New Coyotes buyer features same old Ice Edge guy, same old subsidy demands

It’s been almost four months since Greg Jamison’s attempt to buy the Phoenix Coyotes crashed and burned, and things have been mostly quiet out of Glendale ever since. But cheer up, Coyotes fiasco fans, because the NHL has found yet another ownership group willing to pretend it’s going to buy the Coyotes, so long as it gets a buttload of lease subsidies from Glendale as part of the deal. The new owners: a group called Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, which is headed by Anthony Leblanc of Ice Edge, the Canadian group that tried to buy the Coyotes back in 2010 before revealing it didn’t have enough money, plus George Gosbee, who runs one of those investment firms where it’s impossible for normal humans to understand exactly what it is they do.

Leblanc and Gosbee, as has been the case with all past propsective Coyotes ownership groups, only want the team if they can get a new lease in which Glendale plays their team to play there. The deal that Jamison got approved last year would have provided about $15 million a year in city cash to the team; the new group is likely looking for something similar, but several members of the newly elected city council have said that they’re only willing to consider $6 million a year. And, of course, the new mayor is Jerry “Glendale is not your cash register” Weiers.

So, don’t expect any of this to get settled anytime soon, is what I’m saying. But then, this is the Coyotes here, so presumably you already knew that.


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14 comments on “New Coyotes buyer features same old Ice Edge guy, same old subsidy demands

  1. Building an arena in a far-flung suburb was what did the Coyotes in to begin with.

  2. No, a buttload. Unless your butt is the size of a boat, in which case I guess it’s the same thing.

  3. Can’t they just close the franchise down and than restart a new one in another city to take their place? I went to ASU and I live in LA, AZ never cared about hockey, yes there are cold weather escapees in AZ but they root for their hometown teams. Glendale is a far out suburb of Phoenix, bad place to build an arena in the first place. The Cards NFL stadium was a different beast.

  4. Anyone that is going to keep the team in the Phoenix-area should be asking for subsidies, or he’s going to lose his hat. Look out, Quebec City, here we come!!!

  5. @ Mike – If it’s Ice Edge, look farther west…

    ♫”A little bit south of Saskatoon…”♫

  6. Oh, I see, Spartan. That’s not too bad, really. Didn’t they almost get a team in the 80s? The CFL team seems to be supported pretty well, and Regina and Saskatoon put together is a similar population to Winnipeg…Look, I don’t really know for sure. Don’t feel like looking it. If Seattle gets a team, a Schengen type agreement between the USA and Canada like they have in the EU, would probably be beneficial to the NHL. If you listen to Lou Dobbs it would’ve happened around 2007…..

  7. “Anyone that is going to keep the team in the Phoenix-area should be asking for subsidies…”

    I think that’s been pretty well proven over the last few years. If this deal goes through, Renaissance will ‘own’ the team, but Glendale’s taxpayers will pay for it. It looks like the value of the team, in place, is pretty close to zero or a little below. Whatever the NHL’s current asking price, that’s the amount of the subsidy.

  8. Saskatoon & Regina’s metro areas combine for a population of ~490K. Winnipeg’s metro area population is 730K (or, 149% larger).

    Regina & Saskatoon are also 2.5 hours apart…

  9. Kei: The move to Glendale didn’t help, but this franchise has lost money every year since moving to the desert (even in America West). The man who bought the former Jets and moved them to Phx, Richard Burke, said publicly that he would have lost less money keeping the team in Winnipeg (he said this in 1999, IIRC)

    No-one should be fooled by the Ice Edge hype. Saskatoon residents are not dumb enough to pay a premium to support someone else’s hockey team. The Dogs might make a little money playing a few games there each year, but nothing like the $2m per game they were suggesting they’d make. My best guess is that they’d max out at $750k per game – about 50% more than they make in Glendale, but nowhere near “cash cow” status, and nowhere near the $900k-$1m game gates today’s NHL clubs need 41 times a year.

    Don’t forget that the Ice Edge clowns were also involved in Hulsizer’s “bid” for the club.

    The reality is that fans in Arizona have shown over 16 years that they are only willing to pay AHL prices and to turn up in AHL numbers for NHL hockey.

    No subsidy will fix that.

  10. This is the kind of thing that would make me wonder (if I were Canadian) if sharing our game with the Yanks was such a good idea after all. It would be like the Dallas Cowboys moving to Nunavut, no one going to the games but they still don’t want to give it back. Atlanta is a gazillion times the city that Phoenix is, so it’s probably just a matter of time. Thanks G. Not so sure Saskatchewan could support a team now, given what you said. Do they do a good job keeping the road clear between the two cities in the winter? Or would there be times that making the trip from one to the other is close to impossible? Also, is there really nothing to do in Saskatoon? I’m not sure Green Bay would make it, if they had to show up for 41 games, and that’s with Milwaukee and Madison down state.

  11. Does anyone know if there is a ticket tax on coyotes games that helps “pay back” the cost of the facility? If so, do you also know what it is per ticket?

  12. If I remember correctly (and I may not… it’s some time ago…) the ‘original’ deal the Coyotes had with Glendale included $2.70 per ticket sold (I’ve no idea if that was a percentage of face value of the tickets and thus varied based on the actual price or if it was a fixed ticket fee) and another $2 per car in the parking lot.

    So the max they could make was about $4.50 per attendee… not counting any spin off tax revenues if the hockey fan chose to stay and eat or shop at Westgate.

    During the bankruptcy proceedings, court documents showed that the club paid an average of about $2.1m to the city each year, with a maximum of about $4.5m during the highest revenue year they had at the Arena with the really dumb name. Perhaps Neil can add to this part, but I believe the annual bond payments the city has to make on the arena debt were a little north of $6m. Operating costs for the arena (a city obligation IIRC) are likely in the $4-6m range as well.

  13. I’d be curious as to why the NHL turn down Darin Pastor’s bid and decided to go with Renaissance Sports & Entertainment group’s bid. Yes…….. Darin Pastor’s bid was more money but their has to be other reasons why the NHL turn it down. We may never know the reason.

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