Well, you can't say I didn't predict this. The Phoenix NHL hockey franchise (the Coyotes, a case of obvious before-the-fact trademark infringement on this blog) has declared bankruptcy. The only current buyer is RIM's Jim Balsillie (a section-mate of mine at HBS) who will only buy the team if he can move it to Canada. Gee, who would have thought that ice hockey would struggle to be successful in Phoenix?
Several years ago, Phoenix suburb Glendale paid about $180 million to build a hockey stadium for the Coyotes. The Coyotes had already been in the Valley for several years, losing money all the while, and had shed one ownership team for another fronted by Wayne Gretzky. It was shear madness to build them a stadium, as their chances of financial success were almost non-existant. It was already clear at this point that hockey was not going to be a big draw in Arizona. For this reason, Scottsdale and Phoenix both ended up passing on subsidizing the team before Glendale, out to prove it was a "real" city, stepped up to the plate with a wad of taxpayer money. The stadium ended up being about as close to the center of mass of the metropolitan area as the Denver airport is in that city.