SBD/February 15, 2017/Facilities

Coyotes' Hope For Arena Gets New Life With Possible $225M In Public Financing

The Coyotes could receive $225M in "public financing for a new arena that would go in downtown Phoenix or the East Valley" under legislation approved yesterday by a state Senate committee, according to Harris, Boehm & Ryman of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The Suns and D-backs also are "unhappy about playing in older facilities in downtown Phoenix," and state Sen. Bob Worsley "acknowledged the legislation could help" both teams. However, he said that the legislation was "intended to help the Coyotes." The bill would "allow creation of 'community engagement' districts of up to 30 acres." Within them, up to "half of the state's share of sales taxes generated from retail sales and hotel stays would be dedicated to paying the bond debt for new sports or entertainment facilities." It also would allow an additional 2% district sales tax to be "applied to all purchases within the district, with those revenues also dedicated to defraying the cost of facility construction." In the case of the Coyotes, the plan "envisions public funding covering" 57% of a new arena's cost, with new sales taxes covering $170M and the host city contributing $55M. The Coyotes said that their portion would be $170M, amounting to a 43% contribution toward the $395M total cost. Previously, the Coyotes said that they would "pay half of the arena cost." The bill now "likely heads to the Senate Rules Committee before a floor vote" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/15).

STILL SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS: In Phoenix, Laurie Roberts writes the Coyotes "sprinkled rainbows and roses as they pitched the deal, waxing on about vast new streams of revenue that would come washing into the state treasury, if only our leaders approve this bill." But neither the Coyotes' financial consultant nor the rest of the team could "pinpoint how much the state would lose in tax revenues if the team leaves Glendale," or offer "any assurances that the Valley can support three sports arenas." Roberts: "I feel for the citizens of Glendale, who are still on the hook for $145 million for a hockey arena" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/15). 
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Arizona Coyotes, Facilities

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