Report suggests Glendale getting raw deal with Coyotes


From the Arizona Republic:

The true cost to operate Arena ranges from $5.1 million to $5.5 million a year, which is about $10 million to $20 million a year less than the Glendale City Council has agreed to pay hockey-related interests to manage the facility in recent years.

The net management costs, included in documents recently published on the city’s website, are bundled in the city’s solicitation for a new company to operate the city-owned arena.

Given Glendale paid the NHL — which owns the Coyotes — $25 million a year to operate the arena in 2011 and 2012, it’s not surprising the documents have left some flabbergasted.

“It looks like we’re paying them $25 million,” said councilman Gary Sherwood. “Added on to their $5 million in expenses, that’s $20 million. I mean, that’s a surprising number to me. Who wouldn’t jump on that deal?”

The news may also make keeping the Coyotes more of a challenge than it’s already been. How can the city justify giving a prospective owner around $15 million a year — believed to be the going rate — to manage an arena when it only costs in the neighborhood of $5 million?

Granted, Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers thinks the NHL has been doing some serious penny-pinching.

“I know damn good and well that the way it’s been run, they’re not putting anything extra into it whatsoever,” he told the paper.

So maybe $5 million isn’t a sustainable annual cost.

And, obviously, there are advantages to keeping the Coyotes in town.

From the report:

The city collects revenue associated with the team and arena through leases, parking fees and tax collections for food and merchandise sales in the nearby Westgate Entertainment District. Those figures have been on the upswing, particularly since an outlet mall opened last fall.

Total collections were $4.7 million in fiscal 2011, and reached $6.4 million through just the first eight months of the 2013 fiscal year, according to the city. That money helps pay, but doesn’t fully cover, the city’s debt to build the arena.

The team also lends a certain amount of panache to the city, making it more attractive for business relocations, interim City Manager Dick Bowers said.

But tax revenue wouldn’t fall to zero without the Coyotes. The arena could still hold events, and not everyone that goes to the Westgate Entertainment District is going there because of the hockey team.

Related: Glendale a ‘big question mark,’ says Daly

Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:



Commodore rips into Babcock on social media

Mike Commodore

Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.

Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.

As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.

Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”

Commodore wasn’t done there:

And there was much, much more.

To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.