The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly being sued by Dallas hotel Crescent Hotel Court for bouncing a $28,000 cheque in December of 2019 and then for reportedly not paying a $27,000 bill from March, 2020.
TSN's Rick Westhead reports on the matter and provides proof from Dallas County court.
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Oilers Senior Vice President Tim Shipton responded to the news saying, “We have the same challenges as every business navigating through the … global pandemic. We are working diligently through our business operations & attending to outstanding issues from the unexpected stoppage of last season."
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While I can certainly appreciate that the Oilers, along with the other 30 NHL teams, are operating with essentially zero revenue... Oilers owner Daryl Katz is worth over $3.5 billion. He can cut a couple $30k checks just as easily as he can pick up a bar tab. This should not be an issue. I'm certain this issue will be resolved, it's just embarrassing for the Oilers franchise to have its named dragged through the mud like this. What's more concerning to me though is the fact that the Oilers likely aren't the only NHL team in this position. Don't be surprised if more reports of unpaid bills begin to surface between now and whenever it is that teams can start collecting ticket sale revenue once more.
Frankly, I'm not sure how some teams are expected to maintain their balance sheet without collecting revenue. At this point, it's not unreasonable to assume that some teams will go a full calendar year without charging fans for tickets sales. For a business like the NHL, that's death. Sure, that's not such a problem if you're a team with deep pockets like say the Detroit Red Wings or the New York Rangers, but what about small market teams on tight budgets to begin with? Small market teams like the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes struggle financially even in the best of times, is it possible that this pandemic could push them into financial insolvency?
As for the Oilers, I firmly believe that owner Daryl Katz will keep his team afloat. The Canadian billionaire made his fortune off of the western Canadian pharmacy brand Rexall, a retail sector that has seemingly not been impacted greatly by COVID-19.