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Under Pressure: Coyotes fans

Sep 19, 2013, 11:48 AM EST

Nashville Predators v Phoenix Coyotes - Game One Getty Images

“Under Pressure” is a preseason series we’ll be running on PHT. For each team in the NHL, we’ll pick one player, coach, GM, mascot or whatever that everyone will be watching closely this season. Feel free to play the song as you read along. Also feel free to go to the comment section and tell us we picked poorly.

For the Phoenix Coyotes, we pick…their fans.

After what seemed like a hundred-year saga, the Coyotes finally got new owners this summer, narrowly avoiding a move out of the desert, possibly to Seattle or Portland.

However, the deal did come with a catch — should cumulative losses reach $50 million after five years, ownership is allowed to trigger an out clause in its arena-lease agreement with the city of Glendale and explore relocating the team.

Predictably, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has downplayed this aspect.

“I don’t understand all the attention that it’s getting,” Bettman said on Arizona Sports 620. “The fact of the matter is that every contract has a term. This term, for it to be invoked, requires the ownership group to lose $50 million, which I assure you they have no intention of doing.”

Maybe not, but the last owner of the Coyotes that wasn’t the NHL, Jerry Moyes, probably didn’t intend to lose millions of dollars either, and he eventually put the team into bankruptcy.

The new CBA should help the bottom line, with enhanced revenue-sharing. But, ultimately, it will be up to Coyotes fans to support the club. Combine the out clause with plans for new arenas in places like Seattle, Quebec City, Markham (suburban Toronto), and Las Vegas, and the franchise remains among the NHL’s future relocation candidates.

And you know what? Forget the out clause. Forget the possibility of relocation. What about just proving that Arizona can support an NHL team like other fan-bases? What about putting the days of half-empty arenas in the past? What about sticking it to all the people, fans and media alike, who’ve ridiculed the idea of a hockey team in the desert?

Which is to say, everyone is watching, Coyotes fans. You got what you wanted. Now it’s your turn to prove the doubters wrong.

For all of our Under Pressure series, click here.

  1. jwalsh217 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Seattle 2018-2019

    • avfanforlife - Sep 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      NHL will already expand into Seattle before then.. If Gary wants it (and he does) it will come!

  2. mclovinhockey - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Enjoy those last 5 year yotes fans… I hope you don’t lose 50 mill in 5 years but the way it’s been going it’s looking bad for you guys. Wish you nothing but luck

  3. pimares - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    You all can say what you want but YOUR opinion doesn’t hurt us and there nothing you can say that will wipe the smiles off our faces. ( the 5 year out comments roll right off our backs). Stomp your feet hold your breath we don’t care about the temper tantrum you guys throw. We have our team.

    -Arizona Hockey Fan
    Tucson Arizona
    University of Arizona Student

    • bauxjangles - Sep 19, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      If you guys are still smiling after the crap team you have, I have no doubt that this is cake

      • pimares - Sep 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Your one of those self righteous hockey fans aren’t you. Well that’s alright. playoffs in 3 of 4 years…ain’t crap. Unless your Edmonton where failing has become the norm….

      • bauxjangles - Sep 19, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        Maybe at U of A you’ll get to contractions in spelling class so you’ll know the difference between “your” and “you’re”

    • modcoop - Sep 20, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      To my undergraduate Wildcat: I am a U of A alumni, but I respectfully disagree with you! PHX isn’t and never will be an NHL city! Hockey in the desert doesn’t work, and I don’t care how you try to spin it. Your fellow 5000 real Coyote fans aren’t enough to fill the seats in the regular season, and if the Coyotes don’t make the playoffs, then that arena isn’t going to profit either.
      The future of the Coyotes isn’t bright, and neither is the fate of the NHL in Phoenix.
      You know who was happiest when the Coyotes finally got an owner? Dave and Wendy Tippet, but more Wendy since they have just finished building their house there.
      It would have been a bonus if Phoenix did relocate to Seattle, especially since Dave’ and Wendy have a few grandkids that live there.
      For us Kings fans we would love for PHX to stay where they are. The Kings and Dogs have a nice rivalry going on, even when one or the other aren’t taking some borderline hits at the other.
      Given the landscape of the West however, Vancouver needs a rival, and Seattle is perfect for Vancouver.
      Hell our biggest rivalry outside of the Dogs is the Sharks. The Ducks aren’t a rival, we take pleasure going down the 30 miles to Disneyland, filling up their barn and take it over because their fans are only interested in showing up by the 2nd period having their cocktail and then heading home.
      You have your team, this is true, but its going to take more than 5000 fans at their games every night to keep them their.
      Now that the NHL doesn’t own them and aren’t forcing them to stay there well at least for 5 years, better get your fellow Coyote fans with the program because losing money, especially when you have no support or a decent team on the ice, you will be kicking and screaming because they will be gone in 5 years.
      Enjoy your hockey!
      Bear Down Arizona!

      • pimares - Sep 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        Your a Kings fan, Wow how’s that bandwagon doing. You have no idea what hockey in the desert has been through. We’ve been with a team that has had so many handicaps and we never even complained we just took it. Now we have an owner who actually understands hockey. If you didn’t know all the previous owners in the desert never truly understood hockey and it was an after thought to them. The new CBA gives us a big hand, TV advertisements, all sorts of cash flows never used. The new owners aren’t here to lose money. These guys know what they’re doing George Gozbee was part of the group that led Chrysler out of bankruptcy. The out clause only kicks in after 5 years. For them to lose that kind of money they would lose their shirts. These owners are by far some of the best in the league. I have shaken the hands of these owners, talked to them and I can read people, these men are sincere. Also Bettmen will never allow them to leave. The expansion is coming. Seattle and Portland, sorry Quebec. So take your OPINION, and keep it. We never listened to people like you before, we won’t start now. Hockey will thrive in the desert. If L.A, Dallas, Nashville, Carolina, Florida, Tampa can so can we.

        University of Arizona Student
        Phoenix Coyotes Fan
        Tucson, Arizona
        Let’s go Coyotes!

  4. stevebass2 - Sep 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    It’s easy picking to say “they won’t show up send ‘em to Seattle,” but if you look at the facts of the past couple of years, there has been tremendous improvement and all the more reason to think its going to get better. Last year they averaged about 14,000 a night, which isn’t great, but that’s still 81.3% of the arenas capacity, and for an underperforming team that many think is about to move playing at an arena that is verrrrry inconvenient for most people in metro Phoenix, that’s pretty decent. Mike Nealy, the teams COO, who essentially ran day to day operations over the past 3 years, reduced the average number of comped tickets a game from about 4,000 pre-bankruptcy to about 200 now, building a more stable and committed financial base, as well as doubling the average ticket price to around $45. This team has shown a lot of factual signs of improvement, and hopefully this whole ordeal will finally pan out.

  5. blomfeld - Sep 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    UNDER PRESSURE ? … MORE LIKE IN A VACUUM !

    Vacuum is space that is empty of matter. The word stems from the Latin adjective vacuus for “vacant” or “void”. An approximation to such vacuum is a region with a gaseous pressure much less than atmospheric pressure. Physicists often discuss ideal test results that would occur in a perfect vacuum, which they sometimes simply call “vacuum” or free space, and use the term partial vacuum to refer to an actual imperfect vacuum as one might have in a laboratory or in space. The Latin term in vacuo is used to describe an object as being in what would otherwise be a vacuum.

    The bottom line friends is that continued losses ‘cannot’ and ‘will not’ be tolerated any further and so look for the Yotes to be relocated well before the 5 year period is up. There is positively no way that a franchise which has been losing > US 35 million ‘annually’ over the past decade, now overnight suddenly becomes a viable and profitable business. And ‘pfft’ in terms of the five year ‘out’ clause. Law or contract law as such is nothing more than ‘interpretation’ which can be manipulated to one’s liking any way, shape or form. So while there obviously exists a hardcore Yotes fan base there in the desert who dearly love their team, the problem remains that they simply lack in numbers to make this experiment work. And the prospects for that changing now remain pretty much slim to none, sad as that may be.

    • bauxjangles - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      Why is the bottom line longer than everything that came before it? T

      • blomfeld - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:38 PM

        bauxjangles – I believe that you’re a fellow King’s fan friend and therefore the bottom line is that I don’t understand what you’re trying to convey ? … “why is the bottom line longer than everything that came before it?” … is that a question or some type of ‘highly’ encrypted code ? Nonetheless, God speed to you and please say ‘hi’ to your section for me … we’re gonna give these people ‘hell’ this year ! :)

    • nflnhlrulznbasux - Sep 19, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Like most readers here, I bypassed your idiotic first paragraph because my time is valuable.

      2nd line brings up 4 points:

      1) You have ZERO idea actually how much money the Coyotes have lost each year.

      2) There is a new CBA in place, the team (owners) have control of the arena, read stevebass2’s comment (I doubt that you read and absorb what people say, only interested in posting to enlighten all of us), plus the aspect of fans knowing the team is staying CAN and WILL create the prospect of hockey in the desert for years to come.

      3) You call the Coyotes an ‘”experiment”. What experiment? More teams in the desert experiment? I doubt that Taos is on the NHL’s list for expansion. More southern US hockey teams experiment? The only southern US market left to enter is Houston. If there were 20 more cities in the US south to expand to based on how the Coyotes fare over 20 years, then I would consider that an experiment.

      4) You use the term “friends” in an arrogant slant to enlighten us about what you have to say in many of your diatribes. The only people I know who use the term “friends” are religious cult leaders…….Bloomfield, you have no friends.

      • blomfeld - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        nflnhlrulznbasux – I don’t know you from Adam, you attack me from out of the blue with personal insults, yet I’m supposed to somehow be the bad guy? Allow me to retort as follows:

        1) get a new handle, PHT is not ‘Beneath The Planet of the Apes Part VII” !

        2) it’s public knowledge that the Coyotes balance sheet has shown a ‘net’ loss of > US $35 million ‘annually’ since 2001 … here in Vancouver, the Aquilini’s write a check every year to the tune of approximately CA $10 million for their share of the NHL’s ‘equalization’ scheme, much of which goes to propping up ‘failed’ franchises like the Coyotes.

        3) Yes, the Coyotes are an experiment ! Ice hockey being played not 3 hours drive from the OK Corral in Tombstone, is no less an experiment than some idiot starting up a banana plantation in Antarctica !

        4) I use the term ‘friends’ because that’s who I am, a man who goes through everyday life with unwavering gratitude and unyielding respect for all. When someone stops me on the street here in Vancouver and asks for directions, my usual response will be … “yes friend, allow me to show you the way”. If you can’t get your head around that, then all I can say is go back to your darkness and ‘don’t’ give Lucifer my regards !

        ps: my name is ‘Blomfeld’ which means ‘flower field’ in Swedish / German

      • nflnhlrulznbasux - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        Bloomfield, which means shut the f@#$ up in English / Ukrainian, you bring on irritation to all when you always post stuff that has no connection to the article written such as your comment above. What….are you selling vacuum cleaners now?

        Could you please tell me where I can google to obtain ALL actual public records that show the Coyotes losing 35 million per year for over 12 years PLUS the records of the previous owner, where money went out to make it look like he was losing more money than he actually was specifically from the team. …Let me answer this for you…You can’t. And because you can’t, you have ZERO idea of exactly how much money the Coyotes actually lost Without a complete financial review you’re only guessing and estimating.

        As far as giving directions and showing the way to lost people in Vancouver, I’d rather have my lost daughter ask for directions from Robert Pickton.

      • blomfeld - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:35 AM

        nflnhlrulznbasux – smarten up friend and please refrain from saying bad things … the ‘internets’ was designed for ‘good times’ and nothing else … at any rate, I’m not sure what you’re deal is, however you should consider ‘signing on’ with LA Kings Nation this year … as you know, we’re the ‘best of the best’ and we’re going ‘all in’ again this year with nothing less than Stanley as our goal ! … it’ll be ‘good times’ man, I guarantee it ! :)

        GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • endusersolutions2013 - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        blomdude, I guess you can be credited with being a persistent, loyal Kings fan. There’s a big problem with you “faith statement” about the Kings winning the cup anytime soon – they’d have to beat the hawks 1st.

        Due to the guys they have coming up now, they promise to be more productive than last year. I’m not seeing any off-season changes the Kings have made that would even close the gap on the team they lost to 4-1.

        Only material loss was Emery, but Kings also lost their outstanding backup.

  6. bauxjangles - Sep 19, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    It’s even worse than it sounds when you consider that the pressured is being divvied by all four coyotes fans

  7. bauxjangles - Sep 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    I also love the video tag line, but I’m pretty sure in its entirety it should read: “Starved for attention, Hungrier than ever”

  8. nflnhlrulznbasux - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Since this is the last report written on the Coyotes, I have to post this even though no one will read it.

    http://coyotes.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=683194&navid=DL|PHX|home

    Why was this not up there on PHT today? Haters, Negative and Jealous fans of other teams and doubters can all go to Fu@$in’ he$#!!!!

    Way to go Fans, team management, players, ex-players and most importantly, firefighters and their immediate families, and anyone who puts their life and limbs on the line for the protection of our communities for that matter!!!!!!!!!!

    • blomfeld - Sep 21, 2013 at 11:42 PM

      Well said friend and God speed to your enterprise …

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