Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Phoenix Coyotes slowing whithering away in the desert sun

The Globe and Mail reports that Coyotes ticket sales for next are at about $20,000. At the ACC that will get you a pair of golds for next season and leave enough for a couple of beers per game. Last season at this time the Coyotes has sold about $1.5 million in tickets. So obviously bankruptcy proceedings are not conducive for selling hockey tickets. Their core fans are waiting to see what the courts decide before committing to renewing their seats. This past season, the Coyotes had a 0.4 TV rating. That translates to about 7,210 homes. The team also struggled to even meet minimum standards to qualify for full shares of the NHL's revenue-sharing program, which takes money from rich teams and distributes cash to poorer teams.

But lets not forget that the team has been terrible and has failed to make the playoffs for six straight years. Glendale, the site of the arena is far from downtown Phoenix. This is a marketing nightmare.

I would have to say that the death watch is on. Millions in liabilities and no revenue. You can't cut salaries since the team is already at the minimum salary cap. I'd say prospective buyers are lining up to put a bid on this cash cow.

When the team finally folds up the tent and leaves, Glendale and taxpayers will be left with some big bills to pay. Glendale borrowed $180 million to build the $220 million arena. The city will also lose rent income and ticket surcharge revenue. What do you do with a 17,000 seat arena in the middle of the desert?