It’s not so much the added financial risks of the Arizona Coyotes’ amended arena lease deal with the City of Glendale that bugs COO Anthony LeBlanc. Instead, he’s not a huge fan of the agreement being merely two years long.
Then again, there’s an element of beggars can’t be choosers, either.
“A two-year deal is better than no deal,” LeBlanc admitted during Friday’s press conference.
LeBlanc refuted bad blood with Glendale officials, noting that “business is business and politics is politics.” Even so, he said that he hopes to begin carving out a lengthier agreement with Glendale, possibly beginning in early August.
Some might see this as yet another Band-Aid, but it was needed nonetheless, with the Coyotes official hitting the theme of certainty repeatedly through his presser.
This seems like a short-term win for GM Don Maloney and the on-ice product, even if the revenue stream alterations bring on a greater risk/reward venture for ownership.
“I don’t want to go into free agency next year with Don dealing with the same uncertainty as last year,” LeBlanc said.
To some extent, free agents looking for term may look sideways at the Coyotes’ situation for some time, especially if progress isn’t made on another lease agreement in the coming months. Even so, two years of relative comfort is almost a luxury to a franchise that’s dealt with an almost unending torrent of turmoil.
Sometimes even Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and the Eagles aren’t enough to turn around concert revenues.
The City of Glendale isn’t happy about IceArizona falling about $1 million short of its stated goals for Gila River Arena, as the Arizona Republic reports.
Peter Corbett’s story is basically a stream of unsettling – if sadly familiar – stats about the area, ownership group and team’s financial struggles. Here are a few key bits:
- The arena hosted 14 concerts/events, doubling the total from the previous fiscal year. Still, a lot of free tickets were handed out – 16 percent of the 143,000 attendees – and, again, it ultimately meant falling approximately $1 million short of projections. The report indicates that they’ve been about $2 million shy of projections over two years, too.
- Tom Duensing, Glendale interim assistant city manager, says that Glendale lost $8.15 million in 2013-14 and may lost as much as $8.5 million from this past season.
- Hockey attendance is down 2.8 percent.
- But, hey, there are two Taylor Swift concerts coming up!
Coyotes president Anthony LeBlanc released the following statement on the team and ownership’s behalf:
“We are pleased with the revenue generated for Coyotes games and non-hockey events at Gila River Arena thus far this year. We’ve made some great strides on the business side and we are moving in the right direction. Our goal remains to achieve profitability and we are confident that will happen in the future.”
There are variables that make this situation a little bit different, but the theme of lost cash amounts to the same old song and dance. A court hearing is set for July 31, so we’ll find out what happens next soon enough.
The latest wrinkle in the arena lease crisis between the Arizona Coyotes and the City of Glendale comes down to a $3.75 million payment that may just end up in limbo.
As Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan reports, Glendale filed a motion in court to withhold a $3.75 million fourth-quarter payment to the franchise. (KTAR News phrases it as delaying rather than withholding the payment, if that makes any difference.)
KTAR News points out that the payment is supposed to be due on July 1.
The Coyotes decided not to comment on this latest issue, according to Morgan.
Here are Morgan’s tweets, in case it seems clearer to see them in full:
(The Arizona Republic has an in-depth article on this.)
This situation makes sense considering the span of events that have happened in about the last week or so.
To review the most recent events, Glendale decided to move forward with its plan to end its 15-year, $225 million lease agreement with the Coyotes. This came after a judge provided a temporary restraining order to keep Glendale from voiding the deal. Glendale going forward with its plan prompted some harsh words from Coyotes president, CEO & co-owner Anthony LeBlanc.
It’s unclear when this nightmare situation might end for Coyotes fans, who’ve been through processes like these for years now.