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Monday, May 28, 2007

The Stanley Cup

Today, Ottawa is getting ready for the first game of the Stanley Cup finals. The NHL hockey team is across the continent, in Anaheim, California, not far from Disneyland. Ironically, the goalie who won the cup last year in Raleigh, N.C. for the Carolina Hurricanes, is on the Ottawa bench -- as the back-up goalie. If everything goes as well as it should, he won't play a game but Martin Gerber will win his second Stanley Cup ring in two years (great players spend their entire careers and never win the prize.)

There are many levels of economics and relevance to me. I remember well standing at the footings of the Palladium (now called Scotiabank Place) when the building was under construction more than a decade ago. My son, Eric, discovered the sport during his first major league game when he was six -- we attended on a contest prize ticket. I could see the fascination with the game in his sparkling eyes, and proceeded to sign him up for the minor hockey program -- last year, he was the second top scorer on his team and I have served as the team manager for two years.

And next Saturday, we will be going to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. Now, tickets for this event are hard to find -- some people lined up for three days outside Scotiabank Place to get in line for tickets, but I used a little resourcefulness,coupled with a little luck. I know the team is gradually releasing tickets -- either hold backs for seasons ticket sales they don't now expect to achieve, or 'retractions' of tickets bought by brokers for resale. And, voila, on Saturday, I snared two tickets, for $220 each! (Yesterday, worse seats went for $1,100 for a pair -- with a cheap Senators jersey thrown in, presumably to get around anti-scalping legislation.)

So what does all of this have to with construction marketing, business, and this blog? The relevance is indirect but nevertheless important. In Canada, at least, there is a strong correlation between the demographics of construction and hockey -- you'll find owners, sub trades, suppliers, and more are involved in the game, both on a business level and personally.

The other elements include the relevance of sports marketing, the skills involved in building a great team, and the entire business of building sports arenas -- a significant sub-set of the construction market. But this may simply be icing on the cake. I'm growing with my son. And next Saturday, in the cheap seats, we'll see the best skills at the most important game, locally, at least.

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