

  1. luz56 - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    I am a hockey fan but Gary Bettman is delirious….. $400 million for an expansion team… Good luck with that Gary!

    • imleftcoast - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      “But the Clippers sold for $2 billion,” Gary would say. He should be focused on adding franchises that will be successful, rather than burdening them with excessive debt.

    • blomfeld - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:11 AM


      and he ‘knows’ what he’s doing …

      TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!! :) :) :)

  2. jernster21 - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Isn’t expansion and expansion fees outlined in the CBA? I don’t think 1.4 billion was picked out of mid air.

    • phtjoey - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      isn’t the CBA an agreement between employee and employer. Hence Collective Bargaining Agreement between NHL & NHLPA.

    • rmccleary97 - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      The CBA doesn’t specify how expansion takes place, or how fees are levied. The word “expansion” is only used 5 times in the text of the CBA – one of those being in a description of the paragraph. 50.1(b) specifically states that HRR doesn’t include “revenue from the relocation or sale of any existing Club (or any interest therein) or the grant of any new franchise.” So, any expansion fees would go solely to the owners – not the players. In short: the owners can do expansion however they want, and the players don’t have a voice in it at all.

      One significant item not covered in the CBA: how any no-move clause applies in the event of an expansion draft. It’s not a trade, loan or waiver claim – so does it still bind the team to protect the player or can they expose him in such a draft? That would be among the issues that would have to be determined if/when expansion takes place and it comes time to stock rosters.

  3. gbart22 - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    In pretty convinced he is overvaluing his franchises.

  4. hosewater2 - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    The very fact that he commented on the financials shows how serious the league is about expansion. He’s bargaining already.

    • flyboystransport - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:15 PM


    • illogic87 - Sep 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Duh, its a business for these people

  5. dumbassgreg - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    little gary is hoping tsn in Canada with a need for programming. they decide to pay big bucks to put another team in Toronto. after rogers and bell decide one has to sell their share of leafs. quebec is willing to be like Winnipeg over pay to get a team after gary tells them that is only way they get on e. bruckheimer is finally willing to pay 400 million to put team in vegas has not been before. paul allen or someone is willing to pay big bucks to put a team in seattle or Portland. reality if paul allen had wanted a team or Bruckheimer had been willing to pay $$$ . they would already have a team in a second.

  6. flyboystransport - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    500 million and this brings to speculation as whether or not bettman had something to do with the islanders sale

  7. longcutskolvikes - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Adding four teams is a terrible idea. Honestly, two is stretching it.

    • bullwinkle88 - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      Correct. Four is absurd. But they do need to grow by two. Let the other two come from relocations.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:51 AM

        Two more is the correct answer, and that ends up with 32 teams. But the further correct answer is two additional teams in a Location NOT in the eastern time zone.

        Two balanced conferences, eash with the same # of teems in the divisions is that only thing that makes sense.

  8. swenny19 - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:05 AM

    Paul Allen? Anyone else raise an eyebrow to that mention?

  9. jhmiddleton81 - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    I think $400-450 Million is a fair price for an expansion team, the Islanders are worth $450 million and they’re the least valuable (arguably) I think an expansion teams cost should be around the lowest valued franchise. I don’t care about last years forbes valuations, team values across the board are up…. a lot. 400 to 450 million is fair.

    • jhmiddleton81 - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      I honestly think maybe 10 are worth over $750 million easily and maybe 5 over a billion. Leafs, Canadiens, Rangers, Blackhawks, Canucks, Bruins? If they were for sale, the could fetch $1 Billion in my opinion.

    • skuba7 - Sep 6, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      The Islanders sold for as much as they did because of their move to Brooklyn. If they were staying out on LI, they would sell for maybe half what they did.

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