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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

Part X: Phoenix Coyotes - Between Scylla and Charybdis

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Old
08-11-2010, 10:33 PM
  #951
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If you know anything about hockey, you'd realize that you don't cross the red line during the pre-game skate, and shoot pucks at their goalie.




There is no point to Glendale sweetening the pot if the market is out of whack with having the team in that location. While they might be willing to try now that they're in for the pound, it's a continuation of artificial market supports that obfuscate the financial reality (potentially). The point is moot however, thanks to the Arizona laws on the subject. I just don't see any way around this particular conundrum.
I think if someone came to the CoG/NHL with 200 million cash in hand and said "Here, I'll buy the team, take all losses and need no subsidy. In turn, I want a 5 year window where I can sell or move the team without penalty after the 5 years." Bascially, they'll fund the losses, but if they want to move the team they can do so. NHL nor CoG funds losses. Only hit CoG has to take is remaining years on the lease.

Does Cog/NHL jump on that?

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08-11-2010, 10:34 PM
  #952
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clean slates can mean 30 straight games without a win and a total of 9 wins in the season circa 1981.

you guys in phoenix thought you had it bad.

it is interesting that of the last 6 franchise relocations in the NHL, only the winnipeg team didnt go on to win the stanley cup...calgary, new jersey, dallas, colorado and carolina all won the big prize after moving.

loser franchise...maybe a clean slate is better.
Theoretically, with free agency and cap rules today, it should be easier for good management to make a franchise competitive more quickly than in 1981. If you get lucky with a few top draft picks early on, you can also build a powerhouse that is competitive for Lord Stanley's cup (see under Penguins, Caps, Hawks). So I don't think an expansion franchise is as bleak as it seems.

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08-11-2010, 10:35 PM
  #953
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My understanding is that the hockey revenues were in fact a part of the whole. I agree that its a daunting task, however, as we discussed earlier jobbings' event schedule is almost empty & much much much more can be done to substantially increase bookings. Combine that with everything from parking to concessions, the CFD, a competitive on-ice product etc, glimmers of optimism abound. The biggest problem IMHO is the NHL's inflexibility with regards price & terms. It'll be a really close shave if they dont provide wiggle room.
Precisely. And this is why a fresh start, as you have mentioned, may be the best course of action - look at what Winnipeg got out of it for instance. Look at what Minnesota got out of it. Look at what QC is going to do with it. Phoenix may unfortunately be in a hole that grows deeper by the day, but it may be a necessary hole...one that not digs deeper, but also buries all the problems with it.

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08-11-2010, 10:41 PM
  #954
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I think if someone came to the CoG/NHL with 200 million cash in hand and said "Here, I'll buy the team, take all losses and need no subsidy. In turn, I want a 5 year window where I can sell or move the team without penalty after the 5 years." Bascially, they'll fund the losses, but if they want to move the team they can do so. NHL nor CoG funds losses. Only hit CoG has to take is remaining years on the lease.

Does Cog/NHL jump on that?


Who knows. Glendale really wants to keep the team there...what ever glimmer of light might keep them there, Glendale might follow. The NHL will do what they can to keep their end of their philosophy of doing what they can to find a buyer for the local market, but at the same time, there are many hurdles to overcome as well.

We will know by the time September is up...its really really tight. Time is not on Glendale's side right now. It seems to be heading in a very specific direction. One might even assume the lack of any noise from their end might suggest the inevitable.

Then again, they do have till Dec 31st...

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08-11-2010, 10:42 PM
  #955
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Just trying to find the "starting point" is tough.
This is a job for Cruise/Griffiths' (Net Worth). You'd have to start at "the beginning". Namely, around 1965 when Winnipeg asked for an NHL franchise & were rebuffed, the creation & meanderings' of the Jets' WHA years; amalgamation & punishment, arena difficulties & then the meat & potatos'; Phoenix. These franchises are inextricably linked in the past & perhaps in the future. The "whole story" would make for a fascinating read.

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08-11-2010, 10:48 PM
  #956
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My understanding is that the hockey revenues were in fact a part of the whole. I agree that its a daunting task, however, as we discussed earlier jobbings' event schedule is almost empty & much much much more can be done to substantially increase bookings. Combine that with everything from parking to concessions, the CFD, a competitive on-ice product etc, glimmers of hope/optimism abound. The biggest problem IMHO is the NHL's inflexibility with regards price & terms. It'll be a really close shave if they dont provide wiggle room.
As I understand it, the CFD revenues were meant to subsidize Reinsdorf's purchase and operation of the Coyotes thusly:

1) $65 million over the first 3 years towards the $168 million purchase price.
2) $25 million per year, capped at $100 million to an Operating Loss Reserve account.

So, this is above and beyond the operating revenues of the hockey club. Presumably, increased revenue from the hockey team could reduce the $25 million annual loss reserve account, but that might not be realistic in the short term.

My point is, how much more revenue will they actually be able to raise from increasing the number of concerts and other events, levying parking charges on all patrons, taxing tickets, and getting Westgate businesses to contribute from their earnings to a CFD? I wonder if it became clear that it was not going to be enough to provide the revenues outlined above that were due to Reinsdorf under his MOU.

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08-11-2010, 10:55 PM
  #957
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I think if someone came to the CoG/NHL with 200 million cash in hand and said "Here, I'll buy the team, take all losses and need no subsidy. In turn, I want a 5 year window where I can sell or move the team without penalty after the 5 years." Bascially, they'll fund the losses, but if they want to move the team they can do so. NHL nor CoG funds losses. Only hit CoG has to take is remaining years on the lease.

Does Cog/NHL jump on that?
Why would anyone do that? They'd lose more money than they could hope to get back out of it in five years. At that point, they should just try to convince the NHL to let them have a Toronto-area team.

 
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08-11-2010, 10:56 PM
  #958
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This is a job for Cruise/Griffiths' (Net Worth). You'd have to start at "the beginning". Namely, around 1965 when Winnipeg asked for an NHL franchise & were rebuffed, the creation & meanderings' of the Jets' WHA years; amalgamation & punishment, arena difficulties & then the meat & potatos'; Phoenix. These franchises are inextricably linked in the past & perhaps in the future. The "whole story" would make for a fascinating read.
It's almost tempted to try and start it, but the sheer volume of information that would be needed to sort through 45 years. But I guess the request for a franchise in the Peg would be as good a start as any.

Not for the meek, I got intimidated by the volume of stuff just about the Yotes....hmmm.

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08-11-2010, 10:57 PM
  #959
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I think if someone came to the CoG/NHL with 200 million cash in hand and said "Here, I'll buy the team, take all losses and need no subsidy. In turn, I want a 5 year window where I can sell or move the team without penalty after the 5 years." Bascially, they'll fund the losses, but if they want to move the team they can do so. NHL nor CoG funds losses. Only hit CoG has to take is remaining years on the lease.

Does Cog/NHL jump on that?
The question is, which potential owner would want to do that? Reinsdorf's deal already looks a lot better. Buy the team for $103 million, get up to $100 million in subsidies over the next 5-7 years towards your operating losses, and if the subsidies are running short then guaranteed to recoup $103 million purchase price or be free to sell or relocate the team elsewhere. I'd take that deal over the one you propose above, unless I was certain that the NHL would allow me to relocate to wherever I wanted (like S. Ontario). Otherwise, you run the risk of paying $200 million to buy the team, losing another $100 million or more over 5 years, and then not have a surefire place to land where you can recoup your investment. $300 million is a lot to pay for an NHL franchise in just about any conceivable location.

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08-11-2010, 10:59 PM
  #960
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Why would anyone do that? They'd lose more money than they could hope to get back out of it in five years. At that point, they should just try to convince the NHL to let them have a Toronto-area team.
I'm not saying it as realistic, but just for fun, say Bill Gates decided he wanted to run a hockey team out of the goodness of his heart. Maybe he feels like being an alturist, who knows? It was a hypothetical, just, given that "sweetheart" a deal, would the CoG and NHL say "see ya" to JR and IEH and grab it in this situation?

I guess I was just bored, and wondered how desperate CoG and NHL are right now....

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08-11-2010, 11:05 PM
  #961
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The question is, which potential owner would want to do that? Reinsdorf's deal already looks a lot better. Buy the team for $103 million, get up to $100 million in subsidies over the next 5-7 years towards your operating losses, and if the subsidies are running short then guaranteed to recoup $103 million purchase price or be free to sell or relocate the team elsewhere. I'd take that deal over the one you propose above, unless I was certain that the NHL would allow me to relocate to wherever I wanted (like S. Ontario). Otherwise, you run the risk of paying $200 million to buy the team, losing another $100 million or more over 5 years, and then not have a surefire place to land where you can recoup your investment. $300 million is a lot to pay for an NHL franchise in just about any conceivable location.
Good point about the NHL and getting a Franchise elsewhere, I hadn't thought of that part. I was just musing on it, instead of the hemming and hawing, but is it an easy decision for CoG? Because if they do leave, they've got a nice multimillion dollar piece of archtecture in Glendale....


I guess like everyone else I'm frustrated by the lack of anything, and just thought if this scenario would end things in a hurry. lol

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08-11-2010, 11:06 PM
  #962
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My point is, how much more revenue will they actually be able to raise from increasing the number of concerts and other events, levying parking charges on all patrons, taxing tickets, and getting Westgate businesses to contribute from their earnings to a CFD? I wonder if it became clear that it was not going to be enough to provide the revenues outlined above that were due to Reinsdorf under his MOU?.
Well, as we know, Reinsdorfs' pretty good at squeezing a nickle, to the point that the Indians' riding the Buffalo. There is absolutely no reason for a beautiful arena, voted one of the top concert venues in North America by Performance Magazine (and others) to have its lights off to the extent that it does. It is far superior to the downtown facility in terms of sitelines, configurations, acoustics, you name it. Phoenix is the 5th largest metro-market in the US. You could easily book 200 dates a year on top of hockey in Glendale. Once you consider this very positive element, things become practicable, still daunting as the mountains a high one, but doable. Im just guessing Whilee, but if I had to bet, my guess is that JR pulled out because the NHL wasnt willing to deal with a 3-5yr payoff on that $65-70M & asked Glendale to guarantee it either immediately or with serious interest on terms. They cant, obviously, and JR wasnt willing to up his ante'. Too bad really, because I thought he & his son wouldve' likely turned things around.

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08-11-2010, 11:18 PM
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Well, as we know, Reinsdorfs' pretty good at squeezing a nickle, to the point that the Indians' riding the Buffalo. There is absolutely no reason for a beautiful arena, voted one of the top concert venues in North America by Performance Magazine (and others) to have its lights off to the extent that it does. It is far superior to the downtown facility in terms of sitelines, configurations, acoustics, you name it. Phoenix is the 5th largest metro-market in the US. You could easily book 200 dates a year on top of hockey in Glendale. Once you consider this very positive element, things become practicable, still daunting as the mountains a high one, but doable. Im just guessing Whilee, but if I had to bet, my guess is that JR pulled out because the NHL wasnt willing to deal with a 3-5yr payoff on that $65-70M & asked Glendale to guarantee it either immediately or with serious interest on terms. They cant, obviously, and JR wasnt willing to up his ante'. Too bad really, because I thought he & his son wouldve' likely turned things around.
See, part of this IMO is simply the stubborness of CoG to refuse to essentially rip the lease and start fresh. They seem almost bound and determined by hook or crook that the 26 years remaining on the lease be enforced. I think way back when they were willing to renegotiate it before it got this bad, maybe we aren't here today.

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08-11-2010, 11:23 PM
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It's almost tempted to try and start it, but the sheer volume of information that would be needed to sort through 45 years. But I guess the request for a franchise in the Peg would be as good a start as any.

Not for the meek, I got intimidated by the volume of stuff just about the Yotes....hmmm.
if you need help, i suggest you speak with jetsender over at jetsowner.com. he has amassed a very impressive thread regarding Winnipeg's attempts to join the NHL prior to 1979-80. but he has done his homework regarding the WHA, everything from it's infancy, to the end.

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08-11-2010, 11:42 PM
  #965
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See, part of this IMO is simply the stubborness of CoG to refuse to essentially rip the lease and start fresh. They seem almost bound and determined by hook or crook that the 26 years remaining on the lease be enforced. I think way back when they were willing to renegotiate it before it got this bad, maybe we aren't here today.
Unfortunately Tinalera, the COG cant do anything about that as they are beholding to the Bond Holders who funded the arena. They have no choice in the matter but to try & enforce the full terms of the lease with an anchor tenant in a building built specifically for & to NHL standards. We dont know who these Bondholders are per se', but much speculation hit the fan on numerous sites through the BK, including possible ties to UAE based Mubadala, who have connections to AEG & on & on. The danger to not only the NHL specifically, but so too to virtually all of the major league sports in pulling out of Phoenix without first exhausting all possible avenues is in the loss of seed money teams require for new facilities. This situation transcends sport alone & opens a Pandoras' Box of socio economic & real estate development issues, foreign investments, politics', influence peddling, you name it.

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08-12-2010, 12:20 AM
  #966
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Unfortunately Tinalera, the COG cant do anything about that as they are beholding to the Bond Holders who funded the arena. They have no choice in the matter but to try & enforce the full terms of the lease with an anchor tenant in a building built specifically for & to NHL standards. We dont know who these Bondholders are per se', but much speculation hit the fan on numerous sites through the BK, including possible ties to UAE based Mubadala, who have connections to AEG & on & on. The danger to not only the NHL specifically, but so too to virtually all of the major league sports in pulling out of Phoenix without first exhausting all possible avenues is in the loss of seed money teams require for new facilities. This situation transcends sport alone & opens a Pandoras' Box of socio economic & real estate development issues, foreign investments, politics', influence peddling, you name it.
Ah! See, I learned something today!

I had no idea about the bondholders-wow. This just adds another wonderfully murky layer I had not seen before. I just (naively) thought they were just being stubborn, evidently it goes deeper than that. Thanks for this Killion, I had no idea.
UAE-like United Arab Emerates? *whistles* wooooo.
Nothing like getting a whole new perspective on things.....wow.

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08-12-2010, 12:22 AM
  #967
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if you need help, i suggest you speak with jetsender over at jetsowner.com. he has amassed a very impressive thread regarding Winnipeg's attempts to join the NHL prior to 1979-80. but he has done his homework regarding the WHA, everything from it's infancy, to the end.
Thanks. If I should ever dare to attempt the feat, this sounds like a great place to find the beginning of the trail....

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08-12-2010, 12:29 AM
  #968
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i know someone says this every week or so but it is unbelievable and frustrating that it is the 12th of august and there is literally no news on the progress of negotiations....not even who they are negotiating with.

you would think the odd press release to keep the ticket buying public in the loop would be in order.

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08-12-2010, 03:33 AM
  #969
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i know someone says this every week or so but it is unbelievable and frustrating that it is the 12th of august and there is literally no news on the progress of negotiations....not even who they are negotiating with.

you would think the odd press release to keep the ticket buying public in the loop would be in order.
We like seeing you and others so frustrated, PS. What can I say?

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08-12-2010, 07:22 AM
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Well, as we know, Reinsdorfs' pretty good at squeezing a nickle, to the point that the Indians' riding the Buffalo. There is absolutely no reason for a beautiful arena, voted one of the top concert venues in North America by Performance Magazine (and others) to have its lights off to the extent that it does. It is far superior to the downtown facility in terms of sitelines, configurations, acoustics, you name it. Phoenix is the 5th largest metro-market in the US. You could easily book 200 dates a year on top of hockey in Glendale. Once you consider this very positive element, things become practicable, still daunting as the mountains a high one, but doable. Im just guessing Whilee, but if I had to bet, my guess is that JR pulled out because the NHL wasnt willing to deal with a 3-5yr payoff on that $65-70M & asked Glendale to guarantee it either immediately or with serious interest on terms. They cant, obviously, and JR wasnt willing to up his ante'. Too bad really, because I thought he & his son wouldve' likely turned things around.
If your speculation is correct, and the hitch with Reinsdorf's deal was the NHL insisting on receiving payment immediately, then it suggests that the NHL is actually not all that motivated to keep a team in Glendale. That would surprise me.

My earlier point is that if it was so easy to book all sorts of other events and charge additional levies to subsidize the Coyotes and help pay off the arena debt, why didn't anybody try that before? Even though the Glendale facility is such a nice one, it must have some drawbacks (maybe location?) in comparison to competing facilities in the Phoenix metro area. Most musical acts that play in arenas probably don't care that much about great acoustics.

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08-12-2010, 09:45 AM
  #971
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The danger to not only the NHL specifically, but so too to virtually all of the major league sports in pulling out of Phoenix without first exhausting all possible avenues is in the loss of seed money teams require for new facilities. This situation transcends sport alone & opens a Pandoras' Box of socio economic & real estate development issues, foreign investments, politics', influence peddling, you name it.
Maybe. Maybe not. Do you really think the Glendale situation would cause Quebec City, for example, to be scared off from helping fund a new arena there? . If there's money to be made, someone will build. Less of a Pandora's Box and more of a small yellow caution sign IMO. If anything it might slow down risky new cities from joining the NHL, which I think would be a good thing.

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08-12-2010, 10:25 AM
  #972
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If your speculation is correct, and the hitch with Reinsdorf's deal was the NHL insisting on receiving payment immediately, then it suggests that the NHL is actually not all that motivated to keep a team in Glendale. That would surprise me.

My earlier point is that if it was so easy to book all sorts of other events and charge additional levies to subsidize the Coyotes and help pay off the arena debt, why didn't anybody try that before? Even though the Glendale facility is such a nice one, it must have some drawbacks (maybe location?) in comparison to competing facilities in the Phoenix metro area. Most musical acts that play in arenas probably don't care that much about great acoustics.
In a "Series of Unfortunate Events" Whilee, the NHL became owner of the franchise. Gary Bettman would appear to be handcuffed to the promise he made to the BOG that this "would not cost them a cent". I actually do take him at his word that he believes hockey can work in Phoenix with a diversified arena portfolio to back that up, something Moyes was most seriously lacking, on top of the odd way he ran things & cooked the books. Their are creative solutions available to solve this conundrum;

1) Award Winnipeg an Expansion Franchise for 2011-12
2) Use a portion of those fee's to pay off the LOC used to buy the Coyotes
3) Extend credit to the Coyotes purchaser for 5yrs @ app. 40% of the sale price

Thats just one way to go about it, and if anyone of the BOG's doesnt like it, tough. And ya, we know the locations' a hassle, but its' not the sole reason nor a complete impediment to the Coyotes, jobbing & Westgate realizing its potential. Finally, it actually is "easy" to book all kinds of other events into jobbing, from concerts to Christian Revivals, from the PBR to WWE; from MotoCross to MonsterTruck, from Ice to Trade & Consumer Shows etc. Without an aggressive posture in that regard, it all falls down. IE did get that right. "The most mismanaged & underutilized asset in all of pro sports".


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08-12-2010, 10:35 AM
  #973
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Maybe. Maybe not. Do you really think the Glendale situation would cause Quebec City, for example, to be scared off from helping fund a new arena there? . If there's money to be made, someone will build. Less of a Pandora's Box and more of a small yellow caution sign IMO. If anything it might slow down risky new cities from joining the NHL, which I think would be a good thing.
No "Caution" signs north of the 49th Niagara. That'll go ahead regardless. Katz is having problems though I think the COE will come around. No, I'm referring to places south of the 49th, like the Bay area with the 49'ers & Giants; Portland, Seattle if anyone their decides to pursue a franchise. Their is a real groundswell of resentment towards team owners holding hostage municipalities, states & the fanbases with pie in the sky development plans. See Wang vs. Nassau County. Not good to leave the COG in the lurch I can assure you.

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08-12-2010, 10:55 AM
  #974
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So in order to allow the possibility of other cities using public funding for arenas (an idea that is admittedly losing steam on its own for the most part), the NHL should be forced to keep losing money hand over fist in the desert for the next 15-20 years until the arena is paid off? That's flatly ridiculous. If anyone or any city that is looking to build a new facility spends more than five seconds glancing at the situation, they'd be able to clearly see that the facility was built in the wrong place, for a sport without a stable fanbase and that the NHL has bent over backwards trying to make it work to honor the fact that the city built the barn to begin with.

This would have no effect at all on the practice of publicly funded arenas in my opinion. If a city is going to go for one, they're going to go for it or not go for it for their own reasons rather than looking at one extraordinary situation and saying "Well, they built an arena and their team got moved, that's going to happen here too"....

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08-12-2010, 11:14 AM
  #975
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So in order to allow the possibility of other cities using public funding for arenas (an idea that is admittedly losing steam on its own for the most part), the NHL should be forced to keep losing money hand over fist in the desert for the next 15-20 years until the arena is paid off? That's flatly ridiculous. If anyone or any city that is looking to build a new facility spends more than five seconds glancing at the situation, they'd be able to clearly see that the facility was built in the wrong place, for a sport without a stable fanbase and that the NHL has bent over backwards trying to make it work to honor the fact that the city built the barn to begin with.
You mean any new incoming owner losing money hand over fist dontcha?. Of course it would be, and it wont happen if whomever buys' it has a clue & sorry, but I dont buy the argument that location alone is the problem. Is it not the best location?. Of course it isnt. Its' built. Its done. Cant change location now. Work with it. As for a "5 second review", supercedes that cursory proclamation by a country mile, and how do you create a "stable fanbase" with "unstable ownership"?. Not possible.

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