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Salviaman

Nashville decision will say a lot about Bettman's legacy

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And as far as the expansion thing is concerned; there is far more NHL-level talent than there was twenty years ago. This is a point I have made over and over, but there are 10 teams worth of Europeans and 5 teams worth of Americans in the league, compared with 1 team worth COMBINED in 1987. That means, assuming Canadian hockey has stayed the same quality and not degraded, that there are 5 teams worth of NHLers from Canada who aren't in the league. Even if there is not a single additional American or Euro, two more teams could still be composed of 100% NHL-level talent. Plus, adding two teams in the West means Detroit moves East.

EVA

That is kind of a miss leading statement, yes there is more "NHL" caliber talent, becuase there is more room for them. NHL level talent has been watered down due to the fact that there is a need for a lot more players.

Think about adding 2 more teams to the league.

They're going to come in on the bottom wrung of the talent ladder. So that would mean 2 more Blackhawks.

I can't comment on other teams as I only see the Bruins enough to make this judgement, but the Bruins do not have a team full of NHL talent. Their roster was filled with numerous guys throughout last season that didn't belong above AHL ranks. Part of that is the blame of the org and part is the watered down talent level.

That is why teams that can roll four legit lines win more often than not. If you have 3 solid NHL lines and a line of guys that should be down on the farm, you are not going to win a cup!

I just think that there really isn't enough talent to go around, there is enough bodies to be spread out to make the league 40 teams deep if necessary but are they all NHL caliber guys, or just good enough to fill out a roster?

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That is kind of a miss leading statement, yes there is more "NHL" caliber talent, becuase there is more room for them. NHL level talent has been watered down due to the fact that there is a need for a lot more players.

Think about adding 2 more teams to the league.

They're going to come in on the bottom wrung of the talent ladder. So that would mean 2 more Blackhawks.

not necessarily.

recent expansion took place at the moment when the NHL started to look for more and more Euro players. in early 90's when the Eastern Europe escaped from communism the door was open even further, and a number of Czech, Slovak and Russian (+few Latvian and Polish) has found their way to the NHL. which basicaly invalidates the "talent watering" argument. the talent has been found behind the Atlantic. where before there were few Euro players now there are many and the very Red Wings are prime example of an NHL team built with Euro born guys :)

the valid question is whether there is any room for 2 more teams. in a couple of years, with NHL scouts getting more and more involved into European leagues I could say: yes, there is. do we need 2 more? hell no. we've got some 6 too many :)

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I cannot stand you 'move Nashville, they don't go to games' types. Why? Because you're the same people who felt it was a travesty that the Jets left Winnipeg, even though they NEVER ONCE cleared 14k attendance in Winnipeg, and have done so numerous times since moving. So Nashville should be moved because of low attendance, even though they get better attendance than Winnipeg did?

And as far as the expansion thing is concerned; there is far more NHL-level talent than there was twenty years ago. This is a point I have made over and over, but there are 10 teams worth of Europeans and 5 teams worth of Americans in the league, compared with 1 team worth COMBINED in 1987. That means, assuming Canadian hockey has stayed the same quality and not degraded, that there are 5 teams worth of NHLers from Canada who aren't in the league. Even if there is not a single additional American or Euro, two more teams could still be composed of 100% NHL-level talent. Plus, adding two teams in the West means Detroit moves East.

Eva, with all due respect I think your argument is flawed on several levels. Opie beat me to this but i'd like to add a few things.

1. Its alot to assume Canadian hockey hasn't degraded at all. It is what it is, hard to quantify that really but if more Euro's are taking their jobs it could be a little of both.

2. Sort of coinciding with that point is the idea that if there are all these new Euro's in the league that are better than the Canadians whose jobs they may have taken, doesn't that mean that the NHL-level talent bar has been raised and those Canadian guys are no longer NHL-level talent?

3. You look at the players stinking up NHL rosters like Shawn Thornton and Jeff Hoggan. Maybe they bring a particular skill to the rink but not to the degree of a Georges Laraque in Thornton's case, or a 4th line plugger in Hoggan's case. If you run the stats you'll see there were enough players last season who played 40-82 games and didn't register more than 6-10 points to fill up 2 and 1/2 more NHL rosters alone. IMO, that means there's roughly 65 guys in the league who couldn't score a goal or pass a puck if their lives depended upon it. Maybe some are there for other reasons like an Andrew Peters but that list of 60 some odd players isn't all enforcers. There are far too many players who shouldn't be in the league as it stands. OPIE said it already, the league talent is watered down. If you added more teams all you'd have is 2 more teams with 1 good scoring line, 1 average line and 2 mediocre lines with players like Hoggan and Thornton on them. Frankly, there are enough of those teams already in the league. Hell, we saw it firsthand last year, a guy like Josh Langfeld has no business being on NHL ice anymore than I do.

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Bettman has been at the helm for four expansion teams. Two of them had previously had an NHL team (Atlanta and Minnesota), another was a Northern city with a strong college hockey following and no competition from other pro sports (Columbus) and another was a city with many transplants from Detroit (Nashville). Also, people sit and complain about Nashville having a good team and not getting good numbers. Nashville's failure was corporate support. For Nashville to have had corporate support last year, they would have had to have been good the PREVIOUS few years. Nashville has now been good for two seasons. Regular Joe fans go to the games as much or more than any other market. Give the businesses a chance to catch up.

I remember seeing this list last year. How much corporate support do they need?

http://predators.nhl.com/team/app/?service...age&id=9711

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at first I looked at that list and said "dang, that's more than I thought it would be"...

then I pasted it into excell and it turned out to be 780. And that's not just corporate sponsors, it includes any business that owns season tickets. At 1,800 corporate season tickets, that's about 2.5 per company.

How does it compare to other teams?

Well, consider that most teams enjoy 65% corporate ticket holders and 35% individual ticket holders. And then look at Nashville where we had something like 9,000 season tickets last season and 1,800 of them were corporations. That's only 20% corporate ticket holders.

Now lets take an average building. 17,500. and give them 95% capacity (about average for the top 2/3 of the league). That's about 16,600 fans at every game. 65% corporate tickets to those games is 10,790. Far, far greater than 1,800 in Nashville.

Take our 7,200 individual ticket holders from last season (13,815 paid average), and add in the 1,800 corporate tickets, puts us at the 9,000 level (you can also see how awesome our walk up crowd is, over 4,000 walk ups per game). Give us the 3,000 extra corporate tickets that Our Team Nashville is trying to sell, and you can see how easily we would sell out every night. (I don't think they need to get to 3,000 since individual tickets are also up as well).

So, you can see how foolish people look for just laughing off the Preds and Nashville. It's plain as day to see how easy it is for the ship to be righted as soon as the corporate support gets on board. But they choose to ignore the facts, these are probably the same people who think Nashville is full of barefoot, toothless, overall wearing rednecks who would rather bang their sister than brush their 3 remaining teeth. It's pretty much a hopeless cause to convince them otherwise, but still I continually bang my head on the wall with my constant efforts.

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So, you can see how foolish people look for just laughing off the Preds and Nashville. It's plain as day to see how easy it is for the ship to be righted as soon as the corporate support gets on board. But they choose to ignore the facts, these are probably the same people who think Nashville is full of barefoot, toothless, overall wearing rednecks who would rather bang their sister than brush their 3 remaining teeth. It's pretty much a hopeless cause to convince them otherwise, but still I continually bang my head on the wall with my constant efforts.

nobody is laughing. just asking. why, if this all is that simple, could the Predators not do what you say the season before? and why is it expected to achieve the goal now after the poor firesale and an uncertainty looming over the franchise.

nobody's contradicting the facts. it's just the question if what you call simple is indeed that simple

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nobody is laughing. just asking. why, if this all is that simple, could the Predators not do what you say the season before? and why is it expected to achieve the goal now after the poor firesale and an uncertainty looming over the franchise.

nobody's contradicting the facts. it's just the question if what you call simple is indeed that simple

Well, in years past you've got a bunch of kids fresh out of college in sales and marketing, being led by Leipold from Racine, Wisconsin, and Steve Violetta who I believe came to us from Ottawa.

The big difference is that they're not pushing tickets this year. This time around it's "Our Team Nashville" which is a group of successful Nashville businessmen. They know how to get their foot in the door and rally the corporate community for a local cause in ways that Leipold never could.

Just wait and see. Friday morning we should have an updated season ticket number. It will surprise a lot of people.

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Well, consider that most teams enjoy 65% corporate ticket holders and 35% individual ticket holders. And then look at Nashville where we had something like 9,000 season tickets last season and 1,800 of them were corporations. That's only 20% corporate ticket holders.

Link?

I'd be curious to see how it breaks down for the various franchises.

Edited by haroldsnepsts

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thought it was a pretty good article. I think Canada could definately use another Franchise. To keep expanding in the U.S. when there are already too many teams in poor markets would be foolish. Move the Preds to Hamilton and be done with it. I wish the U.S. appreciated hockey more and I think its half the fact that NASCAR and Poker are more televised in the states and half that the markets chose for most teams aren't interested.

Not everyone in the states love hockey as much as us die-hards, Bettman has to think of something better than expansion and trying to cram hockey down the throats of pissy markets like Kansas City and Las Vegas.

How about a team in the U.P. :ph34r: haha, New York has 4 teams....

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Link?

I'd be curious to see how it breaks down for the various franchises.

don't have a link, but that's the number that has been tossed out by everyone around the league, even Preds detractors. I think Buffalo has the second lowest ratio, which is why a move to Hamilton would kill them, they'd lose a large portion of the canadians who trek down to see them every game.

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Why they ever put a team in Nashville is beyond me. It's not only a non traditional hockey market but a very small one at that. Okay, so it may be growing but it aint gonna be Atlanta or Dallas- Ft. Worth any time soon. They and Anaheim were two of the best teams in the league last year and they could not even sell out their own home rinks so move them both.

I doubt Nashville's fate will have much of an effect on Bettman's legacy because the Predators are only one in a handful of teams in the NHL that fans of any caliber could not care any less about.

The only thing that will save Bettman's legacy is sound marketing/exposure( ESPN) and a little luck (big market teams like NYR, Chicago, and Boston becoming consistent cup contenders)

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nobody is laughing. just asking. why, if this all is that simple, could the Predators not do what you say the season before? and why is it expected to achieve the goal now after the poor firesale and an uncertainty looming over the franchise.

nobody's contradicting the facts. it's just the question if what you call simple is indeed that simple

I cannot say this enough: NASHVILLE WAS NEVER HAVING A FIRESALE.

Timonen and Hartnell signed for crazy amounts, and Nashville said they were traded because of their contract demands and the fact they were about to be UFA. Better to get something than nothing. Vokoun was traded because he costs several million dollars more than Mason, who outperformed him last season and has been healthier. Kariya left because of uncertainty about the sale, and because St. Louis offered him way more than he is worth.

If Nashville were having a firesale, don't you think guys like Arnott and Sullivan would have been dealt?

Why they ever put a team in Nashville is beyond me. It's not only a non traditional hockey market but a very small one at that. Okay, so it may be growing but it aint gonna be Atlanta or Dallas- Ft. Worth any time soon. They and Anaheim were two of the best teams in the league last year and they could not even sell out their own home rinks so move them both.

And move Ottawa because they had many years near the top of the league where their attendance was just as terrible. Wait, they're Canadian, so their team isn't allowed to be moved even if they don't support it. I am sick of this racist BS that bad Canadian markets like Quebec, Hamilton, or Winnipeg deserve to have a team but equal or better American markes don't.

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Eva,

Even you have to admit that if we were to compare hockey interest, as in fan interest in the sport, a Canadian city the size of Hamilton will have a lot more interest than a Southern US city like Nashville.

In Tennessee they have NASCAR, NFL, NBA, and many NCAA teams to follow. Add to that the fact that hockey is a tier two sport in the US.

Now having said that I really don't like the idea of bouncing a team around. Like you said Ottawa, good years for a long time, horrible attendance.

Because hockey is a 2nd tier sport here you need to give the teams longer to develop that fan base.(IE Carolina, their fan base is getting stronger and stronger.)

I think a move to KC is a horrible idea.

I also like the idea of how closely grouped the Central Division is, I just hate how far away the rest of the west is!!

What the NHL needs to do is find a way to fill the seats, lower prices, weird wacky give aways, something anything. Because once someone has seen a hockey game live they are hooked. At least the people I know who saw their first game live are!!!

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What the NHL needs to do is find a way to fill the seats, lower prices, weird wacky give aways, something anything.

car giveaways... wait that's been done :P

oh and it worked :thumbup:

Edited by vangvace

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I I am sick of this racist BS that bad Canadian markets like Quebec, Hamilton, or Winnipeg deserve to have a team but equal or better American markes don't.

Racist? How do you figure? There's nothing about race in this at all so can we please keep the unnecessary inflammatory terms out of it?

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Racist? How do you figure? There's nothing about race in this at all so can we please keep the unnecessary inflammatory terms out of it?

not "race" technically. But people from Canada have a bias against americans. and notherners have a bias against southerners.

Instead of having the best interest of the game (growing the sport in new markets), "traditional" fans would rather rip apart the new fans and wish that hockey were only in canada and a select few norhern american markets. They fail to see that the game doesn't grow that way, and only becomes more obscure.

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In this day and age the sport will not grow unless it is available to everyone on TV.

Look at what happened to poker. One world series of poker is aired on ESPN the next thing you know poker is the next big thing. I don't give a rats ass if the NHL is on the travel channel just as long as it is on a channel that everyone gets and is on with some god damned regularity!!!!

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Well, in years past you've got a bunch of kids fresh out of college in sales and marketing, being led by Leipold from Racine, Wisconsin, and Steve Violetta who I believe came to us from Ottawa.

The big difference is that they're not pushing tickets this year. This time around it's "Our Team Nashville" which is a group of successful Nashville businessmen. They know how to get their foot in the door and rally the corporate community for a local cause in ways that Leipold never could.

Just wait and see. Friday morning we should have an updated season ticket number. It will surprise a lot of people.

As a fellow resident of TN I believe this effort is a day late and several dollars short. As I posted earlier in this thread this move to attract more corporate support is 10 years behind. From a business standpoint it makes no sense to get behind a product that may not be on the market in 12 months. Think of the Preds as if they were openly traded on the NYSE, their stock would be low with a predicted 6th month increase of less than 1%. Not a good chance to buy low and sell high.

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not "race" technically. But people from Canada have a bias against americans. and notherners have a bias against southerners.

Instead of having the best interest of the game (growing the sport in new markets), "traditional" fans would rather rip apart the new fans and wish that hockey were only in canada and a select few norhern american markets. They fail to see that the game doesn't grow that way, and only becomes more obscure.

Obviously I can't speak for everyone, but... If we're specifically talking about hockey, I don't think that Canadians are quite so much biased against Americans as much as they are starved for NHL level hockey in what we believe is "our" sport. Part of the problem is that we look at the fact that there are 6 Canadian teams in the NHL, and 24 American ones. We see a team with a lot of problems, and feel that it only makes sense to bring a team to a market that will be a sure fire success. It also has a bit to do with the fact that the league seems to be so determined NOT to allow Canada to have another team that upsets everyone. My 2 cents.

And move Ottawa because they had many years near the top of the league where their attendance was just as terrible. Wait, they're Canadian, so their team isn't allowed to be moved even if they don't support it. I am sick of this racist BS that bad Canadian markets like Quebec, Hamilton, or Winnipeg deserve to have a team but equal or better American markes don't.

For the record, I don't think Winnipeg or Quebec deserve another team. Ottawa is doing well now, regardless of how they were doing, and Hamilton absolutely does deserve a team. They have the fan support, and corporate support to do well. Much better, imho than many of these other cities that can't support their team.

Edited by CdnWingsFanEh

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I cannot say this enough: NASHVILLE WAS NEVER HAVING A FIRESALE.

Timonen and Hartnell signed for crazy amounts, and Nashville said they were traded because of their contract demands and the fact they were about to be UFA. Better to get something than nothing. Vokoun was traded because he costs several million dollars more than Mason, who outperformed him last season and has been healthier. Kariya left because of uncertainty about the sale, and because St. Louis offered him way more than he is worth.

If Nashville were having a firesale, don't you think guys like Arnott and Sullivan would have been dealt?

no. but I think guys like TImonen, Hartnell, etc. would be replaced with proven NHL players not some minor-pickups. they haven't been.

so, yes, technically the team got free of guys who'd demand big bucks. that's what the market dictated. unfortunately, guys like Timonen and Hartnell don't grow on trees and the void left will most likely be visible when the Preds hit the ice in October.

now speaking of Mason and Vokoun - yes, indeed, Preds cut some $7M of bigmouth salary which is a big chunk of money. albeit, they did it only to give Mason $3M a year. Mason who is very likely to be a legit starter (a Legace-like no.1 goalie, but a bit better IMHO) but has yet to be proven if he's capable of playing real hockey when it counts. playoffs that is.

call it firesale or not, this team is by far not resembling the package it had last season. they may as well not stay competitive and fall short of a playoff spot with such watered talent. I hope not, because they were good to measure Wings but the reality doesn't leave much hope

Edited by akustyk

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As a fellow resident of TN I believe this effort is a day late and several dollars short.

not exactly. We were 200 shy of making the 14k mark last season.

as has been stated, and proven to be true. Get people to games and they'll be hooked. If the Our Team efforts and ticket-rally add another 2,000 season tickets for this coming season, that obviously takes care of the 14k thing. if there's even a 50% retention rate from those tickets next season, we're still doing well.

It also buys time to allow the natural growth to continue. attendance in nashville has gone up each of the last 3 seasons, even though ticket prices also went up. If that's not a sign of growth, then what is? But it's not like we're going to go from 14k to 17k over night.

as long as they average 14k, then it doesn't matter if the rest of the entire world population doesn't think that Nashville doesn't deserve a team because they can't move no matter what. In fact, the 14k clause is the only reason that there's all this talk anyway. If there wasn't the chance for the team to move, then Balsillie and Del Biaggio wouldn't ever have been interested in the first place. It's the reason they went after the Pens, and then the Preds. It's the reason they don't go after other teams in worse situations like the Panthers, because they have a stronger lease. In fact, if this whole sale situation had never come up, people would be saying "Hey, things aren't great in Nashville, but they're getting better, look at how their attendance went up the last few seasons" instead of the doom and gloom stuff about how we're the worst market in the history of hockey <_<

------------------------

another note. there's talk about how the figure is actually 16k. not true. it's still 14k.

the 16k number was thrown out by the local group bidding for the team, they said that if they bought the team, then there would need to be 16k for them to ice more than a cap minimum team. 14k is still and always will be, the number for the lease. and truthfully, the team can make a profit at 14k this season anyway.

as for ticket prices. last season they were $3 below the NHL average. the lease states that the 14k clause can NOT be envoked if the average ticket price is above the NHL average. So there really isn't any way for a new owner to raise ticket prices in order to lower attendance and break the lease.

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not exactly.

I want to make sure we are on the same page here. I am saying that they waited too long to form a plan for bringing in corporate support. You believe ( if I understand you correctly) that now is the perfect time to do so.

Working in corporate America I firmly believe that a business venture should only be created when there is a limited potential for failure. With so much speculation surrounding the future of this franchise in this state this bid for corporate support seems to be behind the times.

I'm not heading the "Move The Preds North Movement" in their own backyard, for that matter. They waited to long for a viable plan. The Nashville Predators are business but their business model lacks any real direction.

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no. but I think guys like TImonen, Hartnell, etc. would be replaced with proven NHL players not some minor-pickups. they haven't been.

so, yes, technically the team got free of guys who'd demand big bucks. that's what the market dictated. unfortunately, guys like Timonen and Hartnell don't grow on trees and the void left will most likely be visible when the Preds hit the ice in October.

now speaking of Mason and Vokoun - yes, indeed, Preds cut some $7M of bigmouth salary which is a big chunk of money. albeit, they did it only to give Mason $3M a year. Mason who is very likely to be a legit starter (a Legace-like no.1 goalie, but a bit better IMHO) but has yet to be proven if he's capable of playing real hockey when it counts. playoffs that is.

call it firesale or not, this team is by far not resembling the package it had last season. they may as well not stay competitive and fall short of a playoff spot with such watered talent. I hope not, because they were good to measure Wings but the reality doesn't leave much hope

The reality of the situation is that Craig Leipold does not want to own this team any longer. Until he sales the team, he must meet the minimum salary level necessary to operate a team as stipulated in the CBA. Those are essentially the conditions that David Poile must work within. Forget any aspect regarding the potential of a new owner and possible franchise relocation because they do not apply to the here and now beyond setting Poile's current environment like I have outlined.

Now, given those stipulations, Poile still wants to construct the best team possible because it would make the most money- particularly if successful enough to advance into the playoffs.

Timonen and Hartnell were not going to be re-signed. Poile got what he could for them to help this team in the future. He can't replace them with similar players in today's market and stay near the floor. The same holds true for Kariya and Forsberg, although less so for Foppa due to his short tenure with the franchise. All of the players that left played a bigger role in Nashville's move last season toward rolling three scoring lines and becoming an attacking team in the mold of Buffalo. With those players gone, it was easier for Poile financially to shift back to a team that had two very good scoring lines and bring in specialists for that shutdown third line and penalty kill (enter DeVries, Bonk and Ortmeyer). Trading Vokoun gave even more flexibility in that regard given Mason's play over the past two seasons (albeit in a limited capacity)- certainly a calculated risk.

It was not a firesale in technical sense, but Poile was certainly open to offers. It was more of a style overhaul dictated by the financial situation of the franchise. Given that environment, I do like the results. If the team adapts to their new roles, they could certainly be successful on the ice, but they cannot succeed playing the same style as last season.

Thanks.

David

The Nashville Predators are business but their business model lacks any real direction.

I don't disagree, but I feel the same way regarding the NHL as a whole. I do not feel they are as healthy as they state.

David

Edited by drsingle

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I want to make sure we are on the same page here. I am saying that they waited too long to form a plan for bringing in corporate support. You believe ( if I understand you correctly) that now is the perfect time to do so.

oh now, i don't think it's the perfect time to start this. so I agree with you that something should have been done sooner. But leipold and the sales team did try, I don't know how they tried, but they supposedly spent the most marketing money in the entire league. So either they had the most expensive and ineffective marketing plan ever, or the business community of Nashville just didn't want to deal with Leipold. Now they're dealing with their peers in the business world, so hopefully there are real results this time around.

i took the "day late and dollar short" as saying that the effort wasn't enough to keep the franchise here. I was just pointing out that even if a lot of these businesses are signing up for a one time shot, you've got to think that enough of them, even something so small as 10% will renew in subsequent seasons and become hooked. It would at least be enough to ensure 14k each season.

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