2003 - 2004
April 17, 2004
Give us fair coverage of the Generals
Rebuttals and reactions
BY MIKE GREGORY
I am a hockey fan, a Generals season-ticket holder and a Greensboro homeowner (i.e. a real estate taxpayer). I think the News & Record's editorial stance on the city running the Generals operation is misguided and reprehensible.
In a perfect world the city should not be in the business of running a for-profit business. But we don't live in a perfect world and there is a good reason for the city continuing this partnership for at least the next season.
The Generals fill 36 dates in the Greensboro Coliseum that generate revenue the coliseum can use to offset the fixed costs of running the facility. This is especially true if the final accounting reveals that the Generals operation turns out to be break-even, as Matt Brown indicated (preliminarily) might be the case. Brown, the coliseum's managing director, should be applauded for trying to make lemonade out of lemons rather than chastised for thinking outside the box.
There were some, myself included, who were a little skeptical when it was announced that the coliseum would assume temporary operation of the team. But the coliseum staff's performance in managing this operation has proved me wrong. They have managed to trim the expenses of the team while enjoying all of the revenues from ticket sales, concessions, sponsor-ships and parking. They did this and still fielded a team that performed well on the ice. Granted, they missed the playoffs by a mere one point but we had a great season for which no one should be ashamed.
If the City Council takes your advice and the team folds and results in the coliseum deficit growing ever larger, the News & Record will be all over Matt Brown's back.
What is a prospective owner or prospective season-ticket owner going to think if all they ever see is negative press from the News & Record editorial board? If the paper really has the interests of the city and its citizens at heart, you should also report on the advantages the team presents the city and the good that the team does off the ice.
The only way the team is going to become self sufficient is to increase season-ticket sales and to find a principle owner(s). Your biased negative reporting doesn't contribute to that goal.
I don't want the newspaper to color the reporting, just make it fair and balanced.