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02-02-2013, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cbcwpg View Post
So why didn't Scottsdale want to build an arena and have the Coyotes?

Did they see something that Glendale didn't? Did they just not like the idea of building a " build it and they will come " facility? Did they just not like the deal?

I don't know, so I'm asking.
Glendale offered a better deal and a chance at Westgate, which tickled Ellman something fierce.

Who got the worst of this - Scottsdale or Glendale?

First, a little background for those who missed the Coyotes arena drama: Ellman tore down Los Arcos Mall at Scottsdale and McDowell roads in 2001 as he negotiated with Scottsdale for sales-tax incentives. When he could not get what he wanted, Ellman took his puck and turned to an offer from Glendale to play hockey in the West Valley.

He then convinced Scottsdale in 2003 to give him $36 million in tax subsidies to build a Walmart and other big-box retailers at Los Arcos. A voter referendum doomed that Plan B.

Plan C was the ASU Foundation buying the Los Arcos site from Ellman and selling it to Scottsdale for $41.5 million. With infrastructure costs and other subsidies, the city is investing $120 million in SkySong, a business incubator that steadily has been attracting startups.

So what if there was a hockey arena there instead of 9-to-5 office buildings?

Most observers agree the Scottsdale location would have had a much better chance of succeeding.

There is far more disposable income in and around Scottsdale to support hockey, said Ross Smith, Cassidy Turley BRE Land Group senior vice president.

Ray Artigue, former head of the sports-business program at Arizona State University, said losing the arena was a "lost opportunity of significant proportions" for Scottsdale.

"There's no question that the former Los Arcos site would have been ideal for the Coyotes arena and any ancillary restaurant and retail development," said Artigue, who heads his own public-relations firm.

Former Scottsdale City Council member Tom Silverman, who opposed the arena at Los Arcos because of its negative effects on the neighborhood, also conceded the Coyotes would have drawn better in Scottsdale.

Meanwhile, Ortega is adamant that SkySong was a terrible deal for Scottsdale. The city paid nearly triple what the land was worth to bail out Ellman, it took the property off the tax rolls and it gets very little return on its investment, he said.

"I kind of call it 'SadSong,' " Ortega said.

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