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Pro hockey coming to Tucson after council vote

Posted at 6:40 PM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 08:00:22-04

The Tucson City Council has passed a licensing agreement to bring a new hockey team to the Tucson Convention Center.

City council voted 7-0 in favor of the proposed licensing agreement. 

The Arizona Coyotes purchased the Springfield (Mass.) Falcons AHL franchise in April, announcing plans to move the franchise to Tucson. The AHL approved the sale. Last month the Rio Nuevo Board approved $3.2 million in renovations to the TCC.

The team will make the TCC their home for 10 years
 
Under the proposal, the team would pay the city $300,000 a year to use the TCC, adjusted each year for inflation. The team would have the option to end the contract after five years if the average game attendance is below 2,500. If that happened, the team would have to pay Rio Nuevo back for unreimbursed funds for improvements.
 
The city and the team would split the money made from concessions, parking, certain types of advertising and naming rights. Tucson leaders estimate that the deal would mean the city could make between $249,270 and $476,445 in net revenue a year.
 
There would be about 34 home games that would start this October, with priority given to the events already scheduled. For example, about 5 games may be moved to other locations to accommodate the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.
 
Anthony LeBlanc, the president and CEO of the Coyotes, says Tucson makes sense for the team for a number of reasons including its because of it's proximity to Phoenix. It's the second largest market in the state, LeBlanc said. LeBlanc says the average league ticket price is $18, and their hoping the tickets at the TCC will be closer to $15.
 
You can vote on a name for the minor league team. Here is a link.