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SBD/June 27, 2013/Franchises
Two Glendale Officials Call For Final Vote Tuesday On Coyotes, Arena Management Deal
Published June 27, 2013
THE FINAL CHAPTER: In Phoenix, Scott Bordow writes under the header, "Hey, Glendale: Please Finish Deal For Coyotes." Bordow: "I’m tired of this story, I can’t imagine how the Coyotes’ players, staff and fans are feeling." They have been "teased and tormented for four years now." They have "endured court hearings and potential lawsuits and premature Gary Bettman news conferences." They have "put up with a cast of characters unlike anything we’ve seen in Arizona sports history." Bordow: "Thankfully, the drama will end on Tuesday. The credits will roll and hockey either will be here or it won’t." If the Coyotes "do move, no one will be able to say they were surprised." If they stay, "let’s hope we won’t have to go through this again in five years, when the 'out' clause that’s sure to be in Renaissance’s contract might kick in" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/27).
CITY OF GOODWILL: In Seattle, Geoff Baker writes fans in the city "might not be hockey-immersed like in Toronto, Montreal, Detroit or Chicago." But "nobody running the NHL cares." It is "far-fetched to think Seattle can just replace 'NBA' with 'NHL' on a Memorandum of Understanding with entrepreneur Chris Hansen and rush an arena plan" so the Coyotes can "relocate by September." No owner "will commit" $200M to Seattle "without that future arena guarantee." Operating an NHL-only venue will "alter projected revenues." The Mariners’ new RSN also is "now the dominant player here and impacts any initial TV revenue plan Hansen had." That could "impact arena financing and any public help needed," which "makes public vetting required." Glendale has "already drained reserve funds for water, sanitation and landfill to make partial payments." NHL owners often have "less equity in teams than counterparts in other sports." Baker: "We don’t know yet who the Seattle owner would be, let alone what they’d put in, versus borrowing. ... We can't promise arenas to just anyone without a public process." But "do things right," and Seattle "could be NHL-ready in a year or two." It is "time to get moving" (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/27).