The city of Glendale said it will “not renew the operating agreement” with the Arizona Coyotes to use the NHL team’s home, Gila River Arena, after the 2021-22 season.
‘The city is gambling a bit by cutting ties with the Coyotes. The Coyotes were good for at least 43 plus dates a year. Are there enough “impactful events,” as the city labels concerts and such, to make up the difference?
The city thinks so, based on an economic study that found special events, such as concerts, brought about twice the sales and bed tax revenue to the Westgate complex that a Coyotes game did.Twenty special events = 40 hockey games.Arena management will have more dates available to do that once the Coyotes are gone.
Between Coyotes games, practices, camps, etc., there were about 200 days in which the arena couldn’t be used for anything other than hockey, according to a person familiar with the business It took Glendale awhile, but it finally got the hint that no matter how much it liked professional hockey, professional hockey wasn’t going to reciprocate.
The Coyotes have played on a year-to-year lease since 2016. They’ve made it clear, as has NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, that they don’t think professional hockey was going to work long-term in Glendale.’