Around the League

Making sense of the mess in Glendale


In case you missed it, the city of Glendale voted to revoke the Arizona Coyotes lease with the Gila River Arena, meaning that the Yotes will have to find another building for next season. Yotes ownership will fight this, of course, but the fact remains they need to find a building.

The first thought is that they will go to Quebec City, which makes no logical sense because the whole point of realignment was to keep all Western Conference teams west of the Eastern time zone. Quebec is Eastern time zone. So, while it could work for a season, it doesn’t make sense long term. Plus, the NHL is going to expand to 32 teams at some point, my guess is they want the $500 million in expansion fees from a city/ownership group ready and willing to pay it.

The next thought is Seattle, which has Key Arena ready to house an NHL team. Seattle is a viable expansion market as well, and while Key Arena isn’t the best, it could be a stop-gap until a new arena is built for whatever future team is there. My guess is they don’t go to Seattle.

Vegas is getting an expansion team, not a relocating team.

Kansas City isn’t happening. Same with Portland.

That leaves…..Phoenix. Actual Phoenix. Not Glendale, not¬†insert suburb of Phoenix here.¬†Downtown Phoenix, where the Suns play, where the Yotes should have been all along. Talking Stick Resort Arena (yes, that’s the name of the arena) can house the Yotes, at least temporarily. And then, we can actually see how the Yotes do when folks don’t need to drive 45 minutes to the arena.

We are going to hear a lot about this in the coming months, so this is going to be the story that never dies. But I feel like we’ve heard that about this club before. Deja vu.

"Making sense of the mess in Glendale", 5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.
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  1. Has there been any news WHY they are terminating the lease? Danbury Whalers are not being welcomed back to the Danbury Ice Arena because they failed to give Danbury Ice Arena the team practice/game schedule, failed to make payments in a timely fashion and they let fans bring their own food/drinks to games which hurt DIA’s concession profit. Doubt any of these reasons are Arizona’s situation though

      1. That story makes it seem as if the real target is former City Attorney Craig Tindall. They are using him as the justification to cancel the lease agreement and the former Councilman filed an ethics complaint against him.

        1. Based on that article, it seems to me that the city’s attempt to pin this on Tindall is a means to an end.

          Since they are willing to re-negotiate, it doesn’t seem that the city council has a beef with the Coyotes per se (despite their vague accusations of evil-doing). Instead, it seems as though they think (looking around at other leases) that they could have gotten a better deal, and so they aren’t happy with the terms of the current agreement. The end result they are hoping for is a better deal; the means they are trying to use to get that deal is Tindall and his former position as City Attorney and his current position with the ‘Yotes.

          Presumably, Tindall and the Coyotes were negotiating a deal well before he started in August. If Tindall hid these negotiations from the City while also having significant involvement in the lease agreement negotiations, then it would seem there would be a major conflict of interest as well as ethics violations, and the City would probably have a strong case. However, based on that article, the facts (at least those that we know) don’t seem to support that.

    1. Tim B hitting close to home with the Danbury Whalers talk. I played my men’s league out of Danbury for the past 5 years… until I moved down into Westchester to get closer to work this yr.

      I’ve watched about a handful of Whalers games. Definitely won’t be heartbroken they’re gone, but a bit of a bummer. Any idea where they’ll be playing out of moving forward?

    1. If anything, the first failure in Atlanta should’ve been a deterrent from going there again with the Thrashers.

      1. You know that some areas are just not going to embrace the sport.

        We lived in Houston, and the Howe family, Gordy, Mark, and Marty played for the Aeros, won two championships, and still couldn’t draw a crowd??????

        They should stay away from some of these warm climate locations. Now I catch heat for that…..

  2. Why again is the NHL considering expansion? Their existing markets can’t even support their teams.

  3. Does the $500 million in expansion fees count as hockey related revenue and therefore count towards how the cap is determined? Technically it’s money the NHL is generating based on hockey.

  4. As far as expansion….and partially in response to RFiB’s comment above…… but more speaking towards those against sub belt or warm weather teams…….

    Every team and every market does not have to financially sustain itself in order to justify it’s existence in the league. Revenue share exists so that big market, cold climate teams- which rake in dollars despite the franchise winning or losing- are obligated to help prop up other smaller markets and less financially secure teams. And this is a good thing.

    It helps to grow the sport. I forget the exact year (2013 maybe) but the first ever Californian born and raised player was drafted in the first round. Bet your bottom cheeks that would not have happened if hockey didn’t expand to California.

    I went to one of the New England prep schools which are very well known to have some of the best hockey on the east coast. Our team had recruits, born and raised in Florida. The sport is established there. And that would not be the case if it were not for teams like the Panthers and Bolts.

    Expose more, more will take interest, more will play, talent will increase in quantity and quality. It takes north of 15 or 20 years to realize the fruits of propping up a below break even team, however, the reward can far outweigh the cost.

    I do not think that hockey should be in every market, and teams should not be playing in empty arenas. Atlanta- fail. Nashville- seems to be working out though. I believe it operates at below break even, however crowds are drawn and the sport is thriving, then teams like the Rangers, Canadians and Maple Leafs (among others) SHOULD and ARE mandated to share in the profits they generate. And again, this is good.

    A teams financial success is as much a product of warrant (good ownership and management) as it is luck (location).

    A day late, but I hope this gets some views….

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