The COVID-19 pandemic has spread pain, suffering, and financial insecurity into pretty much every aspect of society, and professional sports are no exception. No matter what else happens going forward, teams will have to do things differently – even the sometimes tradition-bound organizations of the NHL.
Under the circumstances, the Dallas Stars are pretty fortunate have the guy who brought the 2020 Winter Classic and the IIHF U18 Worlds to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika talked with president and CEO Brad Alberts about how he got fans back into the arena:
...It’s been a tough experience, but I also think it’s been good because we’ve had to push ourselves to do things in a different way, and that’s created some new answers. For one, I think we’ve now gone through the digital transformation of the business. It had already started, but the pandemic and the need to be as hands off as possible has created the need for a paperless business. There will no longer be paper tickets, everything is going to be digital. That’ll be the same way for food and beverage, cashless will be at every arena. You’ll need to do credit cards or other forms of digital payment, and that’s just how the future is going to be. Secondly, the attention to safety and cleanliness that we’ve embraced, I really feel that’ll continue going forward. We want our level of cleaning and safety to be at its highest. I think consumers will expect that going forward. You need to keep that level of germ-fighting at its highest.
But how do you spread hockey throughout the state when people who live in Texas may not even be able to watch the Stars on television? Alberts is thinking about that, too:
The Regional Sports Network equation is going to be one that is front and center for me, and really for every sports team, for some time. Obviously, there’s dramatic changes for that business model and how they make money, and how they’ve been able to deliver the content. How does that evolve for their business, and what is that impact on us? I don’t really know right now where things are headed. Our deal with Sinclair/Bally isn’t up for a few years, so we have some time, but it’s something we all have to study. What are the options for us? What do they want to do? We need to grow our game, grow our franchise, and still make the money that we need to be able to pay players at the level we want to be able to pay them. We’re talking about it as a league, and there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding it.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Even if you don’t win, you’ll probably get plenty of likes for sharing a snap of your little woobie.
Around The Leagues
Stanley Cup Roundup
Now that the Final Four are set, don’t forget the semifinals schedule.
Here is the 2021 Stanley Cup Semifinals schedule:https://t.co/SDJp0jD5vR— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) June 11, 2021
Vegas is feeling cocky, clearly.
Leave it to the #MDK to bring a cannon to a gunfight.
The Jack Adams Award finalists are out there now. Which one will the Seattle Kraken try to hire first?
Rod Brind'Amour, Dean Evason and Joel Quenneville were named finalists for the Jack Adams Award. The award is given annually to the coach voted the best in the NHL by members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association. https://t.co/2b0Jxb3WNJ— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) June 11, 2021
Here’s a Tyler Seguin grin-laugh to take you into the weekend. Enjoy.