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NHL reports best-ever business for 2010-11, estimates $2.9B in revenue

Semyon Varlamov,  Alex Ovechkin

Washington Capitals’ Semyon Varlamov (1) and Alex Ovechkin enter the NHL Winter Classic outdoor hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Today is one of the most exciting days of the hockey year for fans, but it also marks a celebration for the NHL itself. The 2010-11 season produced record-breaking business for the league for the fifth straight season, with estimates of about $2.9 billion in revenue by the end of the 2011 playoffs, according to the NHL’s press release.

There are plenty of reasons why the league keeps humming along at the bank. The 2011 Winter Classic was a slam dunk, with the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins captivating audiences even after a rain delay pushed the game into primetime. The 2011 NHL All-Star Game was a also a smash hit compared to previous years, thanks in some part to the ingenious fantasy draft.

Naturally, there were other big sponsorship deals, with the most notable moment coming with the league’s seven-year contract with Molson Coors. That mammoth contract is worth about $375 million during the span of those seven years.

It seems like the NHL achieved increases in almost every category, from sponsorships to TV ratings to merchandise and online categories. To get the lowdown regarding all the details, click here.