Glendale has brought on Tony Tavares, the former president of Disney Enterprises and the Anaheim Ducks, to conduct an audit of the Arizona Coyotes’ financials. The process, which was supposed to start by the end of September before being delayed, will allow the city to examine revenue sources related to the Coyotes and Gila River Arena.
“(Tavares) was hired for his NHL experience and experience with professional franchises,” Glendale finance and technology director Tom Duensing told the Arizona Republic.
This will allow the city to determine if it’s getting the revenue it should be receiving on the 15-year, $225 million lease agreement signed between the city and IceArizona back in 2013 to manage the arena. The audit will also review the team’s reported operating loss, which might someday prove to be of particular note as the Coyotes have an out-clause that would allow them to relocate the club if they lose $50 million over the first five campaigns.
New owner Andrew Barroway as well as Coyotes CEO Anthony LeBlanc have both said that they don’t intend to use the out-clause. LeBlanc also projected that the Coyotes would become profitable in the third year of the agreement. He noted that the addition of Barroway has put the team in a position to be more flexible with its payroll in the hopes that the Coyotes will turn into a competitive team. They will almost certainly miss the playoffs this season though given their 20-28-7 record.
IceArizona is also trying to arrange more concerts for Gila River Arena and there’s already been progress in that regard given that they’ve hosted 14 over the fiscal year, which is up from seven.
Glendale collects revenue from a number of sources related to the arena, including a portion of ticket sales and parking, but the city has lost $8 million in the 2014 fiscal year on its Gila River Arena expenditures.
Tavares, who has a degree in accounting, has some previous experience with the Coyotes as he was involved in the 2011 attempt from Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf to buy the franchise.