Glendale picks arena manager, still doesn’t know cost, because some things man was not meant to know

The city of Glendale finally announced its decision in the bidding to run the Gila River Arena now that the Arizona Coyotes management is out, and the winner is … AEG! Let’s have a big hand for the largest arena management behemoth in the nation!

And the question that everyone wants to know the answer to: How much will the city have to pay AEG to keep the lights on at the arena?

Glendale did not release AEG’s proposal, nor the proposals of the other bidders: Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, which formerly was known as Global Spectrum and is based in Philadelphia; and SMG, which is based in West Conshohocken, Pa., in suburban Philadelphia…

[Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps] expects the city will have to subsidize the arena in the short term, but anticipates the amount will be less than the $6.5 million the city is paying to keep the venue operational.

So, wait, AEG didn’t actually include a price tag in its proposal? Or it’s some kind of floating number dependent on revenues or something? What the hell, Kevin Phelps, we’ve been following this fershlugginer lease battle for years now, we want some answers!

The city and AEG are expected to have something to submit to the city council within 60 days, so at least we should know a bit more by … eesh, April, seriously? The two parties would then need to hash out a lease deal with the Coyotes, at least for the short term, since any new arena the team has planned wouldn’t be ready for a while. (Yes, they could move back in with the Phoenix Suns, but that didn’t work so well the first time.) At this rate, Arizona really could become unlivable due to the heat before the Coyotes situation gets worked out.

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9 comments on “Glendale picks arena manager, still doesn’t know cost, because some things man was not meant to know

  1. My guess is it would be a floating number based on the # of tickets sold to various events, revenue from said events (ticket surcharges, concessions. parking fees, etc) and weather they keep the Coyotes or not.
    It should be noted AEG is co-owner of the Vegas arena that’s the designated home for any potential team in Vegas. Yes I am stirring the pot by insinuating that AEG will effectuate the move of the Coyotes to Vegas (for a few years until people realize that and NHL team in Vegas is just as stupid of an idea as one in Arizona)

  2. “Effectuate” how, exactly? By freezing them out of Glendale and offering them a sweetheart deal in Vegas? How would that benefit AEG at all?

  3. If the Coyotes move to Vegas it won’t be done by AEG. Bill Foley’s group apparently already has a lease at the arena and the team would be sold to him.
    If the Coyotes can’t secure an arena somewhere else in the valley and make an suitable arrangement in Glendale (Can’t see how AEG would pay them 15 million/year), the sale can be done quickly

  4. The Coyotes in Glendale take up 41 dates and keep all the revenue for those dates so they serve no purpose for AEG in Glendale. So its simple “hey LeBlanc you have no spot in Arizona, our buddy Bill Foley needs a team for our arena in Vegas and he’s got the cash. We can hook you up with a nice payday. All you have to do is say yes”

  5. If it’s like the AEG agreement with operating Seattle’s KeyArena (we tend to call it that even without getting paid for the name), it’s a certain fixed amount and then incremental beyond that.

    The fiscal note for the last lease is here –
    clerk.seattle.gov/~public/fnote/116628

  6. Aqib:

    The NHL will not let the Coyotes move to Las Vegas.

    The NHL stands to make much more money by charging an expansion fee for a Las Vegas franchise.

  7. Steve: I tend to agree. LV has built an arena without an anchor (or albatross in the case of the Coyotes…) tenant, at least in the professional team sports sense. So while there are plenty of other events that could be held at the new arena, they might be more inclined to pay for an expansion team than, say, Seattle (who haven’t yet agreed to build an arena for a team that doesn’t exist, and who don’t have a prospective owner in place).

    But… it may be that the NHL will run out of fools to extort money from in public office in the Phoenix area, at which point they will have to move them somewhere… I just don’t know where.

  8. I still don’t understand why a Vegas arena would need the Coyotes more than a Glendale arena. In either case, unless they’re paying rent they’re just taking up otherwise valuable concert dates — and we know LeBlanc doesn’t believe in paying rent. (Not net positive rent, anyway.)

  9. Its not that Vegas NEEDS the Coyotes. Bill Foley is willing to pony up $500 million for a team and has a deal in place to lease the arena should he get it. I think we all realize a hockey team in Vegas is just as ridiculous as a hockey team in Arizona but Bettman has a fantasy.

    As for the expansion fees, don’t worry the NHL will charge a relo fee that bridges the gap between whatever the current owners get and the $500 million. That way they eliminate a drag on revenue sharing and don’t have to divide the national revenues by one more team.

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