Today, October 8, 2014 is a grey, overcast day in the Phoenix metro area…a rarity to be sure. Anywhere else it would portend a day of steady rain but Phoenix is a desert and because it looks like rain, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. It’s a good day to let thoughts rumble around.

A blog reader recently sent me two news stories of interest. One is from the October 5, 2014 Seattle Times entitled Key Arena turns a bigger profit than it ever did with the Sonics by Ashley Scoby. Here is the link: The other is a Deadspin article entitled The Coyotes were damned close to moving to Seattle by Barry Petchesky dated October 8, 2014. Here is the link: . Each article compliments the other.

In the Deadspin story three sources confirm that the Coyotes were a hair’s breadth from moving to Seattle. Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza had formed a buyers’ group with plans to move the Coyotes to Seattle’s Key Arena the day following the Glendale City Council vote on the IceArizona arena management agreement if it had failed to gain approval. The new information in the story is confirmation that the NHL had blessed the scheme. Everyone knew how imminent the move could be….the NHL knew; the presumed buyers had moving trucks on standby; Glendale senior management knew; the Glendale City Council knew; and IceArizona knew. The only ones in the dark were Glendale residents.

Which leads to the second news story about Seattle’s Key Arena. Everyone presumed in 2009 without the Sonics as an anchor tenant the arena would die a pitiful death. How wrong. An average annual loss to Seattle with the Sonics was $1.5 million. In 2013, without the Sonics, the arena generated $1.2 million in profit. The loss of the team didn’t hurt for it opened up more desirable dates for performing artists to utilize the arena. Artists such as Kanye West, Rihanna, Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars performed at the Key in 2013.

I had always supported keeping a professional sports team at the Gila River Hockey Arena because it was my belief that the arena and Westgate could not survive without one. Seattle’s Key Arena disproves that belief. If the Coyotes arena management agreement had failed on that fateful July, 2013 day Glendale would have moved on, just as Seattle did. Glendale would have joined with an AEG-type partner and could have enjoyed the same kind of success that we see today at Seattle’s Key Arena.

P.S. Here’s a link to yet another Seattle Times news story about an almost move to Seattle:

© Joyce Clark, 2014


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