Thursday, June 27, 2013

Renaissance Requests July 2 Endgame On Arena, Terms Released By Glendale...Bettman Speaks...City Manager Not Sold

Here is a release from RSE, in full, from Fox Arizona's Craig Morgan (@cmorganfoxaz), where Renaissance wants to see this whole thing come to a positive result...


GLENDALE, ARIZ. – The four-year saga surrounding Arena and the Phoenix Coyotes appears poised to reach a conclusion on July 2nd. Last night, Renaissance Sports & Entertainment Group (RSE) formally requested that the City of Glendale put to a vote of its City Council a 15-year arena management agreement between RSE and the City. Additionally, three Glendale members have reportedly asked for the agreement to be put to a vote.

The management agreement – which RSE requested be agendized for a special Council meeting set for July 2nd or 3rd – is a prerequisite of RSE’s purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team from the National Hockey League.

The proposed deal takes into account the City’s financial challenges as well as RSE’s need to satisfy the NHL, financial institutions and its investors. Thus, the agreement balances an annual $15 million arena management fee with a series of revenue streams directed back to Glendale to defray the city’s costs.

Just as importantly, the agreement keeps the Coyotes – the arena’s anchor tenant 41 nights a year – playing in Glendale.

Anthony LeBlanc, managing partner of the Renaissance group, emphasized the agreement’s comparative value against previous offers to buy the Coyotes and operate the arena.

“The proposed agreement respects the City and Glendale’s taxpayers and creates a path to financial success for the arena, the team and our investors,” said LeBlanc. “Our deal represents the best value Glendale has had in an offer, and the most equity anyone has brought to the table in four years. The sooner this deal gets comes before Council for approval, the sooner we can aim for the Coyotes winning a Stanley Cup and get the arena headed toward profitability.”

The revenue streams for Glendale negotiated within the RSE proposal include ticket surcharges on hockey and non-hockey events, parking proceeds, shared proceeds from naming rights and rent paid to the City for the Coyotes’ use of the arena 41 nights a year. Projections estimate that revenues back to the City should total between $8.5 and $11 million annually. That leaves the net financial impact of the arena on the City between $4 and $6.5 million annually.

Glendale has budgeted $6.5 million to manage the arena this fiscal year.

“There have been a series of suitors trying to buy the team and manage the arena during the past four years. The Renaissance agreement is exponentially better than the two previous deals that nearly came to pass,” said LeBlanc. “The total cost of the arena management lease is tens of millions of dollars less than previous proposals. The net annual cost to the City is millions of dollars less.

“I believe in this team, I believe in this deal and I believe in this City,” said LeBlanc. “That’s why Renaissance is willing to take on the risk of managing the Coyotes franchise and the Glendale arena. They’ve been money-losers in the past. But with leaner, smarter management, we have tremendous upside for the team, the City and the Westgate region. We absolutely will be successful here.”

The HQ isn't really holding its breath on this one...
But the play is interesting by RSE to try and put pressure on the Glendale City Council to vote "yes..."

They look like the bad guys, now, if the vote goes negative...

1400 UPDATE: Mike Sunnucks has a look at the "deal..."

The deal includes an out-clause after five years if losses exceed $50-million...which they would, in about half that time frame

Glendale is, admittedly, squeamish... from Sunnucks:

Those include guaranteeing Renaissance a $15 million annual arena management payment before revenue sharing money comes to the city. The revenue sharing money in the deal slated for Glendale is not guaranteed and some of those funds are not necessarily new money.

Glendale officials are also concerned about the tight time frame for working out a $225 million deal and meeting a July 2 deadline set by the NHL.

Here are the current set of documents from the City of Glendale concerning the lease ideas...
And here is the Commish discussing the ideas before this weekend's NHL Draft
And in a letter from the Glendale City Manager to the Council (and any other interested parties), Richard Bowers stil doesn't think this is anything close to a done deal...

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