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NHL lockout silver lining: Phoenix Coyotes could finally turn a profit

Getty ImagesIn theory, the next NHL collective bargaining agreement should benefit teams like the Phoenix Coyotes with restrictions on payroll and increased revenue sharing.

Turns out the painful process to procure that CBA – the NHL lockout, now over 100 days old – could directly benefit the Coyotes, especially if the 2012-13 season is scrubbed.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the $308 million arena deal between Glendale and Greg Jamison, who is still attempting to buy the team from the NHL, could result in the Coyotes either turning a profit or breaking even – their “best financial season ever” according to writer Mike Sunnucks.

Essentially, the city will pay Jamison $15 million annually on average to run Jobing.com Arena, including a pro-rated $11 million for the first season if and when Jamison buys the team.

From the Business Journal:

“The $11 million dollar figure would have been for a full year,” said Glendale spokeswoman Julie Frisoni. “Since we are now halfway through the year, it will most likely be in the range of $5.5 million to $6.5 million. It just depends on when the purchase of the team is complete and when Jamison takes over management of the facility.”

Glendale is subtracting $60,000 per game from the [$11 million] for every hockey game missed because of the lockout. But Jamison still can come out ahead financially.

The Coyotes have 19 homes games remaining after Jan. 14. If all of those games are cancelled because of the lockout Jamison’s Coyotes group would lose about $1 million. That means the new Coyotes’ owner still would end up with $4 million to $5 million for a lost season. The Coyotes payroll costs also would be down because owners aren’t paying players during the lockout.

So there you go: If Jamison ever actually gets this thing done, he might be overseeing a financially viable season from the ‘Yotes, despite the team never having played a game of it. Which speaks volumes about the NHL’s whacked-out financial system, and the, ahem, generosity of the city of Glendale.

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