The Arizona Coyotes have reported a total operating loss of $34.831 million according to Fox Sports Arizona. The Coyotes gave their numbers to the city of Glendale on Friday.
That’s a lot of money, and doesn't sound super great for the Coyotes, whose ‘out-clause’ can be triggered if Arizona reaches or exceeds $50 million. But the Coyotes are trying to paint a better picture on some of these numbers.
From Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona:
Coyotes president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said the team lost $16.458 million, but for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), it also had to include its one-time acquisition and closing costs ($7.878 million), along with the complete amount of the Mike Ribeiro buyout ($10.495 million), bringing the total operating loss to $34.831 million.
The latter is the figure that counts toward the team's oft-mentioned "out clause," which can be exercised within a 180-day window after five years and allows the team to leave Arizona if it reaches or exceeds $50 million in losses. The $50 million threshold is just a gating factor, not an automatic trigger for the out clause. There are many other determining factors.
Clearly LeBlanc knew the $50 million was going to be mentioned and asked about. So he had an answer ready for it.
“We have seen solid increases in every revenue stream associated with the team, and this continued during the current season while we experienced less than a stellar performance on the ice. We always said this was a process; that it would take time. The terrific news is that we showed a better than expected financial result in our very first year. This shows we are clearly on a path to success."
Sometimes in business, it’s about beating expectations. The number also included the Mike Ribeiro compliance buyout, as well as the acquisition cost. The hope is Arizona doesn't get socked with such issues in the future. Also, LeBlanc said that corporate sponsorships were supposedly up.
So is this a bad marker for the Coyotes' future in Arizona? Morgan brings up two points. For one, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman used a lot of political capital to keep the team in the desert. And there’s this nugget:
There is also the likelihood of expansion, which would prove far more lucrative to the NHL and its teams than relocating a franchise.
Yeah Vegas …plus that would be a natural desert-like rival to Arizona. Perfect!
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