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New Coyotes owners envision mixture of changes, status quo

Aug 5, 2013, 8:07 PM EDT

tippettmaloneygetty Getty Images

While 2013 was a tough year, the combo of GM Don Maloney and head coach Dave Tippett have managed to make the Phoenix Coyotes competitive despite an array of off-the-ice headaches. It appears that notion hasn’t been lost on IceArizona, the team’s new ownership group.

Tuesday represents the official press conference, yet the group rolled out their vision for the team that boasts some key changes – and some important similarities – for the Coyotes’ future.

Putting the team together

Principle owner George Gosbee told Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan that the team expects a budget increase in each of the next four seasons. Tippett seems pleased with that development, although he warned that the team must use that influx of cash wisely (or else they might become “shackled” by bad decisions).

While the money is likely to change, the people spending it stays the same, as the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan reports that the ownership group raved about Maloney and Tippett.

Not too surprisingly, more money doesn’t mean that the Coyotes will rank among the NHL’s biggest spenders; the group stated that they won’t spend to the cap.

Promoting the team

The Phoenix Coyotes will eventually become the Arizona Coyotes, although that reportedly won’t happen any sooner than 2014-15. Alternate governor Anthony LeBlanc seems excited about beefing up the team’s staff outside of hockey operations, although those tweaks might take some time.

“This has been an operation that has been running on a skeleton crew for years,” LeBlanc said.

Keeping the team

IceArizona is saying all the right things, yet they didn’t totally deny the threat of the five-year out clause, either.

Still, improving the team’s marketing – and possibly the group of players on the ice – might pave the way for the Coyotes to find their niche.

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If nothing else, the commentary seems pretty celebratory, as the Coyotes can finally focus their attention on seeking on-ice triumphs more than anything else.

  1. DonkeyStick - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    How does a team that draws 12,000 fans get so much talk on this website?

    • jernster21 - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      It’s Tampa Bay Coyotes day on PHT!

    • phxhockeyfan - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      Average attendance last year was 13,900 jack hole, not 12,000. That was with lockout, no advertising budget, no PR, no owner, no budget to bring in good free agents, etc. Attendance has gone up over the last 4 years and was up 12% last year alone. Stop regurgitating the same old crap you’ve been fed all these years and at least take a moment to look up and verify your :facts” before you force others to read your nonsense. Go Yotes!!!!!

      • DonkeyStick - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        Oh…sorry. Should have gotten my facts straight.

        13,923 2013 (Short Season)
        12,420 2012 FULL SEASON
        12,188 2011 FULL SEASON
        11,989 2010 FULL SEASON
        14,875 2009 FULL SEASON

        Move an areana football team there…its the same attendance

      • DonkeyStick - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:48 PM

        You’re correct…attendance is going up. By 2057 you should be at around 15,000…very proud of ya

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        The rise in Phx attendance is in line with the overal NHL rise in attendance. Their relative position is consistant – last or next to last in total attendance and % of capacity.

        http://www.hockeyattendance.com/league/nhl/

        Phxhockey fan may well have a better feel for the way the team was operated under NHL “stewardship”. And if in 3 years the Yotes are still at the bottom and still staying afloat based on debt and NHL revenue sharing, we’ll all know it’s not gonna work and the team will end up moving.

        Until then we should give them the benefit of the doubt.

      • DonkeyStick - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:11 PM

        Not attempting to be a troll but it’s been over 10 years and hockey hasn’t caught on yet. Let’s simply save the 3 years about “if attendance doesn’t rise” argument. Attendance was as low as 11,900 and as high as 15,500 and over the past 5 years still at the bottom at barely 12,000. People are moving to Phoenix and Florida to retire and die. There is NO loyalty to any teams in these areas because they have moved from other cities and they could care less about a Coyote.

      • ray2013 - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:13 AM

        I wonder how much the team’s attendance is tied to its previous season’s efforts? They had a nice little playoff run, so last season their attendance went up. This isn’t a criticism of Phoenix, just an observation about the nature of fair-weather fans in general.

        I haven’t tracked it closely, but I’m sure someone could say whether there is a connection between performance and fan attendance with respect to the Coyotes.

      • desertfan - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:28 AM

        Attendance is a non starter.

        GATE is the factor for success.

        12-13000 at a reasonable rate should be goal 1.

        Let’s start with $150 per seat prime seats??

        Let’s talk average of $100 per ticket per game.

        Any idiot can fill the building for current $40 for 4 including parking, 2 beers and 4 hotdogs.

        In Phoenix people will pay that to avoid the heat!!!

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Desertfan, I’m not sure what teams have those kinda prices (sounds like minor league baseball). I live in S. Illinois, so I’ve looked at seats for Hawks games in CHI, STL and NSH. Cheapest I can find for noseblead level tickets is 67 in stl, 68 in nsh and 106 in chi. And that’s just for the ticket.

      • canadianguest - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        Looks to me like average attendance has gone down, not up. From 14,875 in 2009 to 13,923 in 2013, that seems like a drop of 6.4% to me??

        But it really doesn’t matter, The Coyotes have time to work on that, and hopefully these new owners will be just what Arizona needs.

  2. hildezero - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Jernster’s trolly little @$$ is here too? So he does care about the Coyote’s future. Cheers Jernster!… *cough* avalanche sucks *cough*

  3. hildezero - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    @DonkeyStick

    Why do you worry so much about our attendance record. Lol. I’m seriously! You never see other sports fans in this country complain about another team’s attendance. It’s always gotta be the hockey fans that always bring that sh*t up. If I were you Donkey, I would be embarrassed for making comments like that. (and having a name like that)

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Because that’s where the NHL makes its revenue. The rest of us around the league get that the NHL is a business, so we like to make the case that the NHL should go where the business is, and attendance X ticket price is a good way of gauging who’s making money and who isn’t. While you may have the best Fan Cost Index in the league, that doesn’t keep your team from being buried in the red. Keep in mind too, you guys have had a few years of decent teams and you folks STILL don’t show up for games. Screw the shoestring budget and lack of PR; winning puts butts in seats better than any of that stuff. Phoenix bucks that trend. My money is on the Yotes moving to greener pastures in 5 years.

  4. timibud - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Since moving down here I can tell you a ‘Yotes game is more about entertainment than a love for hockey. BUT…there are plenty of us who love the game & it’s going to grow as people catch on to it. I work with youth leagues & more & more kids are in to it !

  5. hildezero - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    @desertfan

    “In Phoenix people will pay that to avoid the heat!!!”

    That’s not true.

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