Deal to keep Coyotes would cost Glendale at least $9m per year

More details of Glendale’s plan to subsidize Greg Jamison’s purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes have emerged, and the Arizona Republic — which, unlike some other alleged newspapers we could name, still sees its job as trying to ascertain the truth behind political machinations — has analyzed all the rent payments and operating subsidies flying back and forth, and concluded that the city would be handing over $325 million over the next 20 years, and getting back less than half that in team fees and taxes:

A Republic analysis revealed that even if the Coyotes went to the Stanley Cup Finals for the next 20 seasons and the arena booked 30 sold-out concerts each year for the next 20 years, Glendale could still expect to lose about $9 million annually.

That figure does not include the city’s annual arena debt payments, which will average about $12.6 million a year over the next 20 years.

This is all pretty much in line with previous estimates, but at least provides confirmation that Glendale won’t somehow be earning all its subsidies back through hot dog sales taxes.

Now, the Republic isn’t exactly going out on a political limb by saying this — Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs has said that the deal is too costly for her city, and she can’t support it. This is the city council’s call, though — it plans on holding a “public workshop” on the deal on Thursday, with a vote likely next week — and in any case, Scruggs is retiring at the end of the year. So it’s unclear whether her opposition does much more than give local journalists someone in power to quote saying this is an awful deal. That’s always a useful thing to have, in case the actual financial numbers get you accused of being “obstructionist.”

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9 comments on “Deal to keep Coyotes would cost Glendale at least $9m per year

  1. Makes me glad I live in Phoenix, where at least the cost of these schemes is distributed across more pocketbooks. Funny though, two of the three “Phoenix” or “Arizona” teams — the Chicago Cardinals and Quebec Nordiques — both play in Glendale, a suburb. (The same suburb which hosts the corruption-ridden Fiesta Bowl.) Wonder why?

  2. I’ve got to say that this AZ Republic report seems like one of the best arguments I’ve seen for subsidizing the Coyotes. If that arena is only booking 30 non-Coyotes events per year (which looks about right based on the schedule on the Jobing.com Arena website), then Westgate and the Renassaince hotel are screwed if the Coyotes leave. I have no idea how many local jobs those places provide, but if I were a politician I’d probably want to avoid taking that whole area behind the barn to put a bullet in its head.

  3. “I have no idea how many local jobs those places provide, but if I were a politician I’d probably want to avoid taking that whole area behind the barn to put a bullet in its head.”

    “If re-elected, I pledge to continue throwing good money after bad until you friggin’ people start buying hockey tickets! Which I’m sure is just a matter of time because, c’mon, hockey in Arizona, how could that not work?”

  4. Ah, yeah. I lose track of who moved where. Even the Packers don’t play in Green Bay. (They moved across the street to Ashwaubenon, but then at least in their case, they can’t bend the fans over moving somewhere else, as it they are community owned, rather than billionaire owned …)

  5. LOL at all the Packers lovers. The team gets some of the sweetest government deals in sports. And why do people like it for the Packers and hate it for other teams? Because of pure jealosy/haterism/envy/whateveryouwanttocallit. Does it matter one iota whether a team’s income goes to pay executive salaries (like with the Packers) or goes to an owner (like with every other team)? Of course it shouldn’t! Yet the Packers get all of this goodwill from envious people anyway.

    That should be the real lesson here. If you want to truly extort a local government for business subsidies, create a ruse of altruism.

  6. Oh well, at least the Packers’ latest stadium subsidies were granted by a vote of the public, which is more than you can say about… what, 99% of professional sports subsidies?

  7. The key to the Packers is public ownership, which essentially means the owner can never hold the taxpayers to hostage by threatening to move them elsewhere. That threat is how the billionaires get middle class taxpayers, or their supposed representatives, to stump up 100s of millions in corporate welfare. Pardon me, “stadium subsidies”. And that inability to commit extortion is why the NFL, and all the other leagues, specifically prohibit any future teams from being publically owned: Because then the league (and the various other billionaire owners) would never be able to dip their beak in the funds stolen by the privately-owned team threatening to move elsewhere.

    The publically owned model is much more common in Europe, where teams moving is very rare. (Example: Barcelona, most famous for its soccer, is a multi-sport, member-owned sports club; there are many others.)

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