Report: Even with big playoff success, Coyotes would lose money in Glendale

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Former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison might be the best ray of hope for the Phoenix Coyotes* to stay in that area, but that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect situation for the City of Glendale. An Arizona Republic study of the latest proposal shows that even a lengthy run of playoff success might not make the team profitable.

Prepare for a disturbing (yet abridged) rundown of the dire financial situation for Glendale and the Coyotes, even if it’s not quite shocking.

A Republic analysis revealed that even if the Coyotes went to the Stanley Cup Finals for the next 20 seasons and the arena booked 30 sold-out concerts each year for the next 20 years, Glendale could still expect to lose about $9 million annually.

That figure does not include the city’s annual arena debt payments, which will average about $12.6 million a year over the next 20 years.

Longtime Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, who has said next year’s budgeted $17 million arena management fee is too steep, said Monday she cannot support the deal.

It pretty much keeps getting worse for Glendale/the Coyotes in this report, including a bit where Mayor Scruggs points to dispiriting developments such as the fact that the city “won’t see the construction of new city facilities or park upgrades for at least the next five years.”

It’s not about losing, but how much they lose

Here’s the thing, though. Saying the Coyotes probably won’t be “profitable” seems to belabor the point. The real important factor here is for Glendale; the city is likely to lose a significant amount of money one way or another. Depending on a new deal, the Coyotes have the potential to limit those losses, which is something that tends to get lost in all the doom and gloom.

Yes, it’s a bummer of a situation, but ultimately it might come down to a decision that is the lesser of many evils. Let’s not forget that – ignoring admittedly important factors like market factors and arena details – the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins seemed doomed going into the last summer of CBA negotiation, too.

Still, it’s a complicated and potentially worrisome situation, but hopefully a best case scenario resolution comes to fruition once all the smoke clears.

* Or maybe Arizona Coyotes?