It is an awful moment in one’s life to realize your hockey team is packing up and moving. In the city of Glendale since 1996, the Phoenix Coyotes are in danger, once again, of being relocated to a place that is not Arizona. It seems people are in an uproar over this, and for a while, I was part of this group. I’m all about hockey in unique markets, proving that they can survive without a true winter. But at this point, I’m tired of this. It’s a tease of will they or won’t they, they gave it the old college try, but it’s time to move on with the Coyotes. Why should they move on?
1.) Glendale is struggling to come up with the money they promised the NHL to keep the Coyotes. Last season, the city paid the league $25 million to keep the team in Glendale and promised to invest another $25 million this season. The problem? Glendale can’t afford what’s due. There’s been talk of tax hikes and program cuts to come up with this money, but at what point do the voters step in and say no more Coyotes? You can read more about the financial woes here.
2.) The NHL still owns the team after they declared bankruptcy in 2009 and has been waiting since then for someone to buy the team to keep them in the city. Since 2009 they’ve been waiting to find a buyer for the Coyotes. That’s a long time for no one to go all the way through with the purchase. And yes, there have been problems with proposed deals, I may be over simplifying it, but it’s been years. You can’t tell me that we haven’t given the Coyotes enough time. Can we all agree it’s not going to happen?
3.) As the city is trying it’s hardest to keep the Coyotes, fans are struggling to come out in support of the team. With an average of 72.5% attendance rate that doesn’t really scream “big hockey market”. I get it if they were a struggling team, who wants to pay for tickets to watch a team lose night after night? But as a whole, it doesn’t look good for the city. And yes, you can say the Dallas Stars aren’t much better than the Coyotes at 76.5%, but they aren’t the ones who are in danger of being relocated. Other teams in nontraditional hockey markets? Florida Panthers are at 86.3%, Tampa Bay Lightning are 96.2%, Carolina Hurricanes are 85.6%, and 97.5% for Nashville Predators. As for the California teams? LA Kings and San Jose Sharks are at 100% attendance and the Anaheim Ducks are 86.4%. No excuse for the Coyotes. Take a look at where your favorite teams rank here.
4.) Multiple cities have expressed interest in having a NHL team relocate or another NHL expansion. As Matt Calamia discussed last week Quebec City is preparing to build a new arena. Other cities that have expressed interest or have been rumored to be in the running? Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Seattle, Washington, Las Vegas, Nevada and Hamilton, Ontario. While each city has its flaws, they are more than willing to (and more importantly, able to) support an NHL team like the Coyotes. Why not give one of those cities a shot, seeing as how so much time in Phoenix has been a struggle.
5.) Because I’m tired of hearing about this. Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. The Coyotes have been in danger of moving for some time now and it’s getting tiring. It’s the boy who cried wolf. Clearly the interested parties don’t want to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, Glendale can’t afford to keep the Coyotes, can we stop trying? Can we put the focus on more headline worthy events going on in the NHL? Playoffs are starting, give me that news!
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my views on the Coyotes? Leave your comments!