Skip to content

Financial questions remain for Coyotes one year after purchase

Aug 10, 2014, 9:34 PM EST

New York Rangers v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

IceArizona has owned the Coyotes for roughly a year now and while that purchase allowed them to avoid relocation, their long-term future in Glendale still isn’t secure.

The new ownership group has an out clause in its arena-lease agreement that will be triggered if the team loses a cumulative $50 million over five years. That prompted us to select the Coyotes fans themselves as our target in the 2013 edition of our Under Pressure series (if you missed it, it’s Mike Smith this year).

The hope was that fans who were put off by the lengthy period of relocation speculation would give the Coyotes another opportunity now that the team had a fighting chance to remain in Glendale. Additionally, it was believed that the Coyotes would be better marketed following the sale.

To that end, IceArizona deserves some credit, as Five For Howling noted:

The new owners also improved the game day experience at Jobing.com Arena with weekend tailgating, often attended by Team Chairman and Governor Gosbee barbecuing in the parking lots with fans. They also signed a deal to bring Canadian institution Tim Horton’s into the arena, giving relocated native Canadians living in the desert and newbies alike a chance to experience the joy of a coffee and Timbits.

The short-term payoff has been questionable though. The Coyotes were last in the league with an average attendance of 13,775 in 2013-14, according to ESPN.com. That’s down from 13,923 in the shortened season, but still an improvement over the average crowd of 12,420 they drew in 2011-12. An argument can be made that 2011-12 is a better comparison because it was the last full season.

Either way, Coyotes CEO Anthony LeBlanc acknowledged that there’s plenty of work to be done.

“I’m probably a little disappointed in where we are with attendance,” LeBlanc said in December. “There are those marquee games like the Chicago game, which was obviously a very big night for us from the perspective that we broke the regular-season franchise record for gate revenue for a single game. But (two weeks ago), we had the Islanders and Carolina in town and there was roughly 10,000, 11,000 people in the building, and that’s simply not good enough.”

So one year into the IceArizona’s era and the jury’s still out as to whether or not it will be a success. Ultimately, the fate of the Coyotes might rest on the players themselves, seeing as the best way to draw a crowd is with a winning team.

Latest Posts
  1. Here’s why Brodeur is working for Blues (instead of Devils)

    Jan 29, 2015, 7:12 PM EST

    Martin Brodeur, Doug Armstrong AP

    To some extent, it was about staying closer to the game.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Rangers

    Jan 29, 2015, 6:17 PM EST

    Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers Getty Images

    Bask in a budding rivalry.

  3. Get your game notes: Habs at Rangers

    Jan 29, 2015, 5:28 PM EST

    Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers Getty Images

    The first of a Thursday night doubleheader on NBCSN.

  4. AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next?

    Jan 29, 2015, 4:36 PM EST

    AHLlogo

    The Coyotes and Canucks, that’s who.

  5. Latvian forward Kenins called up to Canucks

    Jan 29, 2015, 3:36 PM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwmxnjrmzdm4nmnjndjlmwmyyzizmgjkzja2ogi5yjll AP

    In the wake of the controversial injury to Derek Dorsett.

  6. Goalie nods: Dubnyk goes again for Wild in key game vs. Flames

    Jan 29, 2015, 3:29 PM EST

    Dubnyk

    News and notes from around the crease…

  7. Lupul activated, available to play versus Coyotes

    Jan 29, 2015, 3:07 PM EST

    Joffrey Lupul Getty Images

    Hopefully he can stay healthy this time.

  8. Seeking consistency, Sharks in ‘dog fight’ to make playoffs

    Jan 29, 2015, 2:45 PM EST

    Logan Couture, Jonathan Quick AP

    “Consistency is still a word that we use constantly around here, bringing it all the time, and being emotionally attached to the games.”

  9. Report: NHL to unveil jersey ads during World Cup

    Jan 29, 2015, 2:21 PM EST

    2015 NHL All-Star Weekend - Commissioners Press Conference 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend - Commissioners Press Conference

    Just months after COO John Collins said that jersey sponsorship “is coming” to the league.

  10. Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’

    Jan 29, 2015, 2:06 PM EST

    Mike Babcock Getty Images

    “We’ve gotten better, and we’ve got to keep getting better.”

  11. Kings to visit White House, be honored by Obama on Monday

    Jan 29, 2015, 1:51 PM EST

    US-POLITICS-OBAMA-LA KINGS US-POLITICS-OBAMA-LA KINGS

    But the reigning Stanley Cup champs will have to share the stage with another L.A. team.

  12. Panthers waive former first-rounder Olsen

    Jan 29, 2015, 12:47 PM EST

    Vancouver Canucks v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    Defenseman was 28th overall by Chicago in 2009.

  13. Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’

    Jan 29, 2015, 12:44 PM EST

    Martin Brodeur Retirement Press Conference Getty Images

    Also insists: “For anybody that thinks that me and Lou [Lamoriello] are not on the same page, everybody’s wrong,”

  14. Huzzah! Jackets get one back as Anisimov returns from 23-game absence

    Jan 29, 2015, 12:29 PM EST

    Winnipeg Jets v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Will make just his 17th appearance of the season tonight against Florida.

  15. Welcome David Legwand to the trade rumor mill

    Jan 29, 2015, 11:37 AM EST

    Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers Getty Images

    Veteran Ottawa center will sit as a healthy scratch again tonight.

  16. Larsson: ‘I needed [coaches] that showed they trusted me’

    Jan 29, 2015, 11:30 AM EST

    Adam Larsson AP

    Scored a big goal last night versus Toronto.

Featured video

Kings come back in third to top Blackhawks
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (4108)
  2. E. Malkin (3364)
  3. K. Letang (3186)
  4. S. Bobrovsky (2688)
  5. C. Price (2654)
  1. P. Hornqvist (2600)
  2. T. Johnson (2489)
  3. P. Rinne (2322)
  4. M. Richards (2127)
  5. M. Brodeur (2068)