- Awful Arizona NHL teams are stuck using college arenas for their games as they wait for the public vote.
- In May voters are set to decide the fate of a $2.1 billion plan that includes a new Coyote Arena.
- This is the latest example of taxpayers being asked to pay for stadiums with little ROI potential.
The American sports community will soon be eyeing Arizona. Glendale is ready to roll out a welcome to the country’s new national pastime when the Super Bowl comes to town.
Less than an hour from State Farm Stadium, Tempe has a far less flashy scene. The NHL’s Arizona his coyote is, for now, stuck in an arena one-third smaller than he is in other arenas in the league. Professional teams may need a facility for a few more years, but their logo doesn’t cover the entire center ice.That’s because top-level franchises actually share the space With the Arizona State University hockey team.
Hope this franchise once bankruptcy protection and more recently kicked out recklessly You can find a way out of Glendale’s former home this quagmire on a $2.1 billion plan Transform 1.5 million tons of trash and surrounding areas into a new arena with two hotels, a music venue and housing.
But at its heart is a problem that has long plagued city and sports team aficionados. How much money should taxpayers spend or give up to support professional teams?
Struggling franchises want voters to give them glorious homes
This is not a rhetorical question in Tempe.
“I’m almost laughing sitting here talking about the 2023 Arizona Coyotes because this ridiculous team in a ridiculous place has a publicly funded arena. It’s been a joke for far too long to get it,” Pat Garofalo, director of state and local policy for the American Economic Liberties Project, told Insider.
in May, Voters Get to Debate in a project.As Defector’s Lauren Theisen Wrote, this is also a de facto referendum on franchise loyalty that comes pretty close to garbage itself. An old NHL team. It’s also been over a decade since they qualified for the COVID-19 out-of-season playoff appearances, where all but seven teams were allowed to participate in the modified playoffs.
Billionaire Alex Meruelo, who owns everything from Las Vegas’ Sahara casino to a sushi company, has nicknamed the deal “landfill-to-landmark.”
He and his allies advertise that the project will not be publicly funded, which is technically true. Arizona taxpayers do not directly fund stadium construction. But like many large-scale developments, it’s been seeded with hundreds of millions of tax credits. Tax cuts fixed the total at $500 millionOf that money, Tempe sold $220 million in bonds, which he planned to pay off with future tax revenues.
The NHL has also made it clear that it supports the plan.Commissioner Gary Bettman jumped off personally To address the City Council before the City Council unanimously advances the proposal for public approval. Bettman has even ensured the league will luxuriate future arenas with either the All-Star Game or the Draft.
Economists don’t understand why cities continue to do this
Coyotes aren’t the only team that relies on taxpayers. The exception is that voters themselves rarely participate.Like the San Diego Chargers, it’s not a guaranteed success if they join Found out in 2016 When voters refused to raise hotel taxes to pay for the new stadium. Threatening relocation is one of the primary tools owners have historically used to squeeze more money out of officials.
Last year, lawmakers pledged more than billions of dollars in taxpayer money for stadium projects. The Buffalo Bill, courtesy of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, would receive $850 million in taxpayer money for the new stadium. As deMause pointed outJust one day later, Maryland pledged $1.2 billion to improve the sports complex shared by MLB’s Baltimore Orioles and NFL’s Ravens.
Economists who have studied the topic for decades have found that the rosy economic impact promised by the team rarely materializes.
Professor JC Bradbury of Kennesaw State University and co-authors said, “While the findings have been more nuanced, recent analyzes indicate that the economic impact of professional sports teams and stadiums is very limited. A decade-old consensus continues to be confirmed.” February 2022 review concluded It is the result of over 30 years of research into the economic impact of stadiums. Even adding in the social benefits of investing in stadiums, welfare improvements by host teams tend to fall short of the amount governments spent to obtain them.
Simply put, the authors found that “the large subsidies typically earmarked for the construction of professional sports venues are not justified as a worthwhile public investment.”
Glendale is fine without coyotes
The coyote itself is also an interesting case study.Glendale tormented team, at one point team threatened to lock out $1.3 million in bills outstanding at the time. City, per athleticspeculated that he could make more money from concerts and other events than from professional hockey.
Sure enough, Arena made record revenue In his first year without a team.
Garofalo, who has written a book on public support for billionaires and corporate America, first wrote about the Coyotes’ struggle to secure the arena in 2012. At the time, Glendale still wanted the team to stay. bottom.City Also paid $50 million to the NHL to keep the team in town while the franchise went bankrupt.
“In a way, it’s sad that there’s still talk here about the Arizona Coyotes trying to make taxpayer money for Arena.” , my goddess, the coyotes are about to leave, Glendale is about to fall into the crater, what are we going to do?’
“And after years and years of paying for this sad sack franchise, they said, ‘We’re done and we can’t do this any more.’ is. ”
fine. Glendale will soon host his third Super Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Please don’t ask how it was funded.
Correction: February 6, 2023 — An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the rules for where Coyotes could place their logo in the Arizona State University arena. The story also incorrectly explained how the playoffs worked in the shortened 2020 NHL season. 24 teams, not all, made it to the playoffs.