Forbes produces an annual list of the market value of various sports franchises. If I were a grad student, a great study would be to try to figure out what percentage of these valuations came from public funds (free stadiums, tax abatements, direct subsidies, etc). I bet the number would be high.
In the case of the Phoenix Coyote's hockey team, the percentage would actually be over 100%. The team is worth barely $100 million, at best, but has received hundreds of millions in subsidies. About 13 years ago the city of Glendale, AZ (pop: 250,000) built them a $300 million stadium. Almost immediately after that, the team started to threaten to leave, and the pathetic city of Glendale city counsel voted subsidy after subsidy, paying the team $10 million a year in direct subsidies. When the Goldwater Institute successfully sued to end this practices, the city found creative ways to hide the subsidy, for example giving the team a management contract for the stadium whose price was inflated by the amount of the subsidy (the contract was for $15 million a year but when it was finally competitively bid, it came in at $5 million).
After all that, the team apparently has no shame is coming back to the trough yet again:
The Arizona Coyotes and National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday threatened to move the franchise out of Arizona if the Legislature does not approve $225 million in public financing for a new arena in downtown Phoenix or the East Valley.
Bettman sent a three-page letter to state Senate President Steve Yarbrough and House Speaker J.D. Mesnard encouraging them to push through a public-financing bill that is stalled in the Senate amid a lack of support from lawmakers. The struggling NHL franchise wants out of Glendale, saying it's not economically viable to play there even though that West Valley city financed its 13-year-old Gila River Arena specifically for the Coyotes.
"The Arizona Coyotes must have a new arena location to succeed," Bettman wrote. "The Coyotes cannot and will not remain in Glendale."
Good God, what brass!
Postscript: I was immediately embarrassed to see that I had use maw's instead of maws. I make stupid grammar mistakes but this generally is not one of them I make that often. Unfortunately, on the road, I had no way to fix it. Fixed now.