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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

The very first owner of the Coyotes to land in Glendale was Steve Ellman. Ellman bought the team from Richard Burke in 2001. How did Ellman end up in Glendale for he dearly wanted to be in Scottsdale? When Scottsdale rejected the idea, Ellman went shopping, looking for cheap land for his grand vision of a hockey arena to be surrounded by commercial/retail to compliment the arena. I remember at the time, early 2000s, staff indicated to city council that they wanted to show Ellman the old Valley West Mall parcel at 59th Avenue and Northern Avenue as a possible site. Council gave the go-ahead. Staff took him on a helicopter ride over Glendale. When Ellman saw the Valley West Mall site he said it would never work because the arterial roads would not be able to handle the anticipated traffic. On that same fateful visit he saw all of the agricultural land adjacent to the Loop 101 and said that was his preference for a site.

When staff reported back to council with Ellman’s feedback, I was aghast. I was not supportive of a hockey arena in Glendale. In an effort to perhaps kill the deal, I insisted that Ellman be tied to Valley West Mall in a redevelopment project. I thought he would balk and walk away. I was wrong. He agreed to redevelop Valley West Mall and did so. The hockey arena would be built.

Ellman never engaged with Glendale or worked to develop a real relationship as a partner. Who knows why? I don’t. The city tried to engage him, but nothing ever developed. Ellman was very successful in booking major recording artists into the arena during his ownership tenure. I remember in particular, seeing Bette Midler, among others, perform there in the arena’s early years.

Jerry Moyes, Swift Trucking Company owner, became the team’s second owner when Ellman sold the team to him in 2005.  Moyes, a businessman, appeared to many observers, to take little interest in the team. There were also rumors that he was reluctant to invest in the team. He, too, never engaged with Glendale to build a mutually successful partnership. In 2008, Moyes declared bankruptcy and after a yearlong legal battle, the NHL took ownership of the team in 2008, according to bankruptcy court documents.

In essence, the NHL became the team’s 3rd owner in the space of 8 years. The NHL was merely a caretaker for the team while they desperately tried to acquire a new owner. I remember there were 4 or 5 entities in the race to buy the team. The one that impressed me the most was Greg Jamison. He was a true gentleman and eager to create that long missing partnership with Glendale. He had tons of hockey knowledge and experience due to his many years with the San Jose Sharks. He knew what it would take to put a good team on the ice. He put together a consortium of investors willing to invest their own money rather than saddle themselves with enormous debt but unfortunately, he was out maneuvered by one Anthony LeBlanc, one of Jamison’s very own investors and soon to become the new owner.

The 4th owners became Ice Arizona, led by George Gosbee/Anthony LeBlanc in 2013. The trouble with this ownership group was money. LeBlanc et. al., used very little of their own.  They borrowed nearly all the purchase price from various institutions and even got a loan of $70 million from the NHL. They were always cash poor. To observers it appeared as if they were a group of guys who got together to acquire a new play toy. They seemed to revel in owning a hockey franchise but when it came to creating a great product on the ice, they were not very adept. Again, no partnership with Glendale ever developed.

Andrew Barroway was one of the original Ice Arizona partners. By 2016, he acquired a majority interest in ownership and became the 5th owner of the Coyotes. I never met Mr. Barroway and I’m not sure anyone on city council ever met him either. I have no idea as to whether he was good or bad for the team. But, again, no partnership with the city ever developed. He seems to have been an absentee owner.

Which leads us to the latest and 6th owner of the Coyotes. In 2019, Alex Meruelo bought the team. I have never met Mr. Meruelo and only know that he is a successful businessman. From the day of his purchase he has publicly stated, along with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, that Glendale will not be a part of the Coyotes future and he planned to actively pursue a new location. Obviously, there has been no development of a partnership with the city.

How does the Coyotes saga of ownership compare with other Valley Sports teams? Here’s a graphic that depicts the string of ownerships of all of our teams:

The multiple ownerships in Coyotes history would appear to play a significant part in its ability to become a successful team. A string of different owners with their own agendas did nothing to stabilize the team and to create a successful product on the ice.

I, and the city, harbor no ill will toward Mr. Meruelo. He has made what he believes to be his best business decision to create a successful team. I respect that. In my next blog, I will comment on why retaining the Coyotes is not the best business model for Glendale.

The long-held myth has always been that Glendale was not a good site because the fan base is in the East Valley. I don’t necessarily buy into the myth. If that were the case, the Cardinals would never successfully fill their stadium, game after game.

I remember attending a West Valley economic summit years ago. The one comment made by the featured speaker, Elliot Pollack, a well-respected Arizona economist, was that Glendale was destined to become the geographic center of the Valley. As each year passes, this concept comes closer and closer to reality. West Valley cities, such as Buckeye, Avondale, Litchfield Park, Surprise and Peoria are all experiencing population explosions. At some point, the West Valley’s population will surpass that of the East Valley’s. That appears to be coming to fruition now. As the media have reported, Buckeye and Goodyear are both among the 10 fastest-growing cities in the United States. Buckeye has grown faster than any city in the country as its population grew in the last decade by 80%. There is the potential explosion of a fan base in the West Valley, but a team must work to cultivate it. All the team’s past owners failed to do so.

Another concept never fully appreciated is that we are primarily a population that moved here from somewhere else. I came from New Jersey. Over the years, I have overwhelmingly met “transplants” as opposed to native Arizonans. We came here with team favorites already encoded into our DNA and it’s difficult to embrace a new team as one’s favorite, especially when there is no compelling reason to do so.

We are “fair weather fans.” What would constitute a compelling reason to become an avid fan? It’s pretty obvious. A good team…a winning team. Witness the Suns and their recent run for the basketball championship. Everyone wanted to attend a game and tickets were selling like hotcakes at exorbitant prices. Every time the Coyotes were in the playoffs for the Stanley Cup, the fans came out selling out the arena and the “White Out” was born. There was no talk of East Valley fans vs. West Valley fans.

I am not trying to sell the notion of the Coyotes remaining in Glendale. That ship has sailed. It is not in our best business interest for the Coyotes to remain and the city has stated repeatedly that its decision is not a negotiating ploy. I just wanted to highlight other factors that are contributory to poor attendance.

The old saying, “build it and they will come” is still a valid statement but with a jaded society with so many entertainment choices, it’s incumbent upon every sports team to create a compelling reason for a consumer to spend what is often a great deal of money to attend a sporting event. The Coyotes, under a series of confusing ownerships, never created a compelling reason to become an avid hockey fan.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 18 years and 47 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On January 29, 2016 the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ran a story about Jerry Moyes entitled When a CEO Borrows on his stock by Ted Mann, Robbie Whelan and Theo Francis. For those who don’t know or may have forgotten, Jerry Moyes is the founder, chairman and former CEO of Phoenix-based Swift Transportation, one of the largest trucking companies in the United States. Moyes is also owner of the charter airline Swift Air and a marina at Lake Powell. Moyes is the controlling owner of SME Steel Contractors Inc., a steel erector company based in Utah. He was a majority owner of the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League before he filed bankruptcy and the team was sold to the NHL in 2009, and the Arizona Sting of the National Lacrosse League. Moyes is also a limited partner in the Arizona Diamondbacks, and was once a minority owner of the Phoenix Suns.

Moyes is a Glendale resident best known for his bankruptcy filing of the NHL Coyotes in a failed attempt to sell the team to Jim Balsillie, one time CEO of Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the Blackberry cell phone. As a result of these manoeuvrings the team was eventually sold to the NHL and then the NHL sold the team to IceArizona resulting in a $15 million dollar a year management fee paid by the City of Glendale until recently.

The story relates the fact that Moyes has borrowed heavily against his shares of Swift Trucking. Demands for additional loan collateral were made and three times Swift’s board has taken action beneficial to Moyes in dealing with his loans. The board policy had been that senior directors could pledge no more than 20% of their stock for margin loans. In 2013, the cap was lowered to 15% as of July 2014 and then lowered once again to 10% as of July 2015.  The board then amended the 10% limit from taking effect until the end of 2016. In 2015 Swift stock lost 52% of its value and as the stock value he had pledged as collateral declined he needed to pledge even more of his stock as further collateral.

However, his use of his stock as collateral exceeded the board’s limits. Other investors including the Teamsters’ Union are concerned with the board’s actions and accused Mr. Moyes of, “using Swift as his personal bank.”

According to the WSJ, “Swifts’ board is unusually small, just six members. To analysts of corporate governance, boards size matters: While too-large boards can be unwieldy, too-small boards can turn into echo chambers and foster an eagerness among directors to get along in the face of tough decisions.” It goes on to say, “the Phoenix-based company has just four independent directors, as defined by New York Stock Exchange rules. And one of those deemed independent, Mr. Dozer, spent years helping run a business that was partly owned by Mr. Moyes, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mr. Dozer was the baseball team’s president from 1995 until 2006, and Mr. Moyes was a minority owner from 1996 until last year.” Hmm…It looks as if you own a company you can use it as your personal bank just a long as your close friends on a very small board approve.

© Joyce Clark, 2016


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 195 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Recently ‘thevintageguy,’ one of the regular commenters to my blog posts, offered an interesting idea. He calculated that if every hockey ticket for every game had a surcharge of $24 it would generate $15M annually in revenue. If that surcharge were applied IceArizona would not need the City of Glendale to pay $15M a year for a management fee.

I decided to explore that idea but first, some history. The city owned arena opened in December of 2003. Let me remind you there was no arena management fee that the city had to pay. Steve Ellman led a group of investors who bought the Coyotes. Ellman may be many things to many people but he took immense pride in the arena, the Coyotes and the events he booked. Back then concerts were far more frequent. Bette Midler, Britney Spears, Elton John and U2, to name just a few performers, played at the arena in its early years. During the years of his ownership of the team the Arizona Sting (now defunct) also played all of its games at the arena. While the Arizona Sting was probably not a money maker during the years of its existence from 2003-07, each year it successfully increased its fan base. It certainly was not a deterrent to Jerry Moyes’ acquisition of Ellman’s interests.

Ellman realized how important it was to his bottom line to keep the arena busy all year long. Ellman’s downfall was his inability to develop a substantial amount of commercial and retail surrounding the arena quickly enough. To focus on that aspect of his business he sold his interest in the hockey team to Jerry Moyes. Then the national recession hit and he was unable to hold on to his interests within Westgate.

Under Moyes there was no arena management fee that the city had to pay. Moyes seemed not to be as committed to the health of the team and its bottom line as Ellman had been. Unfortunately Moyes ran the team’s finances into the ground. Apparently he diverted team revenue to his other businesses and subsidiaries. By 2009, Moyes asked the city to begin payment of a management fee of $12M a year. The city refused. Moyes declared team bankruptcy all the while working a secret deal with Jim Balsillie to buy the team out of bankruptcy. The court stopped that scheme and the NHL assumed control of the team. The NHL demanded an annual management fee of $25M knowing that the city needed to buy time until a new team owner was secured. It was precedent setting. From that point forward any potential owner of the team had a green light to require that the city pay a management fee.

In 2013, IceArizona bought the team with the NHL’s blessing and so the management fee scheme was retained with the city paying $15M annually. The IA management agreement has a revenue sharing component but the revenues generated annually and paid to the city have been approximately $8M short every year in covering the annual $15M payment.

Recently the city council voted to cancel the contract with IceArizona (IA) alleging a conflict of interest by two former city employees. IA immediately went to court and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). The judge required the city to make its quarterly payment of $3.75M on July 1, 2015 to pay for services already rendered and the city has done so. The court also required IA to post a bond of $1M and IA has done so. On July 29, 2015 both parties will be back in court and the judge will make a determination if the TRO should become permanent pending the outcome of the suit regarding the contract cancellation.

On Monday, July 13, 2015, the Glendale city council met in executive session. It is my strong belief that the subject of that meeting was the litigation between IA and the city. I suspect IA made an offer amending the existing contract and their offer was rejected. It appears as if the city council is convinced that its allegations are solid and provable in a court of law. Just think about it. If there had been a desire on the part of council to accept an offer from IA there would have been a press release issued after executive session. That has not occurred.

Back to the ‘vintageguy’s’ idea. Basic research reveals the following annual attendance figures for the Coyotes, courtesy of hockeyDB.com at http://www.hockeydb.com/nhl-attendance/att_graph.php?tmi=7450 .

“Phoenix Coyotes Yearly Attendance Graph. This is a graph of the home attendance of the Phoenix Coyotes, a hockey team playing in the National Hockey League from 1996 to 2015. Attendance is based on numbers from a team or league, either released as an official yearly per-game average figure, or compiled into an average from individual boxscore attendance. In some cases when boxscore attendance is unavailable for a small number of games, the attendance is computed omitting the missing games and annotated as approximate. Clicking on a season’s bar will bring you to a graph of all teams in the league.”

The average attendance figure for the Coyotes for the last 5 years is 13,133. Multiply that figure by 41 games a year and the average total attendance for a season of 41 games is 538,453. If you divide $15M (annual city payment of management fee) by 538,453 each ticket for each and every game would require an additional $27.85. If a hockey fan were to buy a ticket for each of the 41 games per year the additional annual amount he/she would pay would be $1,141.85. What do all of these numbers mean? If hockey fans paid more for every ticket IceArizona would not need the $15M a year from the city. Now that sounds like a plan.

Let’s look at it another way. Each year even with IA’s revenue sharing the city is in deficit for the $15M annual payment by about $8M a year. If revenue sharing were to remain and the same ticket increase scheme were used to cover the $8M a year deficit, each ticket would need to be increased by $14.85 which comes to a total increase for a fan attending all 41 games of $608.85 a year.

I believe my figures are correct but even if they are off a bit don’t get bogged down in the numbers. Instead consider the concept. If fans were charged more per ticket per game with or without IA revenue sharing there would be no need for the city to pay an annual management fee of $15M. That would surely solve the city’s annual Coyotes related deficit. Whether it is $27.85 or $14.85 per ticket per game the sixty four dollar question is are Coyotes fans willing to pay either extra amount to keep the team in Glendale? Is it possible for them to redirect their negative anger to a more positive action – that of paying more to keep their team?

© Joyce Clark, 2015


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Numbers don’t lie…

Posted by Joyce Clark on May 10, 2013
Posted in Jobing.com arena  | Tagged With: , , , , | 2 Comments

There has been a great deal of furor since Paul Giblin of the Arizona Republic came out on May 5, 2013 with a number that Glendale would have to pay to run the arena of $5.1 to $5.5M per year. See this link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20130502phoenix-coyotes-jobing-arena-costs.html .

jobing.com arena

Jobing.com arena

On August 8, 2012 (9 months ago), Lisa Halverstadt, a former reporter with the Arizona Republic stated, “If the team stays, the city estimates it will cost about $12.2 million a year, or $54 per resident, when costs and revenue are factored. That’s in addition to the roughly $13 million a year to retire the debt on the arena in about 20 years. But the city says it would face even steeper financial challenges without the Coyotes. If the team leaves, Glendale will still be on the hook for the arena debt. But the city also projects it will then need to come up with millions of dollars a year to pay an arena manager and other expenses if there is no anchor tenant for the arena. The city estimates that would cost $15.8 million, or $70 per resident. With that in mind, Glendale projects it would save about $3.5 million annually by keeping the team.” Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20120801glendale-few-options-jobing-arena.html .

Even the vaunted Arizona Republic is not consistent in the numbers it offers to its readers. Nine months ago $12M a year to operate the arena was a good number. Now, apparently $5M is the number you should believe.

Below are the numbers from 2006 and 2007 when Jerry Moyes owned the team. Annual revenues were $6.4M to $7.1M. Total expenses were $13.4M to $12.9M. Net loss was $6.9M to $5.7M.

The auditor’s report shows the following :

…………………………………………………………..2006                                   2007

Revenues……………………………………………. $7,142,000                    $6,499,000


Event…………………………………………………. $5,616,000                    $4,413,000

General and Administrative……………………. $ 7,303,000                    $ 9,052,000

Total expenses……………………………………… $12,919,000                  $13,465,000

Net Loss……………………………………………..  ($5,777,000)                ($6,966,000)

These numbers from 6 years ago track with the current NHL numbers of revenues of approximately $6M; expenses of approximately $12M; and loss of approximately $6M.

numberFor months  I have consistently used these very same numbers obtained under a Freedom of Information request from the city. Moyes’ numbers come from an auditor’s report and the NHL numbers were submitted monthly to the city. There is no doubt in my mind that it takes approximately $12M to operate Jobing.com arena annually with revenues of approximately $6M and debt of $6M. The numbers don’t lie.




Coyotes financial history

Posted by Joyce Clark on April 12, 2013
Posted in City of Glendale  | Tagged With: , , , , , | 3 Comments


Steve Ellman

Through a Request for Information processed by the City of Glendale, I obtained information about arena management company finances over the years. I do not have a complete picture but I do have information that relates to 2006 to 2007, during the time when Jerry Moyes was the majority owner of the team and arena manager, and 2010 to 2013, the time that the NHL has been owner of the team and arena manager. From the time the arena opened in 2003 to 2006, Steve Ellman was majority owner of the team and the arena manager. Records for his period of management are as elusive as the man himself. When the national economy went south the two men responsible for bringing the team to Glendale left it, holding the bag. Is it karma that Steve Ellman declared bankruptcy regarding Westgate and Jerry Moyes declared bankruptcy regarding the team?


Jerry Moyes

In 2006 to 2008 the arena was managed by the Arena Management Group, LLC (AMG), a Delaware Limited Liability Company. The managing member and 100% owner of AMG was Coyotes Holdings, LLC (CH) and Jerry Moyes was the majority owner of record. Moyes was originally a minority partner in Steve Ellman’s ownership group, which bought the Coyotes from Richard Burke in 2001. On September 26, 2006, Ellman sold controlling interest in the Coyotes, Arizona  Sting, and the lease to Jobing.com Arena to Moyes. Independent Auditor’s Reports by BDO Seidman, LLP., an accountancy and consultancy firm, were produced that covered the period of 2006 and 2007, just prior to Moyes’ bankruptcy filing.

The auditor’s report shows the following :

                                                                                             2006                                   2007

Revenues                                                                     $7,142,000                    $6,499,000


Event                                                                               $5,616,000                    $4,413,000

General and Administrative                                    $ 7,303,000                    $ 9,052,000

Total expenses                                                          $12,919,000                  $13,465,000

Net Loss                                                                       ($5,777,000)                ($6,966,000)


Balance as of June 30, 2005                     Member’s Deficit ($9,641,000)

Net Loss                                                                                                             ($5,777,000)

Balance as of June 30, 2006                     Member’s Deficit ($15,418,000)

Net Loss                                                                                                              ($6,966,000)

Balance as of June 30, 2007                     Member’s Deficit ($22,384,000)

The managing member(s) had plowed over $22M to cover the losses incurred in 2006 and 2007. The general and administrative expenses appear to be disproportionately high during this period.


Gary Bettman

In 2008, Moyes told Gary Bettman that he would stop funding the club and so, the figures for 2008 were not included in this request. The NHL was willing to provide funding on an emergency basis if Moyes would turn over his voting control. Their divisiveness became public in May 2009 when the League nearly sold the Coyotes to Jerry Reinsdorf. Moyes would have received very little, if anything, from the sale. Moyes immediately put the Coyotes into bankruptcy protection and announced a plan to sell the club to Jim Basillie. Moyes also filed a lawsuit against the NHL, alleging the league was an “illegal cartel.” Bettman, in return, argued that the league had been blindsided and that Moyes did not have the authority to put the club into bankruptcy protection. Financial records for 2009, during this period of turmoil were not provided from the city.

In the 3 years in which the Arena Newco, LLC., (NHL) has been managing the arena, and according to the documents that they submitted to the city, the costs and revenues have been pretty consistent. Revenues average in the $6M to $7M range and expenses average about $12.5M. The Net Operating Loss average is about $5.5M.

If you look the Moyes figures and the NHL figures they are pretty close to one another. I think it is safe to assume that the costs of operating the arena with the team as an anchor tenant will be in the $12M to $13M range. Revenues have consistently been in the $6M to$7M range with an annual operating loss of about $5M to $6M. Keep in mind these figures do not create any Return on Investment for any of the 4 groups and their investors vying to acquire the team. If the city council rejects all of these potential buyers it is safe to assume that they will be looking an annual expenditures of about $8M to cover the construction debt payment and another $12M to operate the arena. Undoubtedly that $20M annual expenditure will be offset by sales taxes collected on revenue but they should not expect revenue to be comparable to the current $6M to $7M range.

There is another issue to be considered and that is , Capital Repairs. There is a Capital Replacement and Renewal Account from which to pay these items. How hefty is it? None of the documents are clear. But it is known that apparently the roof is leaking and may require as much as $2M to fix.

Revenues have been low for a variety of reasons. In 2003, the team was sited in a new geographical location and it took time for fans to adjust their mindset to make the drive to Glendale. Moyes and the NHL have not had a particularly strong track record in booking other events into the arena. In fact, this year saw the least number of non-hockey events booked than in any previous year. Of course, the first lockout and the most recent lockout did not help. Add to this the fact that the team has not had an owner since 2009 and we have had a referendum attempt to get rid of the team and an election to void the sales tax increase. Throw into all of this mix, a national economy that took a nose dive. This team and this location have never had a fighting chance to realize its full potential.

My hat is off to all of the potential buying groups for believing that they have solutions to all of these issues and can turn the profitability picture around. No matter who succeeds they will have a lot of work to do to rebuild revenues as well as the fan base and confidence in this team. Can it be done? I believe… and I believe the answer is “yes.”


       There has been a lot of chatter lately among hockey fans that keeping the team for 5 years is better than losing the team now. For rabid hockey fans such a thought should be anathema.  Why?
A little review of history first. In future blogs at “Joyce Clark Unfiltered” a more complete history will be offered.  In 2001 the City entered into a series of agreements with Coyotes Center Development

Steve Ellman LLC (Mr. Steve Ellman). The City’s clear intent was to build an arena to host the Phoenix Coyotes Hockey team which had been purchased by Mr. Ellman. There was no management fee in this agreement. In 2005 Mr. Ellman sold the team to Mr. Jerry Moyes. There was still no management fee as Mr. Moyes bought the team under the existing agreements with the City of Glendale.

In Spring-Summer 2009 Mr. Moyes wanted the agreements renegotiated with the City to include a management fee of approximately $12 million a year or he would dmoyeseclare bankruptBalsilliecy. The City declined and Mr. Moyes declared bankruptcy. He tried to convince the City to support the sale of the team to Mr. Jim Balsillie of RIM with relocation of the team to Canada and to accept nominal annual payments from him. The City refused and consequently in May of 2010 the NHL bought the team out of bankruptcy. For the first time the City would be required to pay a management fee and in the case of the NHL, that figure was $25M a year.
In April and June of 2010 the City entered into Memoranda of Understandings with theLeblanc Reinsdorf Group and Anthony LeBlanc of Ice Edge. Neither of these potential deals could

reinsdorfbe negotiated to all parties’ satisfaction.  Each of these parties was seeking an arena management fee in the $17 million range and each wanted an “opt out” clause of 5 years.


In February to June 2011, the City was ready to finalize a deal with Mr. Matthew Hulsizer of Coyotes Newco LLC. This deal also contained an “opt out” clause of 5 years. This new deal would have required the City to purchase parking rights from Coyotes Newco at a cost of approximately $100 M. It failed only in part due to the Goldwater Institute’s assertion that the City would be in violation of the state gift clause.


In the fall of 2011 through January 31, 2013, the City entered into an MOU and serious negotiations with Mr. Greg Jamison of Hockey Partners LLC. It was a deal that was good for Glendale, the NHL and the team. It kept the team in Glendale for 20 years, the annual management fee was $12M, there was an option to buy the arena and it contained penalty and incentive provisions.  It failed because Mr. Jamison could not meet the City deadline for completion.I will offer more about this situation in a future blog at “Joyce Clark Unfiltered.” Lately there has been talk of “mystery buyers” with “deep pockets” from Gallacher to LeBlanc. 



Ever since the arena was built I have talked to team owners of various sports. Universally the consensus has been that it takes a minimum of 10 years to build a solid fan base. Their general opinion has been that if anyone offered less than the 10 years then that entity is not serious about staying.
Coyotes fans should  not be willing to settle for a deal that only keeps the team in Arizona for 5 years knowing that it is not a good deal for the team, the NHL or the City of Glendale. How can a fan emotionally invest in a team knowing that it is destined to leave? Fans should be supportive of a deal that keeps the Coyotes here long-term. After all, in the last 18 months the emotional, physical and financial fan investment in this team has been greater than that of any fan in the NHL. It’s time for surety through permanence for everyone.