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Glendale ready to commit $25M to keep Coyotes in town for next season

Phoenix CoyotesDon’t expect the Phoenix Coyotes to move to Winnipeg any time soon: the Glendale City Council is preparing to authorize a payment of $25 million to keep the team at Arena for the 2011-2012 season, as negotiations with Matthew Hulsizer continue.

It seem a little sad that the city needs to pony up that kind of money to keep the team, but it underscores how important the Coyotes are in terms of generating income for the facility. In a normal situation, a pro franchise would be responsible for only a quarter or so of the bookings at a major arena; it is very possible to run a financially successful facility without a pro tenant (i.e., Kansas City’s Sprint Center).

But the finances at Arena rely heavily on the Coyotes revenues: because there’s a competing arena in downtown Phoenix (US Airways Arena), rates and bookings are lower than they’d be in a one-arena town. There are 18 events scheduled in US Airways Arena in June, only one at Arena.

That it’s taken two years to come to an agreement with Hulsizer, though, is an embarrasment for all. The NHL should have done a better job of managing the situation and forcing a resolution of some sort. Glendale should set a hard deadline or just bought the team itself (which would be cheaper). And Hulsizer should be a little more serious about this process.

RELATED STORIES: Goldwater Institute: We still oppose Coyotes lease; Is Hulsizer’s Coyotes deal collapsing?; Glendale approves Coyotes lease; Could lawsuit sink Glendale arena deal?; Glendale proposal: pay Hulsizer $197M to run $170M team


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