Terry Pegula made it very clear on day one what his goal was when he bought the Buffalo Sabres – he wanted to win a championship, and bring the Stanley Cup to the city of hockey that made him fall in love with the sport.
Terry Pegula spent $175 million dollars to own the team that once employed his hockey genesis – Gilbert Perreault.
The Buffalo Sabres only bring in 95 million dollars in revenue each year – according to the most recent Business of Hockey as reported by Forbes. That means that Terry Pegula is realistically losing over 10 million dollars a year on his investment. Now realistically, the only loss Pegula will actually see is if he ever sells the Buffalo Sabres. If he can sell the team for more than 189 million dollars (the sale price which includes the Buffalo Bandits) – then he made a profit.
The Buffalo Sabres are not alone in losing money when it comes to operating costs – and the timing of the publication of this list is not good for the NHL/NHLPA as a federal mediator is trying to establish the worth of the league and bringing a successful end to Lockout 2012.
It appears that worth in the NHL is not about winning a Stanley Cup either; the Toronto Maple Leafs, the laughable Leafs who haven’t been a threat to the Stanley Cup since 1967 – are the first NHL franchise according the Forbes list to reach the billion dollar mark.
There are a total of 13 teams in the NHL that according to the list are not making any money as far as operating costs are concerned.
This loss may not bother Terry Pegula. He made his worth in the natural gas industry, and is more than willing to spend money on winning hockey programs. Donations of 102 million dollars to his alma mater Penn State, and 12 million dollars to Houghton University in WNY to build arenas and hockey programs on top of his purchase of the Buffalo Sabres shows that Terry Pegula is willing to invest in the future of the sport of hockey – and winning in that future of hockey, as opposed to making money by owning a professional sports team.