There are some NHL teams that bring in big bucks, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Boston Bruins. None of them can touch the juggernaut that is college sports. According to CBS News, the University of Alabama’s athletic revenue is more than the individual revenues of all 30 NHL franchises. For last year, their revenue was $143 million dollars. Keep in mind that revenue and profit are two different things; once the school pays what they need to for coaches, equipment, stadium upkeep, etc., there profits are significantly lower – but still extremely high.
This shouldn’t shock anyone. If you have a team that has a 100,000 seat stadium that sells out every home game, and a school with a big-time football program, this is going to happen. It’s not surprising, and it’s not a condemnation of the NHL (or the 25 NBA teams that Bama makes more than). What it is, though, is a look into some very real concerns that NCAA players have regarding the schools making millions off of their athletes while giving no monetary compensation aside from the occasional full scholarship. It’s jarring, for sure. However, NCAA schools have a lot of athletes to pay if they were required to do so, more than any sports league. The solution to the problem is complicated, which should make the NHL happy for once to have to deal with the NHLPA. At least they can establish protocol and payment and not have the general public focused on compensation every single year – just every ten years, it seems.