Friday, October 30, 2009

Coyotes having success on the ice but not in the box office

The Phoenix Coyotes are 8-4-0 to start the season with the 6th best record in the Western Conference. If they continue to get great goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov (G.A.A. 1.77) they will be a playoff contender.

However, drawing fans to the games has been a struggle. They are last in the NHL in attendance with an average crowd of 10,700 which likely includes many comp tickets. If you exclude the season opener which was a "sell out" (tickets were being sold for $15) the average game draws only 9,000. With an average ticket price of $37 the typical gate is only about $250,000. But there payroll works out to about $1 million per home game. Then there is rent and all their other expenses.

You would think that no one could be interest in this money pit. But apparently there is interest. The Globe reports that Ice Edge Holdings is ready to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and the sale could be completed in the near future. Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon, co-owners of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts are supposedly also interested in the team.

One can only conclude that any purchase comes with a commitment to allow the team to move to a more economically viable city. Not likely Hamilton though.