The strange, twisted economics of pro sports have brought crisis to the shores of Lake Erie. The National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres are in danger of filing for bankruptcy. If hockey can't survive in a land that is literally frozen half the year, something is very wrong.
Predictably, public money is the linchpin of a deal that would bring new, financially sound owners into the picture. The NHL adopted a common extortionary position by calling in local officials to tell them if they don't want the franchise, just say so. Nope, no strong arm there.
The issue is now in full spin, with a $25 million "investment" in an arena all of seven-years-old being portrayed as a great deal for the community. But the telling bottomline is that these fixes are are intended to ramp up the building's non-hockey revenue to cover hockey-side losses.
This means that now and for the foreseeable future, pro hockey can't make money in Buffalo. That simply defies belief.