Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Phoenix Coyotes will become the Seattle Sea Wolves

While the Coyotes endure their death throes, reports out of Seattle show that the Key Arena is holding back dates for next winter in case they're needed for hockey.  A staff member states that the arena will be ready if needed by an NHL team.

Back in Glendale, council members are damned if they do, damned if they don't.  The Faustian bargain they're presented with means that either they use public money to enrich local hockey players and millionaires while fans stay away in droves, or they vote no and the team leaves, presenting them with an empty arena and massive loan payments to cover.

In essence, town council is asked to chip in $15M/year to the Renaissance Group, a consortium of shystersbusinessmen who want to buy the team at a discount from the league, but assume no financial risk, passing that on to taxpayers.  In return, Renaissance would 'manage' the arena, as strenuous as that is, and would provide other financial benefits, like for example, a $3 surcharge on tickets.  Which, as Neil deMause asks, begs the question: if it's so easy to tack on a $3 surcharge to a $15 ticket, why haven't the Coyotes been doing that all along.  Ugly, slimy stuff.

The kicker is that the Renaissance group can up and leave in five years if certain conditions aren't met, but the city of Glendale has no such out-clause, they're bound for the whole 15 years.

Meanwhile, the good people of Québec are still building an arena to hand over to Pierre-Karl Péladeau, so he can ice a reborn Nordiques franchise, and charge them exorbitant fees for tickets and seat licences and cable fees to watch the games, over a cable system that he, incidentally, also owns.

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