Last Friday, the city of Glendale, Arizona, agreed to a 20-year, $325 million lease agreement in order to convince a potential buyer for the Phoenix Coyotes to stay in town. Keep in mind that Glendale has already been paying through the teeth the last couple years to keep the Coyotes, in addition to $12.6 million in yearly debt payment on the cost of building the Jobing.com stadium. Here’s how the AP frames the situation: “The city put up $25 million each of the past two years to cover losses by the NHL and keep the team in town. Glendale recently had a round of layoffs, along with tax hikes and service cuts to cover a $35 million gap in the upcoming budget, so a publicly-financed deal to keep the Coyotes — one that includes an average of $15 million in arena operating costs — wasn’t popular with everyone.”
Worse, the costs to the city are much greater than the revenues the arena will generate for the city and there’s no guarantee the new owners won’t pack up the Coyotes and take them elsewhere. As the AP explains: “According to a study commissioned by Glendale, the city would pay Jamison $203 million and bring in $45 million in revenue, leaving a huge gap. The study also calculated what it would cost the city should the Coyotes leave, estimating about $177 million in operating costs for Jobing without an anchor tenant.”
At least those unemployed Phoenix workers know where to turn in their job search — Jobing.com.