Curious case of arena management, Kansas City and Glendale, Az

Today is a big day in Glendale, Arizona. The four year soap opera involving the Phoenix Coyotes, Jerry Moyes, Jim Balsillie, His Evilness Gary Bettman, Judge Redfield T. Baum (remember him? He was awesome), Jerry Reinsdorf, Matthew Hulsizer, Raffi Torres, Greg Jamison and now George Gosbee, Anthony LeBlanc and Daryl Jones..
(I threw in Raffi Torres just to piss off Blackhawk fans…)

Why is this interesting to Kansas City? Well, it’s certainly not because AEG and Sly James are diligently pursuing THE BEST OPPORTUNITY THERE WILL EVER BE TO ATTRACT AN NBA OR NHL TEAM TO SPRINT CENTER.

It’s interesting to Kansas City because the Jobing.com Arena may become another arena in a major city trying to make a go of it without an NBA/NHL franchise as it’s anchor tenant. Then, there is this curious quote from the potential buyers attorney that I found in a AP story on MSN.FoxSports

”I think it would be a huge mistake for Glendale to make, that they would have anything but an enormous financial disaster on their hands trying to keep that arena open after losing an anchor tenant and 41 nights,” said former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, who’s representing RSE. ”The reality, in my opinion, is that the arena will shut down. I hope that won’t happen to them, but they need to look at the hard realities of the way the world works and I think that’s the reality here.”

Attorney’s say some funny shit, don’t they? This quote makes no sense. Glendale would save $15M per year for at least 15 years. Glendale has already forked over $25M over the last two years because Gary Bettman put them in an arm bar and the former Glendale City Council screamed UNCLE.

So, let me get this straight. If Glendale doesn’t keep the team, it would be a financial disaster. If Kansas City pursued and got the team, it would be a financial disaster because “it would take us from a (profit) to a negative.”. Wow, the Coyotes are a bigger disaster than the Vancouver Canucks goalie situation.

Will Glendale’s arena board up like Kemper Arena? Probably not or maybe. Instead of 40 hockey games and a couple of concerts, whomever manages the arena is going to have to really market the arena. They’ll need to attract the PAC-12 basketball tournament and NCAA Regionals. They’ll have to try to be a player in hosting other NCAA events, like Men’s and Women’s Volleyball tournaments, Gymnastics Championships and other indoor sports. Heck, Omaha has hosted the US Olympic Swimming Trials on a basketball court. Maybe they’ll need to bring in a NLL team, since lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). Why Glendale have an “enormous financial disaster on their hands trying to keep that arena open.”?

The folks running the Glendale Arena will have to settle for lesser events, the kind of events I have been happy to attend with the beautiful little girl who lives under my roof. I’m thrilled that Sprint Center has hosted the Royal Lippizaner Stallions, Cirque du Soleil, Disney on Ice and The Globetrotters. I wouldn’t trade those memories I have or, hopefully, the memories my daughter has, of those events for absolutely anything. She also saw Katy Perry. Something she still talks about to this day.

Hey Glendale. Try to keep your team. Once you lose one, it will be a VERY, VERY long time before the NHL returns, if ever.

And, if you really can’t afford it, which it doesn’t seem like you can, let them go. Relieve the burden on your taxpayers and force the arena manager to get creative. The arena can be successful.

The Arizona Republic has a great overview of this whole “manage an arena with or without an anchor tenant” conundrum.

As for those business in the Westgate Entertainment District?

” and few can project what would happen to Westgate.”

Well, if Glendale’s experience is like downtown Kansas City, get ready for heavy turnover because the Westgate Entertainment District is going to be the financial disaster…not the arena. Just ask all the restauranteurs who have opened and jettisoned restaurants in our Power & Light District. Kansas City has been propping up the Power & Light District ever since it opened. The difference is, Kansas City doesn’t have the luxury of 10 NFL football games and the Fiesta Bowl to attract business to our entertainment district.

So, will the arena board up? Um, that’s not for some goofy lawyer to decide or speculate. It’s going to be all up to whomever is managing the arena.

We in Kansas City say that an arena without an anchor tenant CAN make a go of it. Your city won’t be shelling out Even if the city ran a bogus campaign in order to get said arena financed.

About blogger

Just a guy in KC who loves hockey. KC is a hockey town. We just don't know it, yet.
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