I've been doing some very basic math in my head over the past week or so when it comes to the Coyotes rink, Jobing.com Arena, and just how big of a bath the City of Glendale would take if the NHL team left town.
And for the life of me, I can't see how that situation is worse than accepting the sort of concessions Jerry Reinsdorf is asking for.
The basics, as near as I can tell, are that the arena originally cost $178-million to build and the city has the vast majority of that left to pay off until 2033. It was purchased by way of bonds, and with the bankruptcy in progress, the bond firm has been "keeping a keen eye on" the impact a relocation could have on the city's finances.
Of the $9-million or so the city has to repay each year on the arena, in principal and interest, about $4-million comes from the Coyotes (based on 2007 figures). I believe that figure has dropped as paid attendance has fallen, but I don't have the precise numbers. (There's also been some question whether the team is meeting all of its obligations when it comes to the lease agreement.)
On that basis alone, no Coyotes would mean about $4-million less in city revenues — plus whatever other financial benefits having the team play 41 home dates bring to the area (creation of jobs, businesses, etc.). What all of that cannot, in my mind, add up to is anywhere close to the "as much as $23-million" in concessions Reinsdorf is apparently after.
Regular FTR commenter J. a spin through the debt figures last night and came to similar conclusions:, an accountant by day, took
I know that's a long comment, but there's a lot of good info in there, data that backs up what I'd originally been assuming. And the crazy part is that, just last night, Jim Balsillie's lawyer Richard Rodier said he had contacted Glendale months ago in order to potentially negotiate a deal along these lines.
The city wasn't interested at that point, and with good reason given the process was just getting underway, but as bizarre as it sounds, there may be a scenario where a Balsillie win with a small payout to Glendale is ultimately a better deal than keeping the team by way of a pile of new taxpayer generated revenues. (Keeping in mind that the arena would continue to make money by way of other events such as concerts, etc.)
Given the dollars coming in are so far below the city's current debt payments, this is an arena that should never have been built.