Phoenix Coyotes: Do 'Yotes Have a Long-Term Financial Chance in the Desert?

Isaac SmithAnalyst IMay 31, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 07:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (R) speaks at a press conference to discuss the potential sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Greg Jamison (L), former CEO of the San Jose Sharks, before the start of Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Nashville Predators during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Arena on May 7, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Coyotes had the best season in their franchise's history this year.

The Coyotes won their division for the first time in their brief history and also won two playoff series in the same season (they had never won a playoff series before this year) before bowing out (like the other top seeds in the Western Conference) to the Los Angeles Kings.

The Coyotes performed so well that Greg Jamison (former CEO of the San Jose Sharks) reached a tentative deal with the NHL to buy the Coyotes.

But the Coyotes aren't in the clear yet.

According to Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal, the Coyotes sale will likely not be finalized for quite some time.

Sunnucks writes:

"If the arena deal is formulated as a city contract it will avoid a referendum. But if its a legislative decision, it could be taken to the ballot."

The deal is laid out on, courtesy of Lisa Halverstadt's article describing how the City of Glendale would possibly give Jamison $17 million to run the arena.

The Goldwater Institute has already crashed a few attempts to buy the Coyotes, including one last year that would have resulted, according to Sunnucks, in "a Glendale bond program that would have helped Matthew Hulsizer buy the team last year."

It's an unfortunate situation for the Coyotes all around.

Because they lack an owner, they do not own the arena in which they play. This means that the City of Glendale essentially has to pay to have a team in their city, and they don't even own the team.

They essentially have to bribe owners and give them massive financial incentives (like the proposed $17 million for the arena costs) in order to keep the 'Yotes in the desert.

The whole area situation has muddled the sale even further, and overall this deal doesn't seem to be working.

Despite the NHL's attempt to keep it "Goldwater" proof (if I may use that term), the Phoenix Coyotes are losing money hand over fist.

As of this moment, the NHL owns the Coyotes because the deal is still tentative.

Sellouts in the desert will have to become more than a playoff occurrence if this team is to stay in Glendale.

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