Tag: Sports Business Journal

Gary Bettman

Gary Bettman received $7.5 million for 2009-10 season (and why that’s a reasonable wage)


If Gary Bettman was a hockey player, his 2009-10 “cap hit” would have been higher than Brian Campbell’s controversial annual average salary. The NHL’s commissioner made $7.5 million during that span, according to the Sports Business Daily, which based those numbers on the league’s tax filing. That amount represents a four percent increase in pay for the oft-criticized executive.

His 2009-10 takeaway included a base salary of more than $5.78 million, deferred compensation of more than $877K, “other” compensation of a bit more than $826K and almost $26K in benefits, according to Fred Dreier. Bettman’s salary has reportedly more than doubled since the lockout, when he was paid $3.7 million.

That being said, league revenue ballooned from $2.1 billion to an estimated $2.9 billion. Dreier also points out that Bettman’s compensation pales in comparison to many other pro sports commissioners, with MLB’s Bud Selig leading the pack by receiving more than $18 million. (That sound you heard was many baseball fans closing their laptops in anger.)

The Sports Business Journal put together this handy guide of the top 10 highest paid NHL executives from the 2009-10 season.


(Say what you will about some of Colin Campbell’s decisions, he probably deserved to be one of the league’s highest paid executives considering all the abuse he took for his suspension/fine verdicts during the last few years.)

Obviously, a lot of people will react with disgust when they hear that Bettman made $7.5 million in 09-10 (especially since it’s logical to think he made/will make more for 10-11), but it’s not outrageous compared to other league commissioners. Bettman survived the lockout and so did the league, which means that he’ll probably be around for quite some time – but hopefully not for another lockout anytime soon.

If I were him, I’d probably take a vacation around the time the 2012 Stanley Cup is handed out, though.

Sports Business Journal names NHL pro sports league of the year


Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily are two of the most respected outlets out there for sports news and information and tonight they held their annual award ceremony to honor those in the industry ranging from leagues to agents to owners and when it came down to which professional sports league was their choice for top sports league of the year, the NHL proved to be the best around.

Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily named the NHL the top pro sports league of the year in a competition that saw the NHL matched up against the MLS, NBA, NFL, and UFC. I know we’re all big hockey fans here but up against that competition even we’re surprised to see the NHL come out on top. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, however, was very proud.

“In 2010, more people than ever found more reasons than ever — and more ways than ever — to connect with our great game and our outstanding athletes,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “On behalf of the teams, the League staff and all who contributed to the achievement, the National Hockey League is pleased to accept this acknowledgement of a memorable year.”

The NHL being recognized as the top league of the year speaks volumes about how the popularity of the game is increasing and the amount of things the league is doing to make things more appealing for a wider audience (the Winter Classic for instance).

What makes things a bit awkward here is how the NHL has handled the situation with the Phoenix Coyotes over the last two years. The NHL took control of the team after former owner Jerry Moyes declared bankruptcy and attempted to sell the team to Jim Balsillie. The NHL has been unable to work out a deal with a prospective owner since then.

We’re guessing that Sports Business Journal has no qualms about the league taking control of a team to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. If that’s the case, we’re putting our bets down on Major League Baseball to take home next year’s award. If you pile on the issues with the Atlanta Thrashers and their ownership nonsense as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets and their millions upon millions in financial losses things don’t look quite so pleasant.

This is a happy occasion though, kudos to the NHL for taking home the hardware.