It’s time to make a decision about the future of the Coyotes. You’ve had plenty of time to figure this out. You’ve had years to figure this out.
The latest offer from Renaissance Sports Entertainment (RSE), the perspective ownership group for the team, is the best you’ll get.
Their latest proposal, which was released by the city, asks Glendale to write them a check for $15 million each year for 15 years. In return, the city would receive money back from RSE after the hockey season. The money would come from surcharges added to ticket prices, from parking revenue and naming rights and other sources.
RSE estimates Glendale would receive at least $6.7 million per year. They based their numbers of the worst attendance numbers the Coyotes have had.
In addition, under this proposal, RSE would set up:
A limited guarantee fund that the city can draw upon annually, once they have audited the revenues they receive from the team (including sales tax revenue), to help meet revenue projections if they fall short. That fund was created through a ticket surcharge. Based on last year’s numbers, the fund would have had $1.3 million in it this year.
But the deal does include a five-year opt out clause. If the Coyotes lose $50 million collectively during that time, RSE can move the franchise to another city without penalty.
Glendale is supposed to have this entire Coyotes situation wrapped up by July 2. Time is of the essence.
“We are awaiting a determination by the city of Glendale as to whether or not they are going to have new arrangements for the building for new ownership for the Coyotes,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “That’s a decision that needs to be made by July 2. If the council doesn’t approve it so this transaction can close, I don’t think the Coyotes will be playing there anymore.”
Glendale has only budgeted $6 million to manage the arena. RSE’s deal would require the city to spend a little more money than they planned. In return, there will be at least 41 home games per season at the Jobing.com Arena.
So, please, take this offer or leave it.
But if you leave it, leave it for good. Leave it understanding you will have a nearly empty, state-of-the art arena. Leave it understanding another city will secure this hockey franchise. Leave it understanding that this city council will forever be remembered as the ones that let the Coyotes leave Glendale.
On the flip side, if you take this offer and you have to pay more to keep the franchise, you, as a city council, have mortgaged away your ability to complain about future budget shortfalls. There can be no more talking about 911 response times or library closures or job losses.
Make the decision you think is best for the city of Glendale. Live with the consequences, whatever they may be.
It’s time to stop dragging your feet.