The Glendale Grift – It’s hard to know what history will record as the biggest stadium swindle. You’d have to think the Marlins are the clubhouse leader, but the fact that there are so many contenders is sobering to the nth degree. Glendale might have the market on dumbest.
It’s hard to believe, after all the drama, that Gila River Arena (it’s seriously called that) is only 15 years old. Which makes the Coyotes bellyaching for a new one almost unconscionable. Or it would if we hadn’t become numb to this kind of thing. The idea that it would ever work should have been a bigger outrage, except it took place in Arizona where no one cared.
The Coyotes moved to Glendale, some 20 miles from downtown Phoenix and even farther from Scottsdale, because they get a shady deal on it. Glendale was happy to pay for it, or most of it, and no one seemed to notice that people aren’t going to travel that far to watch a team that had only been in town seven seasons and didn’t have much of a grounded fanbase. And it’s been ever thus.
Every new owner of the Coyotes, and we’ve lost count at this point, has barked about getting a new building in Phoenix or Scotttsdale, to be where people live and such. But what will happen to this white elephant when that happens? It’s fine to have a football stadium in the middle of nowhere, as Glendale was and still kind of is, because that’s only 8-10 trips a year and each one is an event. But your run of the mill hockey game on a Tuesday?
The NHL sure didn’t help, as they canceled two or three All-Star games that were supposed to be there that might have helped drum up interest or forced the team to stay at all, depending on your view. It’s all been a mess, and there’s no good answer to solve it.
Perhaps it’ll be burned down in the revolution. Or just randomly, because weird shit happens in Arizona.