Do you believe it?

There seems to be some debate about the Kings’ assertion that they’re losing more money than before the lockout. Keeping in mind, of course, that the Kings aren’t opening the financial books, what do you think?

The Kings say they’re losing more money than ever. What do you think?
I believe them; it makes sense
They’re losing some money, but probably also fudging the numbers
I’m not buying it at all
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

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  • Anonymous

    bottom line is that none of us really knows

  • anthony

    I believe them.
    But I don’t feel sorry for them.
    Ownership and Management are both the proximate cause for the situation thaey are in.

    Ownership, because of their David Beckham debacle and other foolish, loser, and expensive ventures they got involved in.

    Management, because of these crappy free agent signings that got them nowhere. Also, all these senseless office positions they opened up. Really, 16 vice president positions, when most organizations get away with just 5.
    The team also has the most assistant coaches in the league.
    DL given a blank check to do anything he wishes. It’s Madness. Simply Madness.
    Maybe next season he’ll offer Alaxender Mogilny $6 Million to play for us in 08-09.

    And who pays for these incompetent screw ups?
    We Do.

    And, am I stupid enough to yet again spend $27,000 to share a suite with a bunch losers who worship the Lakers & Clippers (I only pay for the Kings games).

    YES!!!!!!!

  • Greg

    My real question would be how much are the Kings paying in rent to the corporate entity that owns STAPLES Center and how much of the arena sponsorship do the Kings receive?

    That is one way for the Kings to lose bunches and bunches (as I learned at university) of money and AEG be profitable overall.

  • Hemorrhage

    There’s no way they’re losing money while still being able to sell $8.00-11.50 beers.

  • Cup4la

    They are also losing more than ever.

  • beingbobbyorr

    Rich, sorry to piss in your Cheerios, but what I want to know is why do the media print these assertions when the team makes no effort to provide any evidence that they are true? If you’re not seeking any validation of such claims, aren’t you (and your paper) just acting as an extension of the team’s marketing department, priming the fans to swallow a price increase (that the team obviously wishes, but may or may not need)?

  • Anonymous

    If they are losing money, they might want to think about cutting back on administrative costs because it sure as hell is not being reflected in the on-ice product.

  • Rich Hammond

    beingbbobbyorr…It’s a legitimate question, and here’s your answer. 1) I think what they say is newsworthy. 2) I can’t outright prove or disprove it, so every story written about a subject like this will always include phrases such as, “The Kings claim…” or “The Kings say…” I’m not saying it’s true; they are. 3) To say people are “not seeking any validation” is a bit harsh and untrue. I can’t knock on the door and force them to open their books. They’re not a public institution. They’re not a government.

    I can do my best to examine the story, which is constantly being done. Until then, the best I can do is present what’s out there and let you, the reader, decide what you believe and what action you’d like to take.

  • Anonymous

    A friend of mine who isn’t a hockey fan brought up an interesting point earlier in the season, and it just dawned on me what he was saying. While watching one game, he mentioned “Don’t you get sick of seeing the same commercials so much during one game?” And I noted that it was annoying to which he replied, “Well that’s what happens when a team sucks. The endorsements just don’t roll in.”

    So maybe there is truth to them saying the Kings aren’t pulling in a profit. I can’t imagine big name vendors are lining up to associate themselves with a bottom-feeding team, and I suspect that the ones who did stay on aren’t paying big bucks to get their advertising in Staples Center. I can imagine that Toyota is probably asking for huge price breaks, seeing as they’ve been with the Kings since the beginning.

    And this would sort of match up with the Kings claiming to even be in negative territory for a while, because they weren’t a good team pre-lockout either. And as people have correctly pointed out, team expenditures have gone up, but attendance and probably endorsements are down. It’s just a personal opinion, but I don’t think California Pizza Kitchen has the same weight as Dominoes Pizza.

    And to that end, the fans are the ones that suffer, because AEG can’t reel in big-time sponsors to buy advertising space. It all goes back to the on-ice product. Have a winning team, and the money will come.

  • PSP

    Right now, 83% of the responders voted that the Kings are not being completely truthful or outright fabricating this.

    What is the “infrastructure” that Lombardi has built since he took over that would account for this?

    Why do the Kings lead the league in executives? They list 16 Vice Presidents or comparable officers in the Business Office alone. Is this why they are “losing money”?

    What are Luc Robitaille’s credentials to be President – Business Operations?

    How do the “losses” compare to the money that they’ve thrown away on horrible free agent signings?

    Do they expect this to just blow over or do they intend to respond?

  • Anonymous

    “Also, all these senseless office positions they opened up. Really, 16 vice president positions, when most organizations get away with just 5.”

    Not entirely true, a lot of them also crossover to AEG realm, and are under AEG payroll. Such as that, they don’t count against Kings numbers.

  • MaxPoints

    I didn’t vote because I don’t care in the slightest. I’m still a bit perplexed why this kind of information comes out. When my local pub raises the price on their beer I don’t get a sob story about how it’s losing money.

    That aside, a 29th place team SHOULD be losing money. I don’t have any sympathy. It’s nobody’s fault but the Kings.

  • PSP

    I believe that the Kings are acting as a separate entity, so these are all strictly Kings:

    Executive Vice President, CFO
    Dan Beckerman

    Executive Vice President, General Counsel
    Ted Fikre

    Chief Administrative Officer
    Kevin McDowell

    Executive Vice President, Marketing and International
    Andrew Messick

    Chief Marketing Officer
    Chris McGowan

    Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales/Service & Community Affairs
    Tracy Hartman

    Vice President, Communications and Corporate Development
    Michael Altieri

    Vice President, Corporate Sales
    John Greene

    Vice President, Creative
    Todd Howk

    Vice President and Senior Counsel
    John Keenan

    Vice President, Finance
    Peter Mazur

    Vice President, Sales
    Carola Ross

    Vice President, Merchandising
    Sean Ryan

    Vice President, Community Affairs
    Martha Saucedo

    Vice President, Corporate Sales & Services
    Kelly Staley

    Vice President, Business Development
    Ben Robert

    …and that doesn’t include all of the directors and managers, etc.

  • Anonymous

    you can but-for and proximate cause yourself all the way home, but you have to ask yourself what would a reasonable GM do… for those complaining about 16 VPs, did you compare the kings structure to other organizations? Is 16 that out of the question for a hockey club? I just looked up the Red Wings (had to check at the top – if you want to be the best you have to emulate the best). Guess how many VPs they have???? I’m not great at math but I counted 14. hmm, doesn’t seem that out of the question for the kings. And did you even look up how many asst coaches the Red Wings have?

    Mike Babcock Head Coach
    Paul MacLean Assistant Coach
    Todd McLellan Assistant Coach
    Jim Bedard Goaltending Coach
    Jay Woodcroft Video Coach

    Head Coach Marc Crawford
    Associate Coach Mike Johnston
    Assistant Coach Dave Lewis
    Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development Jamie Kompon
    Assistant Coach Nelson Emerson
    Goaltending Coach Bill Ranford
    Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Smith

    From my understanding, Nelson Emerson is responsible for video. So the only difference is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and the Asst Coach/Dir of Player Development. I don’t think you can questions having a S&C coach. This Dir of Player Dev. – I don’t know. I have no idea what he does. But are you really saying the Kings are mismanaged because they have an extra coaching position and some VPs????

  • Anonymous

    amazing PSP, you’ll say anything to prove your point… you spend all your time trying to prove that AEG and the kings are one in the same, and now you’re going to “believe that the Kings are acting as a separate entity” amazing.

    Unless you work for the Kings and/or AEG you have no way of proving which person is under which payroll

  • Matt George

    Well I have quite a few posts over on the ticket map section but I have to add here as well.

    I think we’re all frustrated with AEG because they have consistently over the years placed a larger emphasis in coaching than they have the players. (We of course need both)

    As I said in the other post (as an example) Andy Murray had the Kings in the playoffs in 2001 (I’m pretty sure that was the “stunner at staples year” but i could be wrong). That year was a perfect opportunity for AEG to throw down some big bucks and get us a SUPERSTAR forward/defender/goalie to put us over the top.

    Their response? Zip. Zilch.

    So I think we’re all a little pissed here cuz they are essentially saying to us “Pay us more and hey, we’ll make it better.” When all of us know that AEG has a history of milking the Kings.

    They had opportunities many times to “make the product better”. Instead they gave us great memories like cutting Blake loose in his prime.

    And let’s all not forget that their first order of business when they got the Kings was to CUT GRETSKY and they followed that up with exactly NO (that’s ZERO) superstar signings. Like ever.

    Bottom line, all of us collectively know that more money or not, AEG won’t spend it on the ice.

  • anthony

    Matt George is right on.
    I agree with him completely.

  • Anonymous

    “And let’s all not forget that their first order of business when they got the Kings was to CUT GRETSKY and they followed that up with exactly NO (that’s ZERO) superstar signings. Like ever.”

    I believe the team was near bankruptcy due to McNall’s shenanigans. Had the team kept Gretsky, you’d probably be paying twice as much for tickets right now to cover costs

    but hey good game, thanks for playing

  • I’m Not Kidding

    Anybody who spends $60 million for a soccer player has already shown they do not know how to handle their money. Here are some tips for AEG to right the ship:

    1) Get rid of the stupid mascot. Those things belong at Disneyland or Chuck E. Cheese.

    2) Sign or trade for a bona-fide superstar player who will (a) bring a Stanley Cup closer to Los Angeles, and (b) give you somebody to market around.

    3) Rescind the ticket price increase. This is insane. Can you blame me for canceling my season tickets 5 years ago?

    4) Hold Lombardi accountable. None of the free agents he spent millions on last year panned out. Tell him this is his make-or-break season – sign somebody worth the money he’s being paid, or get a new job.

    5) Hold Crawford accountable. No more double-speak. No more line changing like the 405 Freeway at rush hour. No more power play or penalty killing performances like pickup games. Plug in a goalie who stops the puck and doesn’t give up rebound after rebound.

    6) Give the fans a break. Hold a Kings Fan Fest. Bring the players out en masse to sign autographs. Give away free tickets to schoolkids whose parents can’t afford the $20 parking and $50 face value. Put Rogie Vachon, Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer, etc., on every TV and/or radio talk show there is in town, and have them do public appearances to stir up more interest. There is a long history of Kings hockey before AEG showed up, only they just don’t know about it.

    7) Tell David Beckham he is required to purchase every seat or suite that goes unsold during the 2008-09 season. He can definitely afford it.

    8) No more slogans, please.

    9) Give season ticket holders a 20% discount for renewing through these dark times.

    10) Gretzky – ever heard of the guy? I know he’s part of the Phoenix organization, but just so AEG knows it, The Great One is the reason hockey thrived in the late 1980′s and early ’90s here in Los Angeles. Do whatever it takes to get Wayne back in the organization, even if you have to give him part ownership in the team. Not using Gretzky to market the Kings is like not using Babe Ruth to market the Yankees. It’s so obvious, how can you overlook it?

  • anthony

    You forgot to mention #11

    11) DO NOT RE-SIGN ROB BLAKE

  • Anonymous

    This is for matt george. I seem to remember the kings acquiring palffy, alison, and deadmarsh. all of those guys were acquired and were stars. They even went out and got potvin. But for those advocating trades, we have to give up young guns to get established guys. It just doesn’t seem to workout though. For instance, the kings had good young prospects in blake, sydor, zitnik, and boucher on the blueline. If we had kept those guys around we probably would have been better or at least had more depth in the system so we wouldn’t have had a wonkey defense for many years (i’m not saying they are all norris trophy winners but they were have been good pieces in their prime). Remember Jokinen. There was our center. But we traded him for palffy. I’m not saying that the trade was good or bad, but in general by trading our good youth that has left our cupboards bare when the acquisitions left.

  • Anonymous

    I’m kinda on the wall about how much weight to put on DLs FA singings. Have they been bad yes. But I’m not sure that tells the whole store or should even be a major knock on DL at this time. 1st- which FAs had any interest in signing with LA and at a price what was within the team’s salary structure? We’ve all heard that the big name FAs have said no thanks – Chara and Dury come to mind. 2nd- more importantly has it really mattered to this point? would it have made a significant enough difference to put us in the playoffs? Made a difference – if the FA performed, maybe but probably not enough. I don’t think the situation has called for DL to hit a homerun with the FAs. It’ll be more important once the team starts performing better and challenging for the playoffs. Once the team is there then I think more weight can be placed on his FA signings.

  • andre norway

    For you guys who thinks AEG is paying 60 mill for Beckham is wrong. AEG is paying Beckhams salary who I think is about 2 mill – the rest of the money comes from sponsorships like adidas, pepsi, herbalife and so on. Beckham is a golden boy for AEG and the galaxy because he is the most well known soccerplayer in the world. You see kids in europe, asia, scandinavia, south america walking around in galaxyjersey with no. 23 on the back. Im sure galaxy have sold about 100 000 jerseys worldwide if not more and if they get 40 dollars back from every jersey you all will know how much money he brings in. When real madrid payed manchester united 130 000 millions for beckham they got all the money back within 1 year just selling jerseys with his name on.
    Regarding the kings, I dont think they sell 100 000 jerseys worldwide but Im sure detroit and rangers does it.
    I dont know if is legal in the NHL to get an investor to pay a players salary or own a part of a player or put in money so we can get those high profil free agents but that would be something. Toyota puts in 6 mill a year so we can pay jokinens salary:-))

  • voice of reason

    anyone that brought up beckham as an example of mismanagement of funds lives in US-centric world of thought. try expanding to global, at least.

  • beingbobbyorr

    beingbbobbyorr…It’s a legitimate question, and here’s your answer. 1) I think what they say is newsworthy. 2) I can’t outright prove or disprove it, so every story written about a subject like this will always include phrases such as, “The Kings claim…” or “The Kings say…” I’m not saying it’s true; they are. 3) To say people are “not seeking any validation” is a bit harsh and untrue. I can’t knock on the door and force them to open their books. They’re not a public institution. They’re not a government.

    Fair enough. I know they’re not obligated to “Show you the losses” (apologies to Cuba Gooding, Jr.), but their claims (arbitrary assertions) deserve some elementary follow-up questions which I (we) beg you to ask when this subject comes up in the future:

    “Can you show me evidence of these losses? After all, you let fan Phil Propper (aka Piston) look at the books a few years ago.” Let them go on record with a “No.”

    “Why tell me about these losses? Why do you think my readers care about what your accounting ledger looks like? They have their own accounting ledger to worry about: Is the price of the ticket (and concessions, parking, and gas) worth the entertainment spectacle provided?”

    “Where is Tim Leiweke? Why isn’t he at this meeting? Wasn’t he the guy crying poor & selling the dire need for a salary cap at the state-of-the-franchise meetings pre-lockout? What’s his explanation for the continued losses?”

  • I’m Not Kidding

    Earth to anyone sticking up for AEG and its asinine signing of David Beckham:

    We as Kings fans couldn’t give a crap about David Beckham. You can take him back to Europe for all we care and take that $60 million and put it into the Kings franchise. You guys have no clue what us hockey fans are talking about. Any sport that condones fans who make fun of a player’s color or religion, any sport that has delirious fans who beat, shoot and kill opposing teams’ fans, any sport whose fans urinate on the stadium walls and drink themselves into a maniacal stupor, you can have your Beckhams and whoever else. Just leave us hockey fans alone and shut up.

  • PSP

    (Robtaille:) “Whatever money we’re making by increasing our ticket prices, we’re using it to make our business better. When you talk about getting players, when the time is right, the time is right, but the goal for us is to make our business better, and that will trickle to what we do with hockey and everything.

    Silly me – I thought the goal was to win the Stanley Cup

  • Anonymous

    To I’m Not Kidding –
    um, ever heard of montreal and the montreal riots? um, ever hear what happend to ace bailey? or what mcsoely or bertuzzi did? ever ask ted nolan how many times racist comments were made about his heritage? seriously are you trying to say hockey fans are better than soccer fans? fans, no matter the sport, are people, and people do some messed up stuff. it’s not exclusive.

    that being said… AEGs deal with Beckham has no effect on the kings. AEG is going to drain the most it can out of Beckham and it will drain the most it can out of the kings. It’s just that it can drain more out a single soccer player than it can an nhl team.

  • Matt George

    I gotta agree with most of “i’m not kidding”

    altho i disagree on one thing… i like bailey … if im pissed at my wife or the game i just watch bailey slam his hands on the glass as the opposing player skates by and i smile…

    also I don’t know about the rest of you but when a subject like ticket prices is being discussed and we suddenly get “ANONYMOUS” posters defending higher prices, i get a real feeling the AEG employees are behind it.

    I’m quite sure rich can find out the IP address of individual posters… we might be surprised to find out how many “anonymous” posts come from that office.

  • Anonymous

    No, I don’t believe them. Hell I still don’t believe the Ducks actually won a Stanley Cup last year or that
    they actually finished 29th in a 30 team league after
    spending (wasting) money in free agency. Hell, Mogilny
    would have been better than anyone that they did sign.
    I don’t believe that people are still showing up in
    droves to see this team play or that Crawford is still
    coaching after 2 piss poor season in a row.
    I’m Not Kidding best post in awhile with top 10 list.

  • Kevin McDowell

    To PSP:

    YTo clarify, the belief that the positions you listed are “strictly Kings” is incorrect. Most of the the individuals you listed are corporate executives with AEG, the Kings’ parent company. I know that for a fact because I am on your list and my reponsibilities include all AEG businesses worldwide (U.S., Europe and Asia). Feel free to e-mail me at kevin.mcdowell@aegworldwide.com if I can be of further assistance. Thank you.

    Kevin McDowell
    Chief Administrative Officer
    AEG

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