EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 20, 2011

Billionaire Bruins owner reaps profits while average fans get squeezed

Last season's Stanley Cup win was richly deserved by Bruins fans like Casey Robichaud, who spent years shelling out top dollar to only have her heart broken by a succession of mediocre teams.

"The owners, they can do what they want," said Robichaud, who grew up in Waltham watching Bruins games with her father and now works for a health insurance company. "But it's a real financial burden."

But for Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, the ka-ching being heard after the team's championship season is simply icing on the cake for an extraordinary, decades-long run.

With bare bones local investment, the elusive Buffalo-based billionaire and his Delaware North concessions empire have reaped hundreds of millions in profits off his Boston hockey and arena operations.

Yet even as Bruins fans year in and year out have struggled with high prices, Jacobs — who declined a request for an interview — has managed to keep his own costs down.

A review of Jacobs' track record as owner of the Bruins and the Garden by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting reveals:

A squeeze on average fans amid a steady expansion of costly season tickets and luxury seating, with ticket prices poised to surge again.

More than $200 million in profits from the Bruins and the Garden spanning over the last decade alone, most earned before the Stanley Cup win.

Substantial charitable giving in his hometown of Buffalo — less in New England.

No progress yet on now two-decade old plans to make the Garden the centerpiece of a sports, residential, retail and office megaplex — despite a multimillion-dollar tax break on the arena itself.

Stanley Cup jackpot

The Bruins Stanley Cup win couldn't have come at a more opportune time for Jacobs, who just a year ago was facing a fan revolt — including a website pleading for a sale of the franchise — after years of paying top dollar to watch an endless repetition of mediocre teams.

2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Merrimack Valley

Eagle-Tribune News Videos
Photos of the Week