[Source: Total Pro Sports, December 8, 2008] — With the economy headed for the second great depression, it seems only fitting that teams in the big four sports leagues (NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB) start filing for bankruptcy and suspend operations. The NBA is already feeling this with arenas that are empty and ticket sales declining on a game to game basis. Just take a look at the Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, and Sacramento Kings attendance decline. The Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL are one of the teams headed for extinction, this year they are expected to lose anywhere from $25 to $35 million. After seeing a slight increase in ticket sales in the beginning of the season the Coyotes have cooled down and ticket sales have dropped severely.
Two sources said [owner Jerry] Moyes is so eager to unload the Coyotes that he approached his former partner, Steve Ellman, about buying the team back wrote the Globe And Mail. The Coyotes management has a different outlook on the economy and the future of the team. “I am confident not only that hockey will be here in five years, but that we will be doing well in five years,” Coyotes governor and chief executive officer Jeff Shumway said, pointing to improved ticket and suite sales and fewer giveaways. “We run a great franchise in a great sport, a sport we love. And we’re in one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S.”
Since 2001 the Phoenix Coyotes have lost more the $200 milliion, that’s $80 million more then the team was orginally purchased for. What we still don’t understand is that day when the NHL commissioner decided to move the Winnipeg Jets to the Phoenix, Arizona area. A city of Winnipeg that loves snow and ice to a city that averages 100+ degree weather. Make sense? Yes, the Jets were struggling in Winnipeg but we highly doubt they would be in such a financial crisis that the Coyotes are right now.
The problem with the Coyotes is that they play almost 25 minutes out of downtown Phoenix in Glendale, Arizona. When you’re bringing a team into a new market, it’s best to situate the team in the downtown core. Where big business can buy suites and season tickets for the business. This would not end the financial crisis of the Coyotes, but it would eliminate some of the financial stress they are enduring right now. The big-money guys, the corporate guys, don’t live in Glendale,” Paul Kelly (NHLPA Executive Director) said. “If you live in Scottsdale, Glendale is not an easy place to get to. That hurts them in the area like club seats and boxes. You could see evidence of that the other night [at a Coyotes game].”
Reports now out of Phoenix is that they are seeking a loan from Citibank, but with all the banks problems in the United States it’s highly unlikely they will get approved. So if anyone is interested Total Pro Sports is looking at putting together a group of investors to buy the Phoenix Coyotes. We can probably buy them undervalued at about $85 million. If anyone is interested please contact us…just kidding. [Note: Updates: ESPN (12/23/08) and Globe and Mail (12/23/08).]