Glendale Arizona handcuffed by an arena and a hockey
Glendale Arizona is dealing with the repercussions of wanting to be a "major league" town, because they built an arena and agreed to pay a lot of money to a hockey team in order to fill the arena. The team, despite some recent success on the rink, went into bankruptcy and the team has been owned and operated by the League for the last few years.
They just sold the team to a set of Canadian-based owners ("NHL announces that sale of Coyotes complete," Arizona Republic).
Part of the deal involves reducing a wee bit, the onerous terms of the deal vis-a-vis the city. The city was just about at the point of selling City Hall to raise money to pay what it agreed to pay--$25 million per year, to the NHL ("Price of keeping Coyotes revealed" and "Glendale City Council OKs multimillion-dollar deal to keep Phoenix Coyotes," Arizona Republic). But the new deal reduces their obligation to $15 million.
They hope to only have to pay up to $6 million per year to the team "to manage the arena" because they expect to receive $9 million per year in admissions taxes on tickets, revenues from parking, and other sources.
They are doing this to preserve the team in the city, and to support businesses located around the arena for at least 41 days per year--the number of hockey games guaranteed to be played.
Hockey in the hottest state in the US? I think there were probably better potential investments for the city. The team has an opt-out clause after five years, dependent on whether or not the team continues to lose money.
And the deal is controversial. A group is working to get a referendum on the local ballot to overturn the deal.