Around the world we’re starting to see the return of some major sporting events as organisers looking to get as much underway as possible in a relatively short period of time, this has led to many having hyper intense schedules as many games are squeezed together to make up for lost time – this has been great for other markets too as punters help the betting sector get off to a flying start, despite regulation change that has banned credit card gambling and further push from Gamstop forcing operators to make some tough choices, non gamstop betting still exists and is starting to find it’s groove through these larger sporting events – sadly, ice hockey is not amongst them – and whilst it’s understandable why the EIHL season was cut short, could it be damaging?
There have been positive signs for the sport within the UK in recent years – attendance has been steadily increasing, the quality of competition has also been improving, and a rise of team GB to the top flight of the World Championships. The struggle may be found in that growth at the same time though – whilst the growth has been very good news for the sport the additional delay could cause many of the new fans to return to old habits – there’s also the issue to overcome for many teams of revenue – some of the smaller clubs have already mentioned that they will be experiencing problems of solvency as an extended period of time without play causes further issues as seen throughout all other sports too, given that no fans will be in attendance for games possibly heading into the new year, this issue continues to grow.
There may be calls to gather as much assistance as possible in this area through grants and aid, we’ve also seen some teams offer creative ways in which fans are able to financially support the teams whilst also getting something back through reduced season ticket pricing or exchanges for other benefits, but it’s difficult to say how successful any of these measures may be in securing a certain future.
Whichever direction is taken, the next few weeks may be crucial to the ice hockey scene within the country – football will be the next big major sporting event to return to the country and shortly after that motorsport will be back in the form of F1 too, some of the biggest events will be broadcast to a larger audience than usual, falling behind in this crucial time where businesses are on the teetering edge of failure or success could spell their future and sports are no exception here – we’ve already seen with examples of football once again that smaller clubs in the lower leagues are at increasing risk as delays continue, and it could be said that the same fate would be true for hockey if further delays are kept in place.