I think it’s been established that I’m not a smart man. I try my best, but ultimately my best devolves into a blathering rant of uninformed opinions with the occasional link to people who know what the shit they’re talking about in hopes to boost my own ego. So, if you’re familiar with this situation, I’d be all ears. Tell me: what am I missing?
Here’s what I think I know: the city of Glendale, Arizona – which is just a hop and a skip away from Phoenix – put $180 million into a $220 million arena back in 2003 to provide the already-existing Phoenix Coyotes with a real, legitimate hockey arena. Now, they’re expected to pay $15 million a year for the next 15 years, just for the right to house a hockey team they’re not making any money from (though the company who plans to buy the team says the city will be able to recoup this money … somehow).
On top of that, there’s a 5-year out clause held by the company, where they can choose to move the team or sell it, thereby renegotiating a new deal with a new city. But, of course, if Glendale tries to include a 5-year out clause, it’s a non-starter.
Normally, I’m all for the leagues and the teams. If this were happening in Seattle and I was a long-standing Seattle Coyotes fan, I’d be pounding the podium demanding the city pony up to keep our team here, at whatever the cost. But, being estranged from the situation, I just don’t see what a city like Glendale gets out of this. They already put a bunch of money into the arena … now they’ve got to pay a team just to PLAY in its arena? Why, if it was opened less than a decade ago, was a lease agreement not in place for at least another 20-some-odd years? I DON’T GET IT!
Yeah, the businesses around it will be hurt. Yeah, the city will lose revenue by not having a hockey team in attendance. But, will it lose more than $15 million a year? Will hockey every be popular enough there to recoup that annual cost?
I’m not too confident in Seattle’s chances to snag this team, unless we can figure out a work-around to get the new SoDo arena started immediately, but I have to think that at the very least we’re looking at a situation that isn’t totally crippling to a city. You sure as shit know that Seattle won’t pay that kind of money to house a team. Which leads me to wonder: how does a city get embroiled with this type of deal?
Then I think about the old KeyArena deal with the city poaching half of the revenue and I see: sometimes marriages just sour and you’ve got to start anew.
By the way, I looked up the Phoenix Coyotes Wikipedia page. THEY seem to be pretty confident that we’ll see pro hockey in Seattle very soon: