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SBD/June 21, 2013/FranchisesPrint All
The Glendale City Council will "not approve" a $15M cash request by Renaissance Sports & Entertainment to manage the Coyotes' Jobing.com Arena after RSE asked for the money to "help secure" a $125M loan, according to sources cited by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos. Kypreos on his Twitter feed wrote, "Council believes debt created by team is so gr8 that team is all but guaranteed to fail + move shortly because of loses created by no equity." He added the NHL is experiencing "issues caused by debt loads on some clubs" like the Devils. Meanwhile, Seattle "appears not to" be an option for relocation, as a "rink won't be ready til 2014-15" (TWITTER.com, 6/21). In Phoenix, Paul Giblin reports Glendale officials are "scheduled to meet in a private session Friday for another round of discussions that could cement" the Coyotes’ future in Arizona. City Council members are "considering a proposal" by RSE to use and manage Jobing.com Arena. The city has budgeted $6M "a year for the fee, but the fee is subject to negotiation." A councilmember said that RSE "may seek" $15M in guaranteed payments. Friday’s meeting marks the "second time this week that the council has met to review the deal." City leaders on Tuesday met "behind closed doors for several hours but left with more questions than answers" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/21). FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com's Craig Morgan reported while initial "concerns were that the city wanted all of the revenue streams RSE included in its proposal to be guaranteed, which would have removed all risk from the city and likely killed the deal, the two sides are working on a compromise that would put" about $1.3M from a ticket surcharge in an escrow account. In an effort to "guarantee the city receives" $8.5M back in "annual revenue after it pays RSE ... the account would be applied toward the revenue shortages." If there are "no shortages, Glendale does not keep the money" (FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com, 6/20).
NO REGRETS: In K.C., Randy Covitz notes Mayor Sly James does "not regret" that the city "didn’t do more to attract the club to the Sprint Center." After investigating the "possibility of pursuing the Coyotes ... James was convinced the franchise would have been a bad business deal" for K.C. James on Thursday said, “Several months back, even before that, we put out some feelers and talked to some people we trusted who knew what the situation was … the availability, the costs … and the basic information was (the Coyotes) need a lot of money from the city in one form or the other. They said, it’s not a great deal for you, like you might hope." He added, “The question was, ‘What would it take?’ The answer was, ‘A whole hell of a lot. It might take you from a (profit) to a negative.’ It wasn’t something recommended to be done" (K.C. STAR, 6/21).
The Suns' look is "changing with new uniforms, including black road jerseys and sleeved orange alternate jerseys, for the coming season," according to Paul Coro of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. New logos "already have shown up on official nbastore.com merchandise." The new Suns uniforms will "not be unveiled formally until late September, but the team’s logos already have been changed with an understated roll-out of merchandise and a new logo under the brim" of next Thursday’s draft hat. The Suns’ goal was to "integrate the heritage of the franchise while giving a more modern slant to their look." Three of the team’s four logos "will be orange and black." With the "marketing boon of Planet Orange, the team began incorporating more orange with alternate jerseys and last season’s new court with a new orange 'SUNS' font that is trimmed in black at midcourt." That logo now becomes "one of the team’s secondary logos." The secondary “PHX” bird logo "returns with subtle color changes and higher flames but has kept a familiar look with some purple." A new secondary logo of "an orange 'S' with a black sunburst shooting through it also has been added." The team’s alternate jersey "with sleeves will be part of a new venture to create a jersey that is more wearable in every-day life than a traditional tank-top jersey." The Suns also will have jerseys "honoring their heritage." The team has "used black alternate jerseys but this will mark the first time that the Suns’ main road jerseys are not purple" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/21).
The MLB Rangers still "hold down the American League’s No. 2 spot behind the Yankees in average attendance," but their numbers are "down more than 4,000 per game which means this team is on pace to hit three million again, but fall more than 300,000 short of last season’s total," according to Tim Cowlishaw of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The team in its just-completed 11-game homestand "topped the 40,000 mark twice." MLB attendance in large part "tends to reflect what happened the year before." Rangers management "does not appear to be alarmed despite the potential loss of 300,000 fans clicking through the turnstiles." Rangers President of Business Operations Rick George said, "My take is that 2012 was an anomaly. Very few teams ever get to 3.4 million. We were coming off two World Series trips. It’s better for us to compare this year with what we did in 2010 and 2011." The team "drew 2.5 million in 2010, and then fell just 54,000 short of three million in 2011." George believes that the team will "draw three million for the second time in 2013." He added, "We are trending downward, but we had two games with Tampa Bay where, with the rain, we had very little walk-up. Those set you back. The new norm for us is probably 2.8 to 3.2 (million). And I still believe we will get to three." Cowlishaw: "What I’m curious about is whether this year’s decline reflects disappointment in the loss of popular players like Mike Napoli, Michael Young and the previously popular [Josh] Hamilton? Or is it a general dissatisfaction with the way things ended last year and a belief that this team can do no better?" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/21).
The lockout cost the Wild money this season, but Owner Craig Leipold said the business metrics were "great," according to Russo & Scoggins of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The team spent $196M last offseason signing LW Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter, and Leipold said the team will see the "benefits of that financial investment ... going forward." Leipold: "The lockout was costly for the first year, but the ticket sales were incredible. The sponsors came back in droves. So we feel good about that and we achieved all our business objectives." He said it was doubtful the club would attempt to duplicate its moves in this year's free-agent market. He said, "I don’t know how we can. The cap situation certainly does limit us (the Wild has $6.2 million of cap space). The moves that we made last summer were strategic and long-term. No one can make those kind of splashes unless they just like to make splashes." Leipold noted the signings were made for two reasons: "making the team better and completely changing the image that the Wild have in this market." He said the image was one of complacency. Leipold said of fan perceptions: "The team was getting complacent, that we weren't building it fast enough. The prospects at the time, we think were good and as you recall, we were really selling that. But those prospects, that's three years from now and it wasn't going to be fast enough. So that's the reason we made the big splash" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/21).
The Seahawks on Thursday said that tickets for the '13 season have "now sold out -- with a franchise-record 98 percent renewal rate." In Seattle, Nick Eaton reported even though prices "increased -- as they always do -- from 2012 to 2013, nearly everyone who held season tickets last season has renewed." The Seahawks also announced that "just 2,000 of the team’s 12,000 Blue Pride memberships remain." Blue Pride members for $100 per seat "get priority slots for purchasing future season tickets" (SEATTLEPI.com, 6/20).
TAKING THEIR TIME: The Raiders have yet to announce a replacement for former Chief Exec Amy Trask, and CSNBAYAREA.com’s Andy Dolich said, "The clear focus is to get better on the football side. But they have so many significant business issues, revenue generating issues, you would think that they'd have somebody in place by now, either internally or externally." Dolich: "I've actually talked to some people that have talked to (Raiders Owner) Mark Davis about the big position, but nothing's happening, and you have to have strength on the business side and strength on the football side to be successful, especially when you're competing with what the Niners are doing right now, where they've got it jammed both on the business and football side" ("Sports Talk Live," Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 6/20).
NEEDLESS NAME CHANGE? CHARLOTTE magazine's Markovich & Brown debated the pros and cons of the Bobcats changing their name to the Hornets for the '14-15 NBA season. Markovich, who took the pro side, writes, "Dumping a bad name happens all the time. ... Really, when was the last time we had a god long conversation about NBA basketball in Charlotte?" Brown, who took the con side, writes Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan "hasn't guaranteed the return of Hugo or purple-and-teal jerseys." Brown: "So what's in a name? History. Right. Because Charlotte cares so much about that. ... There are thousands of newcomers who never knew the Hornets. What about the last decade of kids who grew up with Gerald Wallace posters?" (CHARLOTTE magazine, 7/'13 issue).