SBD/July 8, 2013/Franchises

Deal To Keep Coyotes In Glendale Includes Some Increased Costs For Fans

Coyotes fans will be helping to foot the extra bill under the team's new deal
The Glendale City Council voted to approve a deal keeping the Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena in part because it believes the turnaround plan offered by IceArizona execs "will be successful and that the deal won’t cost the city more than the $6 million a year it had budgeted for the arena," according to Paul Giblin of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The deal calls for the city to pay IceArizona $15M annually "for 15 years to manage the arena, and for IceArizona to reimburse the city more than $6.72 million a year." Some of the reimbursements "will be derived through naming rights at the arena, but the majority will be financed through pass-along costs." The prospective owners "will charge parking fees of $10 a car for hockey and $15 a car for other events for as many as 5,500 parking spaces." In addition, they will "add ticket surcharges of $3 a ticket for Coyotes games and $5 for other events, for a combined total" of an estimated $3.2M. There also will be a "secondary charge of $1.50 a ticket to create a $1.2 million reserve for the city to tap if IceArizona’s projections fall short." Coyotes fans "already were scheduled to pay a total of $4.45 per ticket for two surcharges in the 2013-14 season." Coyotes President & COO Mike Nealy said that the new formula will "push the total to $4.50 per ticket, but fans won’t notice because surcharges are included in the price of Coyotes tickets." Nealy said that the new agreement will "push the combined total of three surcharges from $5.90 to $6.50 per ticket for concerts, wrestling shows and other events." IceArizona Principal Anthony LeBlanc said that the group's "first order of business is to complete the deals with the city and the NHL, both of which should be accomplished within a month." The group will then "focus on the team’s marketing, sponsorship and suite-sales programs" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 7/6).

MOVING THE NEEDLE: In Vancouver, Elliott Pap wrote under the header, "NHL Knocking On Seattle's Door." SportsPressNW.com's Art Thiel said, "I would like to be more definitive but the NHL is the great unknown in this marketplace. ... It's just an unproven because we haven't seen the NHL here. At least with the NBA, there was a 41-year history of support. That's tangible." Vancouver-based marketing company Emblematica Principal Tom Mayenknecht said of the closeness of the Vancouver fanbase to Seattle, "That two-hour corridor is such a big factor in the viability of Seattle as an NHL market. I think you would see a lot of interest from fans in the Lower Mainland. That proximity to a really, solid hockey market like Vancouver is a really important determinant here" (VANCOUVER SUN, 7/6).
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