Prudential Center Courtesy Business Insider/Adam Fusfeld

Prudential Center
Courtesy Business Insider/Adam Fusfeld

Glendale is not the only city to deal with financial woes related to hosting a hockey team. Newark, NJ and the NJ Devils have been at it for years. The Prudential Center opened in 2007 and is the home of the Devils.  The Associated Press reported on February 26, 2013 that Newark and the Devils had finally reached resolution through the use of an arbiter, “Last year an arbitrator ruled the city owed the Devils $2.7 million a year in parking revenue plus other considerations that totaled more than $15 million. That was roughly what the Devils owed the team in back rent, fees and other expenses. The team hadn’t paid rent since 2007 while the parking dispute dragged on.” The acrimony was so bad that “Mayor Cory Booker called Devils chairman Jeff Vanderbeek a “Grade-A huckster” and accused him of reneging on promises made to the city.”

nassau colesium

Nassau Colesium

Another case in point comes from Newsday Mobile in a March 2, 2013, article entitled, Nassau says Islanders/SMG owe millions in unpaid rent, utilities, fees by Randi F. Marshall. It states, “The New York Islanders and Nassau Coliseum’s management company, SMG, owe Nassau County as much as $3.8 million in unpaid rent, utilities and other expenses for the Coliseum dating back to at least 2011, records show.” Revenues received by the Islanders have declined since 2010. In 2012, Islanders owner Charles Wang announced that the team will move to the new Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn when the lease with Nassau County expires in 2015.

The financial tribulations of Newark and the Devils and the Islanders and Nassau County are a far cry from happenings in Glendale. It has, however, opened a window allowing the public to see exactly what financial arrangements were made in both of those cases.

Are there other cities and/or governmental entities that pay to keep their hockey teams or any sports venues? You bet Bag of Money Clipartthere are. Information available is spotty at best because of the propriety nature of the information. But it is known that the City of Bridgestone pays the Nashville Predators $8.8 M annually. In return the team pays rent of $200,000 annually.  In 2008, the Hornets received $5.3M from New Orleans. The team in turn, pays 60% of concession revenue received as annual rent. How much is that? We don’t know because it is proprietary.

So, what’s the point? It demonstrates that there are all kinds of arrangements between governmental entities and sports teams and in almost every case; it is to the benefit of the sports team. Many of the arrangements are not known because they are not available for public scrutiny. Glendale has been one of the most transparent entities to offer every element of any proposed deal to its citizens.