Positive Progress For The Phoenix Coyotes' Financial Situation

Christian Petersen

The Coyotes have been the proverbial "whipping boy" for years in terms of attendance and average ticket pricing, but as Bob Dylan once wrote, "The times they are a-changin'."

The oldest available Fan Cost Index is from the 2010-2011 season, in the past two season Coyotes were in the bottom three of average ticket prices and FCI. While this is good for the average fan, it's not so good for the team's bottom line. In the most current FCI report the Coyotes have jumped up to 4th lowest average ticket price, only 18 cents and 31 cents from the Anaheim Ducks and Colorado Avalanche.

Year Average Ticket price Percent Change Average premium Ticket Extras*
FCI Percent Change Home Attendance (8 games) Percent Change
2010 $ 36.16 -3.5% $ 120.18 $ 33.00 $ 228.61 +3.1% 82,123 +7.8%
2011 $ 36.15 0.0% $ 120.18 $ 33.00 $ 228.61 0.0% 80,191 -2.4%
2013 $ 40.32 +11.5% $ 125.77 $ 37.00 $ 253.30 +10.8% 98,789 +23.2%

Extras is defined by fancostexperience.com as the average price of a 16oz beer, a 16oz soft drink, a hot dog, parking, game program, and souvenir cap.

Many will claim that the reason the attendance is higher is because the 'Yotes have played the Blackhawks twice. While this is true, and the Hawks do draw good crowds, The Coyotes have played other high profile, well drawing teams over the past four years.

In 2009, Phoenix played the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago in the first eight games at home (including a sellout home opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets):

Game Date Opp. Attendance Percent Full Total
10/10/2009 CBJ 17532 102.4% 17532
10/15/2009 STL 6899 40.3% 24431
10/17/2009 BOS 9162 53.5% 33593
10/22/2009 DET 11938 69.7% 45531
10/24/2009 LAK 7968 46.5% 53499
10/31/2009 ANA 6495 37.9% 59994
11/2/2009 LAK 5855 34.2% 65849
11/5/2009 CHI 10362 60.5% 76211

In 2010 the Coyotes saw Detroit and the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town:

Game Date Opp. Attendance Percent Full Total
10/16/2010 DET 17125 100.0% 17125
10/21/2010 LAK 6706 39.2% 23831
10/23/2010 CAR 8189 47.8% 32020
10/30/2010 TB 8171 47.7% 40191
11/3/2010 NSH 6761 39.5% 46952
11/6/2010 PIT 14642 85.5% 61594
11/12/2010 CGY 11117 64.9% 72711
11/13/2010 STL 9412 55.0% 82123

Last season saw the return of the Winnipeg Jets and the Blackhawks in back to back home games:

Game Date Opp. Attendance Percent Full Total
10/15/2011 WPG 17132 100.1% 17132
10/18/2011 CHI 11051 64.5% 28183
10/20/2011 LAK 7128 41.6% 35311
10/25/2011 DAL 6948 40.6% 42259
10/27/2011 NJD 7434 43.4% 49693
10/29/2011 LAK 10379 60.6% 60072
11/3/2011 NSH 6738 39.9% 66810
11/5/2011 EDM 13381 78.1% 80191

This season is no different. There have two good draws against the Hawks, but deviating from previous year's two good draws against division foes; the LA Kings and the Dallas Stars:

Game Date Opp. Attendance Percent Full Total
1/20/2013 CHI 17363 101.4% 17363
1/23/2013 CBJ 8355 48.8% 25718
1/26/2013 LAK 14780 86.3% 40498
1/28/2013 NSH 8581 50.1% 49079
1/30/2013 EDM 12955 75.6% 62034
2/2/2013 DAL 12151 71.0% 74185
2/4/2013 MIN 9508 55.6% 83693
2/7/2013 CHI 15096 88.2% 98789

If these attendance trends continue, the Coyotes could see an additional 64,531 fans pass through the turnstiles. Not accounting for the usual late season bump in attendance, the team stands to take in an additional $2.6 Million dollars in additional ticket revenue alone. If the Coyotes were able to get the average ticket ring up to the NHL average of $61, that $2.6 million, would turn into $3.9 million.

Year NHL Average Coyotes Average Percent Diff. NHL Avg. premium Ticket COY Avg. premium Ticket Percent Diff.
2010 $ 54.25 $ 36.16 -33% $ 121.02 $ 120.18 -1%
2011 $ 57.39 $ 36.15 -37% $ 133.62 $ 120.18 -10%
2013 $ 61.01 $ 40.32 -34% $ 145.33 $ 125.77 -13%

Bundle that, with a favorable revenue sharing model in the new CBA, an increase in concession sales, and possibly charging for parking, you can start to see how hockey in the desert can become a profitable venture to any potential new owners.

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