Tuesday could have been a great day for hockey lovers in the state of Washington and, in particular, in the city of Seattle.
For, though there still would have been a long process involved, the thought in the morning was that the Phoenix Coyotes would not remain in Glendale for the years to come. Excited about the potential to travel downtown and check out a Seattle hockey team who could potentially be big rival with the Vancouver Canucks up North.
But, as the Emerald City has been getting accustomed to over the past few years, the day ended with disappointment.
After a four hour debate by the city council that was perhaps one of the greatest comedies to watch in recent memory, officials voted 4-3 to approve an agreement that will reportedly keep the Coyotes in Arizona. Though Renaissance Sports and Entertainment and their new partner, Global Spectrum, still have to finalize the agreement with Glendale, it’s expected that the two will agree and that the NHL will eventually approve the decision as well.
Prior to Tuesday, the issue between Glendale and RSE was whether or not the city would be able to contribute enough money to Jobing.com Arena every year. Whereas most teams receive $13-$15 million from a city per year, Glendale was reportedly only offering around $5-6 million, a difference that RSE would not look lightly upon.
That all changed, however, when RSE partnered with Global Spectrum, a facilities management company that has seen success managing the home of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The partnering reportedly allowed RSE to persuade city officials to send more money to the arena per year, as they are now guaranteeing more revenue will be generated for the city. Glendale’s vote approved a 15-year lease agreement that will see the city pay $15 million per year.
The Phoenix Coyotes will also transfer ownership from the NHL to RSE, ending a four-year ordeal where the NHL owned the Coyotes. They will also become the Arizona Coyotes, perhaps in an attempt to foster greater support of the team.
This new agreement that the city of Glendale approved is completely ridiculous. Making their decision seemingly because of how the community felt about the Coyotes instead of looking at actual financial data, the city looks to have thrown itself into a financial mess.
The Coyotes have never really turned a profit and to believe a partnership with another company will foster greater community support for a team that has yet to find a real niche is ridiculous.
Aside from feeling sorry for the public in Glendale and how much their officials just screwed them, this obviously hurts for Seattle-ites who were hoping that an NHL team in the Emerald City would be a huge step in bringing the NBA back to Seattle as well.
While Seattle was, by no means, a guaranteed destination for the team, many believed it was the front-runner for the Coyotes, as NHL officials had previously stated they wouldn’t mind having a team play in Key Arena while a new sports facility was built.
As an individual who wanted to see hockey in Seattle, I’m pretty upset. The Emerald City needs more sports teams and can support them much better than a city in Arizona ever could.
However, taking a kind of cynical viewpoint, it will be nice to watch the Phoenix Coyotes crumble just like the Sacramento Kings. So, if anything, we’ll get to watch two great comedies over the coming years.