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Glendale loses money on Coyotes arena deal, but don’t blame hockey

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy
The Phoenix Coyotes players wave their sticks as they acknowledge the crowd after an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars on Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz.  The Coyotes defeated the Stars 2-1
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The Phoenix Coyotes players wave their sticks as they acknowledge the crowd after an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars on Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The Coyotes defeated the Stars 2-1. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Phoenix Coyotes and the city of Glendale saw the first year of their 15-year deal end with a $2.4 million shortfall from projected Jobing.com Arena revenues. 

According to AZCentral.com, the city expected “$6.8 million this year from sources that include ticket sales, parking receipts and naming rights for the arena.” Instead, that figure is going to be around $4.4 million. The deal allows the city to access an escrow fund to make up the shortfall, but even then the deficit will be $1.5 million.

At this point all of Canada and parts of Seattle are probably pointing and doing the Nelson Muntz laugh at the Coyotes, but this shortfall – surprisingly – doesn’t appear to be their fault. The Coyotes saw attendance increase; but the arena simply didn't have enough non-hockey events that generated revenue. 

From Caitlin McGlade:

Despite increased ticket prices and new parking fees, average attendance at games was 13,776, up by more than 1,300 more fans from its last full season. The team had seven sellouts and even broke the single-game record for revenue three times. That put Glendale on target for money coming from ticket surcharges at hockey games.

But the dearth of non-hockey events meant that, overall, the city has collected about $1.4 million less in ticket surcharges than was expected.

Parking revenue was a significant problem. Parking revenue at hockey events came far closer to the target but the overall total came up short. Leaders had expected to collect $2.2 million in a full year, but the total is about $1.3 million short of that, not counting revenue from the final few games.

An interesting note about the parking situation at Coyotes games: There seems to be some friction between the team and the Arizona Cardinals. The NFL team opens lots at University of Phoenix Stadium during arena events and charges half as much as the Coyotes do for parking, which attracts roughly 300 cars for a weekend game, for example.

This would seem to be a problem that’s on Glendale to fix; but then again, we’ve seen how that circus works.

 

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