Coyotes have seriously found yet another way to ask for subsidies from Glendale

So the city of Glendale already built the Arizona Coyotes a new arena at public cost, then charged them low rent to play in it, then gave them $50 million to keep playing there, then agreed to pay the team $15 million a year more for another 15 years to keep playing there longer, then allowed the team to opt out of its lease if it wants to anyway regardless of all this. After all that, there is no possible way that Glendale can even find any more ways of subsidizing the hockey team, right? Right?

The Arizona Coyotes are talking to the city of Glendale about reducing, changing or getting rid of ticket and parking fees on concerts and special events at Gila River Arena…

The changes would amend a $225 million arena deal forged in 2013 between Glendale and the hockey team’s owners and could reduce direct revenue going to the city under that deal.


The basic idea behind the Coyotes’ plan is that with tons of concert venues in the Phoenix area and fewer and fewer arena-scale touring acts, the only way that the Glendale arena can compete is to lower its prices. And heaven forfend, the Coyotes can’t be expected to lower their ticket prices, because that might cut into profits — so instead, Glendale should forgo its cut of whatever slim concert takings there are in order to make the enterprise more “competitive.”

To his credit, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, who already hated on the last Coyotes subsidy (as well as hosting the Super Bowl), wasn’t thrilled about this latest proposal either, saying, “They want the city to waive the surcharge, but they’re not willing to do anything for Glendale in return.” Weiers has been overruled by the city council before, though, so we’ll just have to see what happens this time. Give the Coyotes owners credit, though: They’re certainly creative in finding new ways to try to milk blood from a stone.

11 comments on “Coyotes have seriously found yet another way to ask for subsidies from Glendale

  1. Though I feel badly for Glendalians, it’s a good thing that we have Glendale as the shining example of the benefits of subsidized professional sports. It’s easy to hide the economic damage of sports in a large city, but not so much in a small place like Glendale. There are, unfortunately, few like Mayor Weiers. Most of the pols in Glendale still think subsidized arenas are the pot of gold, and they will keep chasing that rainbow because, darn it, riches must await. And they have absolutely no comprehension of the notion of “cutting your losses.”

    The city should just refuse to go along, since the Coyotes were only purchased for relocation anyway and will be gone in a few years whether or not the city gives in to this latest scheme.

  2. Coyotes ownership is probably collecting ammunition to blame the city for moving the team to Quebec or wherever. “The city didn’t do enough to keep us competitive, so we regretfully have to move the Coyotes to a market that will.”

    This ownership group is going to move this team, no doubt. If this team is bleeding money in the desert, it stands to reason the group is NOT recouping their initial $174M purchase amount. They’ll only get a return when they move to a hockey market.

  3. Tell them to go to hell. Isn’t Quebec City building an arena? I doubt the people in the Phoenix metro will cry too hard when they’re gone.

  4. Mayor Weiers: “They want the city to waive the surcharge, but they’re not willing to do anything for Glendale in return.”

    Seriously, the Coyotes have given Glendale fans a goal differential of -78 (not dead last!) and a home “attendance” average of 76.9% (again, not dead last!). Surely a worthy investment.

    Makes you wonder how well the pols will function for something serious like Arizona running out of water.

    ps Balsillie

  5. I will never understand WHY Glendale continues to do this to themselves. Or why their residents continue to let their leaders do this to them. If I were running Glendale my counter proposal would be to demolish the arena immediately and sell off the land.

  6. @Dan – now that’s REALLY cutting your losses. But not as crazy an idea as it may sound. That land might well be better off developed as office space. Or a beer distributorship, if you want something socially useful.

  7. Dan’s plan is really much better than the current plan which is pour good money after bad since the agreement the old council signed was based on the sunk cost fallacy.

  8. This is just laughable!

    If you want to check up the dismal financials, go to

  9. Keep giving in to a petulant child and they’ll keep probing for more weaknesses, spare the rod and spoil the sports franchises. All it takes is 2 letters – NO.

  10. Glendale is a shining example of how a municipality exists to serve a pro sports team. This is the dream of ownership everywhere, and we will keep making it happen, people!