the admiral

NHL Anti-Thread: Bad Business Decision Aggregator

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, goalieboy82 said:

i say move them to Vegas and have them be the Golden Knights (think Seattle or Portland Oregon would be better but Vegas has an owner). 

 

Well technically Vegas has been established as an expansion team already, so contracting the Coyotes is the only choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, goalieboy82 said:

i say move them to Vegas and have them be the Golden Knights (think Seattle or Portland Oregon would be better but Vegas has an owner). 

 

 

Seattle doesn't have a sufficient arena and still doesn't have the wheels turning on a replacement yet. In Portland, Paul Allen deemed the previous bargain-basement price of $170MM to be too expensive for what he was getting. What would you be looking at now in Portland, another Dallas Stars "sale" where the team goes for assumption of debt? Are the IceArizona people that wrecked that they'll give the team away? I mean, they may very well be, but at that point that's going to very great lengths to keep Quebec City out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, per the hfboards megathread, guess who missed payroll for their AHL players a few years back?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well since Shannon broached the subject first I will let the cat out of the bag. When I was a beat writer in Portland (ME) covering the Coyotes' AHL affiliate. They missed minor league payroll once during the 2013-14 season. It was covered by local ownership, although I do not know if they were refunded for the two-week pay period they covered. We approached them about information when heard about what was going on and the local ownership begged us not to report it because they were having their own financial issues with trying to rebuild the franchise after the lease dispute. We agreed to hold off on the story... Looking back I regret doing that knowing what I know now.

 

Lovely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad admiral block-quoted, because I wasn't going to HFBoards and was just assuming the answer was "The Blues."

 

Also, good on you, local knob-polishing journalist. Your dereliction of duty saved the Portland Pirates!

 

...oh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear President Yarbrough and Speaker Mesnard:



Strong emotions rushed through me as I read the recent haughty comments from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Coyotes Owner Andrew Barroway regarding their personally motivated announcement of the absolute impossibility of hockey succeeding in Glendale.

As the former Mayor of Glendale who had a front row seat for many of the City’s dealings with the NHL and the Coyotes, I cannot sit silently as they mislead the Arizona Legislature and unabashedly insult the community I love.

Mr. Bettman saw a tremendous future for Coyotes hockey in Glendale BEFORE the City of Glendale and its taxpayers committed $200 million to absorb the initial cost of arena construction and full cost of infrastructure construction in 2002. At that time, Bettman said of the arena “This is a great place for hockey, and we’re thrilled to be here.” At that same time he praised then-owner Steve Ellman and Wayne Gretzky, the Coyotes’ managing general partner, for providing stable ownership and building a playoff contender. “Everything you touch turns to gold,” he told Gretzky. Upon the venue’s opening in 2003, Bettman said “This building is a major step forward for this franchise and this franchise wouldn’t survive without it.”

If he indeed believed Glendale was unsuitable for the NHL, he did not express that opinion in 2010 as he was asking the City to partner with the league in shepherding the owner-less Coyotes through bankruptcy. That “partnership” required an annual $25 million subsidy from the City while the NHL searched for a new owner.

During the NHL’s search we endured one potential ownership group after another and heard why each new one was going to be the answer. It’s hard to remember all the names: Reinsdorf, Ice Edge Holdings, Hulsizer, Jamison. They all kind of run together, don’t they?

In late 2010 as a deal seemed to be reaching completion which would result in Matthew Hulsizer becoming owner of the Coyotes, Bettman said: “We believe that that Coyotes and NHL hockey can be successful in Glendale. The (bankruptcy) circumstances we went through a year and a half ago…we weren’t in a position to see things done right.” Alas, the Hulsizer deal never reached the back of the net.

After I retired as Mayor in January of 2013, Anthony LeBlanc emerged with yet another NHL-endorsed ownership group, Ice Arizona. At that time, Bettman said, “With ownership committed to making the franchise a success, with an opportunity for businesses and fans to know that there is no uncertainty, we think this franchise can do very, very well.”


Little did anyone know that the annual “management fee” Glendale gave this ownership group to operate the arena was instead transferred directly to the lenders from whom LeBlanc and partners had borrowed the money to buy the franchise. It was later discovered that the Coyotes had violated state law in hiring Craig Tindall, the former Glendale City Attorney who had been involved in lease negotiations on Glendale’s behalf. As a result, Glendale terminated its lease with the Coyotes in the summer of 2015. Even then, Bettman was still bullish about Glendale as a hockey market saying, “We’re committed to the market; we believe everything will be worked out and the team will play this season in Glendale and for years to come.”

So now we find ourselves in 2017 and from his midtown Manhattan offices, Bettman has a new bill of goods to sell. Forget everything he said previously. Now he wants you to believe him when he says hockey absolutely cannot work in Glendale. And you may remember - because it was in bold type - “the Arizona Coyotes must have a new arena location to succeed.”

A great deal of fast-talking and fuzzy math has come from Bettman, Barroway and LeBlanc but their message cannot be more clear: in their minds the Coyotes’ lack of success is Glendale’s fault. Disregard the fact that the team ranks last in the NHL in hockey spending, continually trades away top talent while it annually “builds for the future,” and spends next to nothing to market the team. I will say what they will not: the Coyotes position at the bottom of the standings is a leadership problem, not a location problem.

The facts are easy to verify. Before the Coyotes moved out of downtown Phoenix they ranked 29th in attendance out of the league of 30 teams. Their first year in the Glendale Arena they ranked 19th in attendance. Attendance stayed in that tier until the floundering team started losing their disappointed fans’ support.

Now the NHL and the Coyotes’ ownership group have hitched their wagons to a new scheme: Senate Bill 1149. After receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from Glendale, the NHL and Coyotes ownership are asking a much larger group of Arizona taxpayers for $225 million in public funding for another new arena. It’s the only way to make hockey work in Arizona, they tell us (again). This is the only solution, they say; this is what will make hockey thrive.

They say a lot of things.

The truth is that the Coyotes have a world-class, taxpayer-funded arena that is designed for hockey and is only 12 years old. They have a City Council and City Manager ready to work with them to achieve an equitable long-term lease.

This will be the fifth consecutive year that the Arizona Coyotes will have missed the playoffs and have been at the bottom of the league in attendance. Bettman, Barroway and LeBlanc would have you believe that arena location is to blame while ignoring that the team continually fails to invest in its on-ice product and properly market itself.

Rejecting SB1149 means rejecting twisted logic and excuses devoid of reason, and letting Bettman, Barroway and LeBlanc know that Arizonans are smarter than they think we are.

 

Very truly yours,
Hon. Elaine M. Scruggs

 

We may not know who will own the Coyotes, but we know who owned Gary Bettman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, because he is still legitimately the smartest person in that league office since John Collins left, and yes, that is far more an indictment of the league than a compliment of Gary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/8/2017 at 1:02 PM, Sodboy13 said:

I'm glad admiral block-quoted, because I wasn't going to HFBoards and was just assuming the answer was "The Blues."

 

Also, good on you, local knob-polishing journalist. Your dereliction of duty saved the Portland Pirates!

 

...oh.

 

Nah, the Peoria Journal Star's hack of a beat writer would have run with the Rivermen missing payroll immediately since he knows no discretion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, KittSmith_95 said:

Can we all agree Bettman should be canned? 

No, because firing Bettman changes nothing. He is the face of the league's owners. If he goes, he'll be replaced by another stooge.

 

If you want to change things, get rid of Jeremy Jacobs, for starters. He's one of the worst.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this whole thing isn't over. I still feel like this charade is going to go on for another year or two, and the moment the Coyotes are legitimately about to walk out the door, the state of Arizona is going to panic and give them hundreds of millions of dollars more for a new "Entertainment Complex" in, like, Ahwatukee or something. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Bucfan56 said:

Yeah, this whole thing isn't over. I still feel like this charade is going to go on for another year or two, and the moment the Coyotes are legitimately about to walk out the door, the state of Arizona is going to panic and give them hundreds of millions of dollars more for a new "Entertainment Complex" in, like, Ahwatukee or something. 

Sadly, you are probably right. But how long must the charade go on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll say what I've been saying for years. With proper ownership, and a little winning, any metro area of 2 million or more, in the US could work, for the NHL. Some places are going to be more of a fight. Some places can sustain bad, mismanaged teams, but "non-traditional" markets NEED to be well managed, if they want a chance. 

 

The Coyotes' problem is two-fold. Their team is poorly managed, which would make it a struggle anywhere in the metro area. Take a struggling team, put them on the outskirts of town, and you're compounding your problem.

 

Phoenix is an area that could have worked, but it hasn't. It still could work, but that's incredibly unlikely.

 

I want to see the Coyotes succeed, for three reasons. I live in Tucson, where their affiliate is. I am dating a die-hard 'yotes fan, and their continued existence allows me to go see my team once or twice, a year, without turning it into a big trip. Objectively, though, it's probably time to pull up stakes and move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But proper ownership and the NHL tend not to go hand-in-hand. The guy who bought the Lightning for next to nothing is considered one of the greatest men who ever lived just because he didn't leverage the team for a real-estate scheme or turn out to live in his car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Imagine spending $500 million for a new team of scraps when you could have eventually bought the Coyotes for less than half that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/11/2017 at 0:03 AM, TRoyConcepts said:

Imagine spending $500 million for a new team of scraps when you could have eventually bought the Coyotes for less than half that

They've had offer after offer for that team. True North tried buying them, a few other people also have, but somehow it just fell through. I wonder how that could happen?

Almost as if, external forces had some magical impact,

Oh yeah, and they're trying to pull the trigger on this whole Vegas team before someone else comes in and captures the market from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't chimed in since I am biased as an avid fan/ticket holder, but what I always find the most interesting is the lack of support from non-Yotes fans that have relocated to the valley. I do not expect them to support the team from a fan standpoint, but from a hockey standpoint. I get the history/funding/"better" locations/etc. arguments, and in relation to Phoenix transplants they rightfully support their teams, but if the Coyotes leave, regardless of who you support, you will have no professional hockey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, AJM said:

I haven't chimed in since I am biased as an avid fan/ticket holder, but what I always find the most interesting is the lack of support from non-Yotes fans that have relocated to the valley. I do not expect them to support the team from a fan standpoint, but from a hockey standpoint. I get the history/funding/"better" locations/etc. arguments, and in relation to Phoenix transplants they rightfully support their teams, but if the Coyotes leave, regardless of who you support, you will have no professional hockey.

Well, that you haven't heard from them probably speaks to the rhetorical bankruptcy of "save the Coyotes to see your team from back home." You're talking about one appearance a year from those teams, two from Chicago every other year, and two or three from Western Canada. Maybe those folks like having those games, but not enough to support the corporate welfare the Coyotes obviously need to survive. I mean, people don't move to Arizona to ambitiously fund the greater good; why would they care about some stupid sports team needing a new place to play?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now