Glendale gets three bids to run arena, no word yet how they compare to Coyotes’ old lease in awfulness

The deadline for applications to run Glendale’s arena was Friday, and lo and behold, the city got three bids! We don’t know who the bidders are yet or what their bids are because city officials aren’t talking — finalists will be announced January 4, with a winner to be selected on February 8.

If you’re coming late to this story and wondering why on earth you should care about Glendale’s arena management contract, this was the huge sticking point in the Arizona Coyotes‘ old now-canceled lease: Coyotes owner Anthony LeBlanc insisted it was perfectly reasonably for Glendale to pay him $7-8 million a year to run the place, while Glendale officials figured they could get a better deal by shopping around. We do know that none of the new bidders are LeBlanc, so if nothing else, we’ll now see what the market rate is for operating a money-losing arena in an outlying suburb.

It’ll also be interesting to see if the new arena management plans include any contingencies for whether or not the Coyotes are there, since LeBlanc has already started exploring every option under the sun to get the hell out of there rather than have to be renters. It’s rare that we see owners’ claims about what’s a reasonable deal put to any kind of a market test — even one with only three bidders — so I can’t be the only one eagerly waiting to see what is revealed on January 4.

6 comments on “Glendale gets three bids to run arena, no word yet how they compare to Coyotes’ old lease in awfulness

  1. If you set up the lease in such a way as to actually guarantee the arena raises enough revenue to pay the bond debt, that number will certainly drop to zero bidders in a hurry.

  2. Oh, sure. The question is how much of the awfulness of the Coyotes’ lease is just because the arena was a terrible investment in the first place, and how much is because the lease was terrible on top of that.

  3. How much is the debt service on the arena? I have never been able to find that while combing through Glendale’s books.

  4. $12m a year:

  5. I would assume that there are not many companies out there in the business of managing arena’s. According to one Coyotes blog I read , Glendale didn’t get any bids because the Coyotes were managing the place at a bargain price.

  6. Um, they got three bids, not zero.

    The “bargain price” question, as I noted above, is what we’ll know as soon as we see the actual content of these bids. Clearly Glendale officials thought they could get a better deal by bidding it out, but the proof’s in the pudding. (Mmm, pudding.)