Last night, or early this morning if you live in the Eastern Time Zone, the Glendale City Council voted 4-3 to approve a lease measure (without the city five-year out clause) which will keep the Coyotes in Glendale. Today's a good day for Coyotes fans: their team finally has a stable owner in IceArizona and they have five years before the ownership's out clause kicks in, which should be ample time to show what the team is capable of. The team has never had actual ownership stability, so while being sold to owners who want the option to cut and run in five years might sound terrible, this is the best situation that the Coyotes and their fans could hope for.
Is it the best situation for the City of Glendale?
Who knows. Losing the Coyotes would mean that Jobing.com arena and the surrounding Westgate shopping center would be out a full-time tenant that brings in a significant amount of business and tax dollars. That would be bad. However, the city is having to help fund the lease deal over 15 years, and this isn't sitting well with residents. You see, the city has had problems funding public works, libraries, police departments, and the fire department. That is why so many citizens are opposed to the deal. Here's the cost breakdown from the Arizona Republic:
They want taxpayers to continue to cover the cost of debt service on the arena, which will be $8.4 million in fiscal 2014, and fund capital repairs for $500,000, plus pay hockey executives $15 million annually to manage the building. Before the bankruptcy, the team managed the arena at no cost.In the IceArizona scenario, the city’s $8.4 million repayment on construction debt, $500,000 in repairs and the management fee would come to $23.9 million next year.It would be offset by projected tax collections from hockey and other business at the arena and Westgate totaling $4.3 million, plus projected reimbursements by the team of $6.7 million.The bottom line for the city would be a deficit of $12.9 million in the coming fiscal year.