When Katy Perry isn’t enough: Glendale’s latest beef with Coyotes, IceArizona

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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.