Tag: Jobing.com Arena

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Hope in the desert? Phoenix Coyotes’ season ticket sales, renewals show promise


As much as ownership situations are often plagued by misdirection, misinformation and mystery, there aren’t many that have dragged on as long as the Phoenix Coyotes fiasco. Joe accurately pegged it at four years, but when you consider the effects of the modern Internet-prompted news cycle, it feels like this story has been around for a generation.

Most of the recent news/scuttlebutt related to the Coyotes’ ownership woes hasn’t been particularly promising. Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs recently discussed what life would be like if the city was saddled with Jobing.com Arena but no major professional sports teams. Matt Hulsizer – far and away the franchise’s brightest hope for a possible new owner – finally got fed up with all the red tape and dropped his bid to own the Coyotes in late June, possibly focusing on buying the St. Louis Blues instead. After making the playoffs for the past two seasons, the Coyotes might have some worries on the ice as well given the departure of much-leaned-upon netminder Ilya Bryzgalov.

Despite all this negativity, the Coyotes have some reason to keep their heads held high. The cash-strapped franchise might have allowed Bryzgalov to flee, but they managed the underrated task of retaining their underrated star defenseman Keith Yandle. The best news might be at the box office, though: the Arizona Republic passes along a report that the Coyotes sold 1,000 new season ticket packages as of July 1, a boost that ranks them fifth overall in the NHL.

Naturally, there might be a few caveats to that announcement. For one thing, the top five accolade is a little misleading since many of the league’s most successful teams don’t need to sell that many extra season tickets. In addition to that asterisk, there are probably some snarky types who will say that the Coyotes’ 2010-11 sales were so close to the bottom of the barrel that 1,000 more season ticket packages isn’t as impressive as it might sound.

With those “Yeah, but … ” statements in mind, there was another promising improvement: that Arizona Republic story also reveals that the renewal rate for season tickets is at 90 percent, a Coyotes franchise record. Even if you say that 90 percent of a mediocre amount of tickets is a small victory, it’s still a promising development for a franchise that has been browbeaten by bad news for years now.

If nothing else, this development might help the team drum up some interest from a potential owner once again. The Coyotes have been a fairly successful squad the last two years, but they still haven’t won a playoff series in a long time. One can imagine them developing a solidly reinvigorated fan base if they manage more substantial playoff runs … especially if fans know that the team will still be there the following season.

Another layer of madness added to Coyotes sale: Glendale might sue Goldwater Institute

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It doesn’t take an expert to figure out that the Phoenix Coyotes sale/conundrum is pretty much a disaster right now.

In case you haven’t been keeping tabs on the situation, the latest bump in a pothole-filled road of problems is that the City of Glendale hasn’t been able to sell the $100 million in public bonds that were crucial to generating the revenue to bring potential new owner Matt Hulsizer on board. The matter isn’t as simple as supply and demand, though, as the city is worried that a watchdog group known as the Goldwater Institute might sue Glendale for complicated dollar-and-cents/legal issues.

(I’m far from a legal expert, but from what I’ve read, the Goldwater Institute’s case is actually pretty reasonable. Especially since the city of Glendale hopes to help pay back the $100 million partly based on proceeds from parking lots around Jobing.com Arena, not exactly a hot ticket considering tepid fan response in the market. Let’s move on past these subjective – and complicated – matters, though.)

In a previous post, we pointed out that Hulsizer stated that he just wants the Goldwater Institute to make a decision whether or not to sue, indicating that maybe the group is dragging the matter out. Well, the City of Glendale might want a little more from that group. In fact, they might want “hundreds of millions of dollars in damages” according to ESPN’s Scott Burnside.

It would be wrong to call it a counter-suit since the Goldwater Institute hasn’t actually filed a lawsuit against the City of Glendale yet – and it’s important to remember this is a rumor anyway – but it would be a lot like a counter-suit in the grand scheme of things. Here’s an excerpt from Burnside’s report.

The lawsuit is expected to allege the Goldwater Institute was guilty of a legal form of interference when the institute reached out to potential buyers of municipal bonds, the sale of which are crucial to the City of Glendale’s new lease agreement with Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer, and warned them off purchasing the bonds.


The league has had the option of relocating the team since the end of December but the emergence of Hulsizer looked like the team’s future in Arizona was going to be assured. But Goldwater’s threat to sue the municipality over the proposed deal has stalled the sale of the municipal bonds and thrown the team’s future into uncertainty.

A source familiar with the planned lawsuit said the city will name not just the institute itself but individual directors and will ask for “hundreds of millions” of dollars in damages.

It’s believed the city will also ask for a judgment that the lease agreement doesn’t contravene state law.

On the bright side for those of you who passed the point of exhaustion regarding this story, Burnside indicates that the league is finally fed up with the situation and wants a resolution within days. Of course, anyone who has been following the Coyotes non-sale for the last few years is probably used to all the false-starts and moments of apparent doom and hope. Deadlines have become something of a running joke during this sad little saga, so take the premise of a resolution with an admittedly appealing grain of salt.

As frustrating and perplexing as the situation might be, we will do our best to provide updates (and hopefully clarity) regarding the team’s future. Stay tuned.