Coyotes skate to record business season

The Arizona Coyotes scored both on and off the rink in the 2018-2019 season.

In fact, almost every aspect of the Coyotes’ business operations burgeoned last year. The team set a franchise record for ticket sales and year-over-year revenue growth, which exceeded 9 percent.

The organization also increased attendance by 7 percent over the previous year, expanded premium seating revenue by 21 percent, and saw TV ratings jump by 26 percent. People aren’t just attending more Coyotes games; they’re also watching more Arizona hockey at home.

“First and foremost, we were very deliberate and intentional about pursuing our core organizational goals: winning on the ice, building fandom on the community, and positively impacting the Arizona community,” Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen said. “We have an obsessive commitment to expanding our fanbase and exposing more people to our family and team.”

Although the Coyotes narrowly missed the playoffs by just a few points, Cohen and the Coyotes were able to successfully expand their viewership. By extending their reach to those who don’t traditionally identify as “hockey fans,” they were able to make these massive leaps on the business end.

“We had previously been focused on marketing to avid hockey fans, but the reality is that’s not a good way to expand a fanbase,” Cohen said. “You have to go out and attract and reach new people. That’s what we worked really hard on this past season, and I think it really resonated with our fans.”

The increase in fandom also directly impacts the state economy. For example, food and beverage and merchandise sales grew by 16 percent and 23 percent, respectively; the sales tax from these purchases directly creates revenue for the state. In addition, visitors from out-of-state purchase lodging, food, and other recreational activities. This not only generates additional state revenue, but it also steadies the demand for jobs in these industries.

Cohen’s central objective is to win the Stanley Cup, but for now, he is satisfied with the tremendous growth the team had this season.

“Every little thing matters with this team,” Cohen said. “We got 16 more points than we did the season before, we were more deliberate about our message within the community, and we were very aggressive in terms of providing inclusiveness with people in this community, and really widening the tent for people to get involved in the team.”

Ben Norman

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