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Open Letter to Arizona Legislature

Posted by Ark_Razor on March 8, 2017 at 8:00 PM

March 8, 2017


The Honorable Steve Yarbrough

Senate President

Arizona State Senate

1700 W. Washington St.

Phoenix, AZ 85007


The Honorable J.D. Mesnard

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Arizona State House of Representatives

1700 W. Washington St.

Phoenix, AZ 85007


Re: SB1149, Commissioner Bettman’s Letter


Dear President Yarbrough and Speaker Mesnard:


I am a season seat holder to the Arizona Coyotes (2 seasons) but I live in Santa Monica, CA. I come to the Phoenix area probably half a dozen times a year. I have also been a season seat holder to the Los Angeles Kings since 1982.


I realize that I will not be voting for or against anyone in an Arizona election (and you may realize that I am more of a Kings fan than a Coyote fan!), so I totally understand if my letter to you is dismissed.


However, I do have enough of a fondness for the Coyotes to be a full season seat member and go to the inconvenient location (yet very nice arena) in Glendale whenever I can to support them.


I would also like to think that I follow the business side of hockey more than most fans. I have read Commissioner Bettman’s letter to you dated 3/7.


I am writing you to say that no public money should be used to build a new arena for the Coyotes per SB1149.


I grew up in the greater Houston area, and I know what it is like to lose a beloved team (the Houston Oilers). The Oilers needed to leave. Football is a lot more important in Texas than hockey is in Arizona.


Mr. Bettman’s letter can be construed as a thinly veiled threat that the Coyotes will leave the area unless a new stadium is built. This is after the City of Glendale nearly bankrupted itself (after the Coyotes did go bankrupt) to the tune of $50 million, plus unknown lease subsidies to keep the Coyotes in Glendale.


The debt capacity for the region should be used in other more important areas than subsidizing a lot of millionaires. I will let you decide what they are.


If “The Greater Phoenix region represents a strong hockey market which we are proud to have included in the NHL.” then why is public money needed to create jobs and increase the tax base?


How can a strong hockey market yield “a consistent economic loss” (especially with the combined efforts that include the NHL)?


The NHL has not tried everything. If the NHL wants public money (even from new taxes), have the NHL (not the Coyotes) guarantee the lease payments which will service the debt on the arena. In return, the legislature can provide abundant tax breaks to the Coyotes once the arena is built and is operational.


If Mr. Bettman is correct in his analysis, then the NHL should have no problem with this arrangement. Especially since it gives the Coyotes the flexibility to relocate if they feel it is necessary.


I know that the Suns also want a new arena. The arena could be dual purpose like we have with the Staples Center in Los Angeles.


Respectfully submitted,


So, should I send this letter or not?

The NHL is committed to the Greater Phoenix area. Huh? That's what Bettman said today. Translation: give us a new arena or we are gone. Go. If the NHL is serious about hockey in the Valley, guarantee the lease payment or debt to build a new facility- not the Coyotes, the NHL.






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Reply the immortal scurds
8:32 PM on March 8, 2017 
hell yeah you should send it. and sharing an arena is brilliant of course. if the suns and the coyotes throw in together, the taxpayer can stay off the hook. the coyotes are a losing proposition.
Reply vapor5
6:42 AM on March 9, 2017 
it would be nice if arena/stadium extortion stopped
Reply Radatz
10:56 PM on March 9, 2017 
By all means send it.
Reply Ark_Razor
2:26 AM on March 10, 2017 
Thanks guys, and I did.
Reply Mac D
8:52 AM on March 10, 2017 
Good letter.

The league has invested (albeit little) a lot of resources and time in the desert and Bettman doesn't want to look like a failure.

Carolina isn't looking so hot either, but Arizona overshadows that.
Reply Ark_Razor
12:22 PM on March 10, 2017 
Thanks Mac. There is also another as big item not getting airplay: the league is not growing revenues. If the 5% escalator is invoked, that will only grow the cap from 73 to 75 mil. That ain't 5%.
Reply Radatz
12:34 PM on March 10, 2017 
Several years ago the league was basically being kept afloat by Toronto. Still the case?
Reply Ark_Razor
2:00 PM on March 10, 2017 
Radatz says...
Several years ago the league was basically being kept afloat by Toronto. Still the case?

Interesting Q, Rad. I don't think it's that bad now (and it probably hasn't been that bad since O-6 days when it was TOR and MTL).

With revenue sharing going on now with TV national contracts and merchandising, probably not. However, like with the NBA, there's probably 1/3rd of the league that is making a ton of $$$, 1/3rd of the league that make a little/lose a little, and 1/3rd of the league that could fold w/o moral suasion of some sort.

I could make the analysis hum if I could only get to a few more #'s, but alas, I'm not on the inside.
Reply the immortal scurds
8:17 PM on March 10, 2017 
as i recall, the bulk of league revenues comes from the canadian franchises.
Reply Ark_Razor
12:30 AM on March 11, 2017 
My base NHL model is this: $2 for each Canadian franchise in rev. $1 for every U.S. franchise in rev. I can tweak it to make NYR and another U.S. franchise $2. However, I then adjust for the C$- which is going into a long decline and is now at 74 cents. This means that the Canadian franchises acount for

7 x 2 x .74 = 1.48. Multiply by 7 x 1.48 = 10.36.

Add in 2 x 2 + 1 x (30-7-2) = 25.

So Canadian franchises right now make up a little more than 2/7 of the rev league wide.
Reply Galfur
2:06 PM on March 11, 2017 
Ark_Razor says...
Thanks guys, and I did.

Late to the party but I would have given the thumbs up too. Well done!