Phoenix LXXII: Send in the Clowns
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02-13-2013, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted by
In the end, it will likely be established that the NHL wasn't fighting for the Phoenix market any more than it fought for Winni, QC or Hartford. The NHL was buying time to get its ducks in a row for expansion and relocation. What is shameful is the NHL probably took the CoG's $50M under the false pretense that the NHL would secure ownership to keep the team in Glendale. Or as Daly called the first $25M, just an insurance policy the NHL will not need.
The NHL cannot dance without a partner. I see the league as nothing more than opportunists. And as long as guys like Ed Beasley and Art Lynch enjoy fine dining, private jets, and meetings in NYC, there will be lots of opportunities. Once the NHL has a city administration on board, how much effort does it really take to sway a couple of rubes on a city council? I have found it incredibly difficult to locate any evidence that suggests the NHL mislead anyone or did anything under false pretenses. The NHL appears to have simply allowed the imbeciles on the Glendale City Council to fully explore their egos and ineptitudes.
One of my favorite exchanges was during the second approval of $25MM. Here is Steve Frate's governance gem (excerpt from Minutes of May 10, 2011):
Vice Mayor Frate asked for clarification on how the franchise has improved in the last year even without having the deal take place. Mr. Daly stated season ticket renewals were at 80%, which was the highest this club has ever had since they have been at the arena. He indicated this showed fans were excited about the future of this franchise on the ice and are showing their commitment. He added that 600 new season tickets have been purchased to date by new fans. Vice Mayor Frate ... stated if the Coyotes stay in Glendale, the city must bear a certain cost. He explained that as long as this cost remains below the cost of the estimated economic impact, then basic understanding dictates that this was in the best interest of the City of Glendale to keep the team
600 new tickets and Lynch's presentation was all the evidence Frate needed to sign off on another $25MM. Keep in mind that Frate had access to all the data which showed beyond any reasonable doubt that the NHL AMF was grossly disproportionate to the revenues the Coyotes generated; the NHL product was not viable in the market; and it was extremely unlikely that any potential owner would be able to complete a transaction. Frate willingly chose to discard all of the hard evidence and instead accepted the Lynch/Hocking projections while asking Daly a softball question about how the franchise was improving.
While the NHL was the benefactor, it doesn't appear that the league mislead anyone. In this excerpt, Daly didn't lead Frate to the water; Daly just stood by while Frate drank. Any potentially misleading activity would appear to have been conducted by Beasley, Lynch, Hocking. But even at that, no competent council would ever be swayed by the administration/consultant presentations. If you have not seen BarneyG and Othmar (ThomasL) analysis of the financial projections and bond prospectus, I encourage you to find them in the archives. If you want to fault the NHL for taking full advantage of the situation, I can respect that perspective. However, I do not see any grounds to accuse the NHL of misleading Glendale. The city did that to themselves.
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