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05-08-2013, 08:16 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
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The Coyotes in 2013 averaged 13,900 fans/game. Let’s be honest, though, and realize that the physical bodies through the door were probably a little less than that, as we know the NHL has been known to inflate attendence numbers a bit. Let’s call it 13,000 to be generous. A new arena manager needs to book events a year that average that number of fans over X nights to replicate the economic effect that the Coyotes fans provided. Any manager worth anything should be able to book 30-35 concerts in a city that close to Phoenix, even with the competition from downtown. It is a huge city, after all. If you bring in semi-pro hockey or NBA D-League to fill in some of the spots you at least get some bodies in the building, probably only 2-3 thousand, though. But what about monster truck shows? Barnam and Baily’s Circus? Even some comics will bring in 5-6 thousand. I simply refuse to believe that you can’t replace the Coyotes effect, especially given their attendance problems through the years. Will the city finally have to do some work for the economic benefit that fans in an arena provide rather than lazily throwing $25 million and hoping for the best? Yes. But in the long run they will be so much better off and save so much money.

People way underestimate the cumulative effect of things. When that mayor or whoever threw out the $10 million number as “doable”, contrast that with what the fair market value of an arena management fee would be, say the $6 million, but over 20 years. That’s $80 million extra the city is paying for the “prestige” of owning what has been, from a business point of view, one of the worst franchises in the league. It’s the same mentality people use to justify buying a house or a car they can’t afford. They see if they can make the monthly payment and have no perspective as to what it’s really costing them. There’s a reason sleazy salesman always play on that angle of their marks being able to afford the payment, because they know people in general are greedy and ignorant on financial issues. The salesman doesn’t care at all if you can’t afford anything else but what he’s selling you, just as the NHL or any prospective owner doesn’t care if Glendale can’t afford necessary services.

The question to ask, given the hypothetical $10 million capitulation is exactly this. Do the Coyotes provide $4 million MORE of an economic benefit per year than the events that a competent arena manager could book to replace them with. I have to say, flatly, no. One would need to actually open up the arena to over a hundred dates a year, but isn’t that steady influx even better for the surrounding businesses than the compressed 40 games/year the Coyotes would play?

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