There are figures available for the first six months of the Jobing.Com management agreement covering from August, 2014 through January, 2014. No figures are available for February, 2014 even though we are in March of 2014. We can expect them at the end of March. Why it takes a full month to publish the figures is a mystery. After all, the city is directly reporting the figures supplied to it by IceArizona. The agreement took effect in August of 2014 and there were no ticket sales that month.

The monthly arena report reflects numbers supplied by IceArizona, manager of the arena. It reflects ticket revenues to the city on qualified ticket sales only. Non-qualified tickets could be anything from discounted to comped tickets. The qualified tickets per game do not reflect total per game attendance as reported publicly by IceArizona. The arena has a seating capacity of approximately 17,700. Some of the games were reported as sold out – standing room only. A portion of the ticket sales for those sold out games must have been discounted or comped and therefore not counted as qualified tickets requiring the surcharge of $3 per ticket.  It appears as if the city is not earning the revenue it could. Perhaps more of these tickets should be considered as qualified. Here is a summary of the qualified tickets that actually earned the city revenue month by month:

               # of hockey           Ticket Surcharge divided            Average number

                          events                  by $3 per game                        of Qualified tickets/game

August, 2013                0                             0                                                 0

September, 2013         1                       $16,413 ÷ $3                             5,471      (1 game)

October, 2013              7                     $203,289 ÷ $3                            9,680      (7 games)

November, 2013          6                     $193,517  ÷ $3                          10,751      (6 games)

December, 2013          4                      $153,975  ÷ $3                         12,831      (4 games)

January, 2014              10                    $355,135  ÷ $3                        11,837     (10 games)

A question that has never been answered satisfactorily is how come the Interest Income on the Escrow Account was posted at $4,620 as of September 30, 2013 and that number has not changed to this day? There is no posting of any accrual to that account in Oct.- Nov.- Dec. or Jan.

As of January 31, 2014 the city has spent $6,502,055 toward the $15,500,000 owed this year per the arena agreement. Offsetting revenues earned of $2.7 million have not covered the $6.5 million spent and to date the city has a loss of $3,705,324.

If there are no playoff games the total revenues for the city for FY 2013-14 which ends June 30, 2014 can be estimated at $6 to $7 million dollars. Add another approximate $1 million in Supplemental Ticket Surcharges ($1.50 per qualified ticket) for a total revenue estimate of $7 to $8 million dollars. The city will pay out $15.5 million this year. It is estimated that the loss will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $7.5 million dollars on the arena this year.

Then there is the annual arena construction debt payment at an estimated $12 million a year. It is offset by the sales taxes earned at Northern Crossing, Cabela’s, Tanger Outlets and the businesses in surrounding Westgate. It does not include sales tax earned inside the arena as that is counted as part of the arena revenue of $2.7 million to date. The estimate of the amount of annual sales tax earned from these sources is approximately $4million. That means the city will have to find an estimated additional $8 million to cover the shortfall on the arena construction debt.

The underperformance of both revenue sources: arena revenues and Westgate/Northern Crossing/Cabelas sales tax revenues will fall short and cause the city to pay an estimated $15 million this year over and above all revenues earned. The only ways the city can continue to subsidize arena expenses is to: raise the temporary sales tax and make it permanent; increase property taxes and reduce city services by eliminating some or privatizing. The question for every Glendale resident is, is it wise to continue to subsidize arena losses by raising taxes and reducing/eliminating city services?

© Joyce Clark, 2014


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