About That $1.3 Million Bill You Forgot…

According to multiple media reports from yesterday, the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes owe $1.3 million in tax arrears. In a statement from the club, the Coyotes blame “human error” for the outstanding bill.

In my past life as finance manager, I’ve done a ton of collections. But I’ve never had a company tell me tell me they “forgot” a bill for over a million bucks. You’d think that someone, somehow would remember… The club claims that they’ll do an immediate investigation, “deeply regret the inconvenience” and will have the state and local taxes paid today.

Well, yes. That’s a given since the City of Glendale has told the team that they wouldn’t be allowed into the building if the outstanding amount isn’t paid by December 20th.

In the last few years, the troubled Coyotes have certainly been getting a lot of media attention. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been in the sports section. It’s been in the business section outlining their financial troubles.

Paying the arrears is just a band aid for the team. At the end of this season their lease of the Glendale arena is also expiring. And having this financial story at the same time as they’re working on a $1.7 BILLION arena area proposal with the City of Tempe isn’t great timing.

Of course, any financial trouble story involving the Coyotes brings up the inevitable questions of how long they’ll stay in Arizona, whether they’re for sale, or moving the team (the latest rumour is Houston). All of which are, once again, being denied by the team. I’ve been to a few Coyote home games. I love the arena and the surrounding restaurant/shopping/NFL team area. I just don’t love the drive from Phoenix or Scottsdale. With attendance averaging around 12,000 it’s easy to get a below-face value ticket. But it’s not a recipe for success or for paying a lot of million dollar bills on time…

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