Monday, May 9, 2011

NHL appears to like Phoenix much more than Atlanta: Thrashers will move soon

Phoenix Coyote
This, is quite possibly one of the biggest scams being perpetrated in the history of professional sports franchises, and somehow, very few people seem to see it.

It appears, barring divine intervention, that the NHL will allow the Phoenix Coyotes to stay in Arizona, and be run by the league for at least another year. Sure, there's a vote in Glendale scheduled for Tuesday to decide if the city will guarantee another $25 million to cover the league's losses while the search for an owner continues, but it's just a formality.

Read more from RIGHT HERE

There are two REALLY big losers here, the people who live in Glendale, Arizona and the people of Atlanta, Georgia.


Because the Thrashers are moving folks. It's just a formality now. Even though they have a MUCH better case for keeping their team, they won't be.

Oh, by the way, the Thrashers are contributors to the fund that keeps the Coyotes operating these days.

For the Thrashers move, that you can thank Heir Bettman, the NHL and the taxpayers of Glendale. To me...and apparently the Goldwater institute in Arizona, it's absolutely criminal for the taxpayers to (A) guarantee the money for the league and (B) be forced to fund someone interested in buying the team. However, nobody else seems to have an issue with this.

We don't get it.

Thrashers Mascot/Courtesy: sportressofblogitude
Imagine...for just a minute that you live in a given city, a city like most, that is hemorrhaging money and is cutting back city services and education. But hey! Congratulations! Your property taxes are going up. Not to pay for the services you are losing, NO, to pay for a hockey team.

Yes, apparently the guy interested in being the owner of the team, Matthew Hulsizer, needs the city to apply for and receive bonds in order for him to take over the team. Which begs the obvious (at least to us) question? If he needs a subsidy to buy the team, what makes anyone think he can afford to run them over time?

Now, imagine if you are a hockey fan in Atlanta. You are about to lose a team for the second...and last time. The fine folks in the Canadian city of Winnipeg will be more than happy to take either team. They have a rather large ownership group (True North) with a ton of money and can easily afford to buy either team. And the Thrashers owners, the Atlanta Spirit, have lost a ton of money on the team, partially because of their own ineptitude. They are looking for money, anybody's money, why not True North's?

They are getting the Thrashers. And probably within the next couple of weeks.

Why? Well, here's a side by side comparison. The Coyotes in 2010-11, lost close to $50 million. The Thrashers, a perennial "Also-ran" in NHL circles, also lost money, but only about $20 million.

Here's a list of NHL teams worth's and income, courtesy of Forbes magazine RIGHT HERE

However, the NHL stands to make at least a $60 million profit if True North buys the Thrashers. If they bought the Coyotes, at the necessary price of $170 million, Glendale gets $25 million and the league gets what is left to cover their cost of buying the team ($140 million), which means they pocket about $5 million.

Nope. The Thrashers are screwed. It's not to say they'd be successful if they stayed. The group that owns the team has proven to be one of the worst ownership groups in the history of pro sports. And they haven't invested much in the Thrashers, though lack of talent development has cost them too. Yes, we know the fans in Atlanta aren't exactly loyal. But they do come out when their teams win or are at least competitive, something the Thrashers have rarely been in their 11+ years of existence.

Sorry to all my Atlanta peeps and it will be a sad, sad day when the Thrash leave town. Yes, I was...and am a fan. I have people I am friendly with who work for the team. I covered a lot of games in Philips arena, including an All-Star game, and for the 5-10,000 fans in the city, the team will be missed.

Here's a breakdown from our friends up north:

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