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Arizona Coyotes

Updated Jul 2, 2013 - 12:58 pm

Ready for Coyotes vote if it means team stays in Arizona

There is a school of thought from some Valley sports fans that says at this point, they just want the Phoenix Coyotes' ownership saga to come to an end.

Stay, go, whatever. Just get the damn thing over with.

I call baloney.

Tuesday night the Glendale City Council will essentially decide whether or not the team will stay in the Valley. NHL commish Gary Bettman already intimated that this is it for the team.

Given the complications written about by FoxSportsArizona.com's Craig Morgan, it would appear there is a solid chance the council will not pass the resolution and thus pass on hockey in the desert.

Would you be OK with that decision because, at least, a decision will finally have been made?

Doubtful.

The guess here is few really want to see the Coyotes leave town. The hope is that Glendale will realize having the hockey team is better than not having it, and thus will accept the terms of a deal that looks pretty shaky now because of a belief it will pay off handsomely in the end.

And, if they do, let's hope it does.

But there is no guarantee, which is what makes this situation so intensely curious.

So when someone like AZCentral's Laurie Roberts writes as if it's a fact Glendale will lose more money if the team stays than if it goes, she can either see into the future or is taking a semi-educated guess at what will happen.

And when she adds that the city will have to cut funds to first responders and writes, "Would the Glendale City Council really have the nerve to do that, in a week in which Arizona is reeling from the loss of 19 firefighters," she is essentially bringing a non sequitur into the argument by using peoples' emotions to drum up support for her point of view.

It's a cool -- and somewhat shameless -- writer's trick (and one Roberts has since retracted from her column), but it does not really get to the point or help anyone figure out what the city council should decide.

Maybe she's right; perhaps the city, ultimately, will fare better without the team. Hell, maybe she's correct when she says RSE's plan is to ultimately move the team five years from now anyway.

Or maybe she's wrong.

There is a possibility that the Coyotes franchise, finally stable, will become one of the NHL's better teams. And if this city's sports fans have proven anything, it's that they very much enjoy a winner.

If fans are coming and the team is profitable, why would RSE move it?

Anyway, recent history indicates things are looking up for the Coyotes in Arizona. After seeing Jobing.com Arena filled to just 72.5 percent capacity in 2011-12, the team saw the average climb to 81.3 percent in 2012-13. While still ranking near the bottom of the NHL, it is a considerable improvement and should not be glossed over.

Can hockey flourish in the desert? Maybe, maybe not. But it can succeed if given the chance.

Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko's group, Global Spectrum, would be managing the arena for RSE, and he said, "For any arena or stadium in a major market to be successful, it needs to have a major league sports team."

For those keeping score at home, that would be the Coyotes.

As one of the country's top stadium and arena management organizations they would know, and it's easy to see a scenario where an empty arena leads to the entire Westgate area falling apart.

Less revenue in the area means fewer tax dollars for the city, and less tax dollars means less money for first responders and other services, right?

Now, if only there was a way to have two different timelines running parallel to each other, one being where the team stayed and the other where it left for Seattle.

It would be interesting to take a look 10 years from now and see which Glendale is better off, right? Unfortunately, that option does not exist (that we know of), and no one truly knows which course will be best.

But at least, until that vote, the option to stay is still on the table.

About the Author


School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.

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