Desert Dogs seeing red
Unbelievably, NHL hockey's not flourishing in Phoenix, despite the fact all of the hallmarks of a stable franchise are in place:
- A southern market, with no homegrown taste for the game
- A terrible team that has won absolutely nothing since arriving in Arizona 11 years ago
- A fourth-consecutive playoff miss, and only one playoff appearance since 1999-2000
- An inept front office that seems guaranteed to ensure the on-ice product's awfulness
Here's a piece from the Arizona Republic last week:
CEO Jeff Shumway said Friday that the hockey franchise is expected to hemorrhage about $30 million this year, compounding severe financial losses the team has suffered in recent years.The team with the 24th-ranked attendance in the league, an average of 14,724 fans per game, isn't going anywhere — on the map or in the standings.
... Facing mounting losses, [team owner Jerry] Moyes, who founded Swift Transportation Co., could turn to additional investors or sell the team altogether if he is unable to right the ship over the long term, Shumway said. Forbes.com has estimated the team's value at $143 million.
But it's unlikely Moyes would uproot the team and relocate it to another market. That would trigger "substantial" early-termination penalties that were outlined in an agreement between Glendale and the team.