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January 30, 2014


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Jon, Phoenix, Glendale, Arizona whatever Coyotes, I don’t care. Hockey and coyotes have killing in common. I have arrested people for felony assault for less violence than I see committed by hockey players. I remember basket ball game in the 50’s where if you touched another player it was a foul.
Coyotes kill to survive as do we to eat. Hockey players commit violence to entertain. The crowd demands blood. Ancient Rome survives in America. May your children suffer severe brain concussions in little league football?
I quit watching Pro sports in 64. Organized crime control pro sports and many players are border line criminals or worse. North Korea’s hero, Dennis Rodman is being debriefed by the CIA while in rehab.
The only thing more absurd is green golf courses in the desert.
Glendale used to be a nice town. I ran the sweet potato farm sheds for Carol Arthur Farms in 1960. May the ghost of Edward Abbey hunt the sterile corridors of City Scape.
And Quipaso a phxsunfan. I have a story for him.
I just returned from the shoot out scene in Rocky Point. The current structures that have arisen from the sand dunes are surreal to say the least.. another story another day.

Maricopa County is Valley of the Klan.

Kookland for the white supremacists from Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and the Dakotas to be all they can be.

You can't be too right or too white in the Valley of the Klan.

Valley of the Klan where small minded whites from deep in the heartland are right at home.

A hell hole by any other name is still a hell hole.

I'll agree with Cal here about hockey. It's one sport that shouldn't be in the desert. But since the NHL is interested more in market saturation than burnishing local pride of place, the name change is probably a ploy to give the franchise a cachet boost. The name "Arizona" suggests rugged individualists carving out a new life from pure grit (translation: driving air-conditioned SUVs and living in master-planned communities). Oh, pioneers!

Phoenix has a nice name but its image is downscale. Miami, by contrast, is an international city. Denver is robust and prosperous. Seattle is not only a major brand globally, it has a setting that is by any standard spectacular. Phoenix, alas, is where you fly to if you're going to Scottsdale for some golf and tanning.

The worse things get in Phoenix, the more its image becomes an intractable issue. The triumph of its suburbs, however, is pyrrhic. The Kotkin camp might see healthy, all-white suburbs as a good thing but suburban sprawl is pretty much the same wherever you go. Maybe the motto of Phoenix should be "come for the sun. Stay for the suburbs!" Or, "world-class suburbs are just the beginning!" Or, "Peoria! It plays!"

Those of us who kvetch about such things can take comfort in the fact that golfing dullards really don't care about cities or their brands. We can still win if we give up the idea that Phoenix was destined for greatness in the first place. After this bird burns one final time, it's coming back as Mesa.

The Angels have a long history of changing their name (they were originally the LA Angels, then the California Angels for about 3 decades, and only recently the LA Angels of Anaheim). The "of Anaheim" isn't a forgettable sop; it was a coordinated effort to avoid massive contractual liability. The Angels' stadium lease required the use of "Anaheim" in the team name so Moreno wisely kept them "of Anaheim," which paid off because he beat the City in front of a jury (which cost the City of Anaheim millions in attorneys' fees of their own). Interestingly, while the lawsuit between Moreno and Anaheim was going on, the City of Los Angeles adopted a resolution stating that it would only recognize teams with "LA" in their name if their home facilities are in the boundaries of LA. So at least LA is protecting its name brand from infringement by its suburbs; the opposite of what you are espousing.

I understand the broader point being made in the article, but at least using MLB teams, the names reflect historical trends regarding branding of sports. The oldest MLB teams are named after the city in which they play and pretty much have always played (many of which predate the modern era of suburbs and massive metro areas so it makes sense that they are named after the main city). Those teams don't tend to change their names, and why would you? You've been the Cubs for 120 some years. You don't change your name even if you move outside of Chicago proper. As MLB expanded, many teams moved to former minor league franchise areas and adopted those names (like the LA Angels which were named after an old PCL team).

The most recent expansions (particularly in the 90s) tend to use more general geographic descriptors like the Colorado Rockies, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Florida Marlins (who only recently changed to the Miami Marlins as part of a rebranding of one of the least popular franchises in baseball). You see this generic geographical naming in other sports too. More recent football expansions like the Carolina Panthers use a generic name, as do some hockey expansions like the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Apparently something was going on in the 90s that led sports franchises to believe they needed broad geographic appeal in their names. And once you have a name, it's more difficult to change because you need to completely retool marketing and branding. Miami tried it, but it's not clear that it has worked. Their attendance is still horrible, and they are probably best known these days for their ridiculous jumping fish light show. But even before the expansions in the 90s, there were other expansions that used general names like the Texas Rangers and the Minnesota Twins.

Basically, I have no real point other than pitchers and catchers cannot report soon enough.

I heard the City is thinking of changing its official name to "Arizona - City of Phoenix." They are hoping to cash in on all those out-staters who hate Phoenix, but might like it better if it was called Arizona. Because hey.....everyone loves Arizona!!!

I personally use the name Valley in many conversations only because there is no central influence anymore. Too many things apply to the whole area and if you say "Phoenix" you are limiting the scope of what you're really trying to say. Its not like I'm going to name off all the suburbs! For instance......what is Phoenix traffic? Or the Phoenix housing market?? Or Phoenix politics? "Phoenix" doesn't represent the area as does other centrally-influenced cities....like Seattle, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Denver.

Some may blame this lack of a central influence on poor planning or greed or undisciplined real estate. But I think it all comes down to Arizona's dependence upon sales tax as its driving revenue force. Phoenix, as well as all the surrounding cities and towns, have sold their souls to the almighty sales tax. And many would argue we're all "paying the price" for it today.

Then there's THE PHOENIX SUNS . . . . MY TEAM! Anybody who tinkers with that name will deal with an angry mob.

morecleanair when U go to jail for mobbing I will get attorney Matt MacLeod (father John MacLeod)to represent you.
this is a quiz for old guys

Excuse my bluntness (and the length of my comment):

As a Phoenix native, a resident of Paradise Valley and a business owner who depends on the reputation of Greater Phoenix as a major urban center to be taken seriously in my line of work, the Coyotes have figuratively kicked me in the groin.

I'm involved in marketing communications and economic development with a stake in the “Phoenix” brand and I am outraged. The disgrace inflicted upon Greater Phoenix by the Coyotes' rejection of its identity and public proclamation that “Phoenix” has no value whatsoever as a major league brand (i.e., that "Phoenix" is essentially worthless) is an indignity inflicted on all of us who trade on the place name.

I have two offices. One is in LA, not in California. California, you see, like Arizona, is a very large region, not a specific place and certainly not a headquarters or regional office location. The other is in Phoenix. Actually Scottsdale, but “Phoenix” is what all of the world calls this place.

I take this embarrassment personally and, aside from burning my Coyotes gear and immediately switching my affiliation to the Los Angeles Kings, I am certainly going to encourage like-minded business people, and anyone who considers him- or herself a Phoenician, to reject the Coyotes organization as they have rejected us.

I realize that they casually “served up” their long-standing identity because the massively naïve parochial potentates of the City of Glendale asked them to do so. Glendale has absolutely nothing to gain from dissing Phoenix. They get nothing positive out of this. All they get is the enjoyment of inflicting an injury on the central city for reasons I can only describe as schadenfreude.

The little minds of Glendale don’t realize that downgrading the city which supplies the very identity and reputation of the metropolitan area to which they belong actually hurts them! If Phoenix is no big deal, then how important is a suburb of Phoenix with less than 5% of that metro area’s population? It appears to be a demonstration of insecurity or self-loathing of some sort.

Glendale is a little farm town which grew to a population of 230,000 because Greater Phoenix grew explosively. Unfortunately, Glendale's municipal "talent" apparently hasn't grown like the population. Glendale's only significance comes from its role as a suburb of the place called “Phoenix.” If Glendale was located where, say, Safford is, it would still be a little farm town. Glendale is so oblivious to the importance of the region that it is actively working to denigrate it! Wow. Brilliant.

I believe the Coyotes will be short-lived in Greater Phoenix (but they’re probably prepared for that). A developer used an NHL team as a “carrot” to lure incentives from a municipality – any municipality. He found a suitable dupe in Glendale. Thus an NHL team was located in a bad location for an NHL team. (A former very senior executive with the team, who moved to LA several years ago, told me that the bulk of the season ticketholder base lived east of 24th Street. So, obviously, it'd be a great idea to build an arena on 100th Avenue to make it a real challenge to draw weekday fans.) The decision to locate in Glendale was made with no regard for the team.

So, now, what does the new ownership do? They accede to a deal with Glendale to keep the team in a bad place (a condition of the deal, obviously), and then they agree to trash the team's longstanding identity by insipidly and needlessly tagging it with a small market identity (think Utah Jazz) to assuage the geniuses in Glendale and to naively attempt to inject some faux excitement. The new owners of the Coyotes and Glendale. A match made in heaven.

[It should be mentioned that the Cardinals, in a fit of pique with the City of Phoenix 20 years ago, switched their name to “Arizona,” making the first proclamation that, unlike Chicago, LA, Detroit, etc., Phoenix doesn't matter. That, despite its size, it just doesn't belong in the panoply of its peers. That really hurt. But, the effect on the team was negligible. You could put an NFL team in Casa Grande and call them the Bidwill Buckaroos and they would draw a lot of fans once every other week. This is not the case with an NHL team.]

Phoenix is the 12th biggest metro area with the sixth biggest city in the country (and about the 85th largest metro area in the world, give or take). It is more populous than Berlin, Rome, Sydney, etc., but it tends to express itself like a giant, overgrown Palm Springs. If it doesn’t belong it alongside its rightful peers like Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, etc., where does it belong?

So, does this Coyotes rejection really matter tangibly? Some of the commentators here have their doubts. Well, speaking from the trenches, I submit it does. It is an assault on our collective pedigree and it hurts, not only in terms of our urban esprit de corps, but tangibly in the economic development wars. Rank and file citizens just don’t realize how much it hurts us.

Corporate headquarters gravitate to major metro areas perceived as appropriate places for corporate headquarters. If they located to places solely because of low tax rates and cheap rent, most of them would be somewhere in Mississippi or Nevada and not in places like LA, San Francisco, NYC, Chicago, etc. As much California-bashing as goes on, the fact is that California has many times the number of corporate headquarters as Arizona (think Apple, Google, Chevron, eBay, Intel, Tesla, Oracle, Safeway and on and on).

Atlanta, a metro area not much bigger than Phoenix (with a central city population about the size of Mesa), has a much more effective, coherent, well-cultivated brand than does Phoenix. It is home to ten Fortune 500 companies. Phoenix has five, soon to be four when US Airways bolts for Dallas (actually Fort Worth, but who's quibbling?).

The effect that corporate headquarters have on average salaries, philanthropic investment, healthy real estate markets (office, industrial and residential) and season ticket and luxury box sales is dramatic. Second-tier places get the scraps. A market like Greater Phoenix just can’t generate enough golf play to make up the difference.

Anyway, I knew this identity change was supposedly coming, but I had hoped that the NHL or someone like GPEC or MAG would step in to influence a change of mind. But, it looks like Glendale got what it wanted: a shot in its own foot. Score one for the unaware.

Phoenix no longer has an NHL team. It now has just an entertainment option – like a big movie theater. But one that, due to a series of snake oil moves and bad decisions (including this new one), will result in that movie theater moving to Seattle sometime in the not-so-distant future.


I'm afraid you lost me at " I have two offices......the other is in Phoenix. Actually, Scottsdale."

AND you live in PV.

You have as much to do with Phoenix as say.............Glendale.

I work out of Scottsdale and have clients in all 50 states. To them, there is Scottsdale, AZ.

Phoenix is just where the airport is located.

Other than AzReb's observations I believe Phil was right on.
He certainly pointed out things that have been repeated on this blog many times as to the inane and inept small minded bureaucratic decision making.

I hope he is right the Hockey team leaves town. Glendale will always be a suburb of Phoenix. Glendale needs to plow under that huge ugly stadium that it grew west of town and bring back the grape and lettuce fields among the Saguaros.

Apparently, 85 percent of football players have no brain to injure.


The stamina of your rant is exceeded only by the impressively Type-A website your handle links to, Phil Motta.


It appears the US State Department has old, head injured, football players conducting scientific research.

the U.S. State Department just released their environmental study on the Keystone XL pipeline,


AzReb, Scottsdale has an airport. I once sort kinda kidnapped a huge sports moguls son and put him on a jet to Betty Ford.

I have even landed a plane at Scottsdale and Chandler Airports.

I think the NHL wants to be paid back for their carrying the Coyotes for a few years. Quickest way to do that is change the name of a winning team. Merchandise sales for a winning team are a close second to media contracts for $ generation.

Phil post was killer.

Phil Motta made some interesting points.

However, because hockey is so incongruous to the desert, I think the hockey league does more harm to Phoenix and Arizona than good.
From my point of view, hockey distracts from “effective, coherent, well-cultivated” branding.

"Its bite is harmful.It is a persevering revenger of injuries…And it may avenge an injury and extract a penalty from some troublesome man by finding out his dwelling place with great perseverance and care, and killing some of his domestic animals. But it is grateful to those who do well by it."
"First printed description of a coyote in Francisco Hernandez, Nova Plantarum,
Animalium et Mineralism
Mexicanorum Historia 1651"

The old Phoenix Roadrunners of the Western Hockey League (and others) played for years at Veterans Memorial Coliseum and were quite popular.

One big question is how a metro area with such low wages and so few corporate headquarters can support four big league teams. Or rather, whether it can continue to do so.

The Russian Hockey team at Sochi will be coached by a former American Patriot currently skating on thin ice.

The irony of Glendale running away from the Phoenix name is that Glendale's street / block numbering system is an extension of Phoenix.

"The Salt River Valley defines an extensive valley on the Salt River in central Arizona, which contains the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.

"Although this geographic term still identifies the area, the name "Valley of the Sun" popularly replaced the usage starting in the early 1930s for purposes of boosterism."


Seems pretty straightforward. I even recall Mr. Talton using the term in one of his early Mapstone novels. "Valley" isn't supposed to distinguish the Phoenix metro area: it's simply local shorthand and fewer syllables than anything else. Everyone knows what it refers to.

So much for Mr. Talton's curmudgeonly obsession. Now, on to mine: it used to be known as the Phoenix Open (golf tournament). Now it's the Waste Management Open.

Speciously, this might be another example of "Phoenix hatred", but it's really an example of the corporatizing of America and the complete lack of taste and self-dignity of the prostitute in chasing the almighty dollars of the John.

It's absolutely unthinkable to me that a major metropolitan city like Phoenix with the kind of revenue available to it, must resort to selling itself to a corporate sponsor, much less to one with the horribly unfelicitous name Waste Management (FBR was bad enough). Why not the Bukkake Open? How much lower can the city sink?

As far as I can tell, the name change of the hockey team is a slap in the face of Glendale, not Phoenix. The Coyotes were known as the Winnipeg Coyotes when they were based there. They were known as the Phoenix Coyotes after they moved to Phoenix. Then they moved to Glendale and DIDN'T change their name because everyone has heard of Phoenix but nobody outside the Valley (ahem) knows where Glendale is ("Why is an Arizona team named after a city in California?").

It makes no sense for a team owned by the City of Glendale to call itself the Phoenix Coyotes. There is no branding advantage to Glendale: it continues to accrue to Phoenix. So, the name must be changed. But not to the Glendale Coyotes because Glendale is a silly little suburb of Phoenix even if it is technically an independent municipality. Hence, the Arizona Coyotes.

Sorry, Glendale doesn't own the team, just the lease agreement for the arena where it plays. Same point: it could scarcely allow the team to go on calling itself the PHOENIX Coyotes, given its investment.


Interesting perspective Phil Motta. Nice blog contribution.

Emil, extremely well said!
"Speciously, this might be another example of "Phoenix hatred", but it's really an example of the corporatizing of America and the complete lack of taste and self-dignity of the prostitute in chasing the almighty dollars of the John."

However I have met prostitutes (sex for money) that had more dignity and I respected more than the corporate whores.

Seattle annihilates Denver.
Heroin kills Hoffman.
Phoenix continues to shrivel in the heat.
On mountain today. Plants already believe its spring.
Hockey in Arizona dries up due to lack of water for ice as California steals water. (nothing new there) Movie of the nite, China Town.

Note: there is a good post by John on Mccain blog

Valley Futures:

The broader problem is that Phoenix doesn't assert itself. It's too deferential to other cities in region. A couple years back, there were talks of branding Phoenix as "Phoenix, U.S.A." to bypass the negative image that Arizona projected onto it but I don't think that ad campaign ever came to fruition. We speak too much of the flawed tactics of "regionalism" and "when one suburb wins, we all win" instead of "darn it, we are the central city."

The next Super Bowl is being marketed as the "Arizona Super Bowl" yet it's not being held in Tucson, Yuma, Sierra Vista, Prescott, Kingman, or Flagstaff -- it's in Phoenix. My personal editorial guide will have it called the PHOENIX Super Bowl (and, likewise, the teams in this city are called for their city: Phoenix Cardinals, Phoenix Coyotes, and the Phoenix Diamondbacks). I guess if we want to change that, then we should just call it for what we want it to be.

"...it used to be known as the Phoenix Open (golf tournament). Now it's the Waste Management Open."

Actually, it's known as the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

This thread is hysterical!

This part is not hysterical.

A bill is working it's way through the state legislature to use state funds to reimburse cities for expenses for events like the Super Bowl next year.

You know the Crudnals are behind this.
They've sucked all the money they can out of the smucks in Glendale. Now they want the whole state to pay for 1% of the population to enjoy a game.

Wait???? Oh, so that's where the 1% thing comes from?

The Crudnals and the Coyotes are a cancer in our state. A cancer that is growing in the colon of our state, Glendale.

Golf: I believe they have finally named Golf appropriately "Waste Management"
Many years ago there used to be a sand only golf course in Douglas, AZ.
But the balls that came from over the fence to the south had grass in them. They required no water. I heard recently that due to the high price of cigarettes that the rolling paper industry has boomed?

Emil, if they change to your suggested BO name, they're going to need more skyboxes.

When Arpaio, Brewer or the legislature does something stupid the dateline is Phoenix. Phoenix undeservedly becomes ground central for all the wackiness of AZ in the eyes of the civilized world. One more reason to run from the name Phoenix.

Rogue wrote:

"One big question is how a metro area with such low wages and so few corporate headquarters can support four big league teams. Or rather, whether it can continue to do so."

Here's a metro area (50 cities) ranking for 2012. Though it shows unadjusted annual wages it's listed in order of cost-of-living-adjusted wages. Seattle is ranked 9th from the top and Phoenix is 23rd. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)


So, Phoenix's "low cost of living" appears to be overstated.

As for number of headquarters, the city of Phoenix is comparable to other cities including the City of Seattle in this regard, when population is considered.


Amazon has about 19,000 well-paid headquarters employees in Seattle's core. In addition to Amazon, about 585 information technology firms are located downtown.

Downtown and its directly adjoining districts have the headquarters of Nordstrom, Starbucks, Expeditors International, Russell Investments, Cray, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major biomedical/biotech center, etc., etc., etc.



The total number of downtown workers is around 200,000. About 56,000 live in the core.

And this is just downtown. The teams are supported by the metro area. Microsoft has about 48,000 highly paid employees (many working in the city of Seattle, and many more choosing to live there). Boeing has more than 80,000 statewide, most in this metro.

Costco, Paccar, Eddie Bauer, F5 Networks, Zillow, Alaska Air Group, Barrett Business Services, Dendreon, Seattle Genetics, Expedia, REI, Weyerhaeuser, Coinstar and T-Mobile are all headquartered in metro Seattle.

All these good jobs and high living standards translate into more disposable income and appetite for all sorts of amenities, including pro sports.

What is the Phoenix headquarters with 18,000 employees downtown? None. Maybe Freeport McMoRan has a few thousand but I don't know. JPM Chase may have low hundreds -- if that -- in the old Valley Center tower. They have been drawing down for years. Phoenix lost its crown jewel companies and now there are a few suitcase headquarters out on the frines (goodbye US Airways).

In a state where Wal-Mart is trumpeted as the largest private employer and you're lucky to have a call-center or hospital job, one begins to see the scope of the competitive problem. And in a metro of Phoenix's size and population, a few blooms like Intel (for now) aren't enough. So one wonders how long all these teams can thrive. San Antonio, somewhat comparable in city size and incomes, supports only one big-league team.

Maybe the Coyotes can go on forever on Glendale's taxpayer credit card. Or maybe the combination of tourism and a huge underground economy make Phoenix special.

I guess I don't see the correlation between average wage in a metro and the number of professional teams that can be supported. The residents in the Phoenix metro may have low-wage jobs compared to Seattle, but they still turn out to professional sports events at least as often if not more than in Seattle. The Dbacks have better attendance than the Mariners. The Mercury have better attendance than the Storm. The Seahawks have slightly better attendance than the Cardinals, but Seattle also has a slightly bigger stadium so one would expect higher attendance.

One can certainly argue that people with little disposable income should probably spend it on something other than sporting events. Perhaps they need the distraction and overpriced beer.

There's always a red flag that goes up when citing Joel Kotkin as a source. It's not his statistics, which seem rigorous enough. Rather, it's the implicit assumption that lies behind them. If cheap housing is your primary desiderata, then Texas is heaven. This goes along with low public investment in education, public transit, the environment, and a safety net (Texas has opted out of Medicaid expansion). Yes, Houston is economically dynamic, mostly because of energy, a vibrant health-care industrial complex, and federal agencies. I just can't imagine many people wanting to live in that sprawling car town unless they have to. A city that manifests core right-wing values like sprawl and endless driving is snorting the fumes of the American Dream.

Kotkin scores his points in such a way that civic and aesthetic assumptions are beside the point. But are they? I know conservatives like to talk about "values" although it's never clear what they mean. Some days it's Jesus and chastity belts. Other days it's low taxes and few regulations. Nor are their values debated in a real public square since they don't really care for public squares let alone democracy. All that said, I would say Houston and Dallas are much better cities than Phoenix but only because they were large cities before WWII. Phoenix will always be hobbled by a weak core. Whether its pro sports teams play downtown or on the exurban fringe really doesn't matter. Phoenix is a victim of its own bad luck and wishful thinking.

There are several discrete reasons for high housing costs but it's good to keep the primary one front and center: only so many people live in great places. I'm old enough to remember when it was possible for ordinary people to live in San Francisco, Aspen, Manhattan, Santa Monica, and Santa Fe. Sometime in the mid '70s, that started to change. Even so, San Francisco, e.g., is undergoing an extraordinary boom. Ditto Seattle, downtown LA, and NYC. Great cities are not just economic engines. They're also places other people want to visit and savor. Who wants to visit Houston or Phoenix? Think about it. Cities that take pride in being cheap are playing a game that only a fool would buy a ticket to.

So right Rogue and once again faulty Arizona booster analysis from Emil.

Azreb does accurately answer how low wage Arizona will fund professional sport teams; take more money from education and health care(not prisons of course) to subsidize the Cardinals, Coyotes and so on.

It might be possible to create a successful brand for Phoenix and Arizona, but an honest branding is the land of dumb and dumber.

Westbev: "Perhaps they need the distraction and overpriced beer."
I think your statement explains sports attendance in Phoenix and many other cities. Maybe Seattle has more folks that have more intelligent distractions and prefer martinis. What do you think JON?

I don't have the answer, Cal. Years ago, highly placed sources at more than one of the teams told me they shared my concerns.

Soleri is right on, as usual. Having spent some time in Dallas and Houston, I would add to the fact that their downtowns had good bones. Both cities have immense civic pride and very rich stewards and companies. While both sprawled to hell, there was always investment and reinventment in the core.

Sorry to be late this week. It has been deadline madness in my paying work. Today half a million people are on the Seahawks parade route downtown, which passes directly below my windows. And I want to give you something worth reading.

Water footnote: In arizona the republicans own and/or control the water.

Westbev I think I solved it.

a world record was set by super bowl tv watchers. That would be a record number of drooling deadheads.

If you know Wallace and Ladmo, you know what is meant by "the Valley".

Glendale has been in a long downhill slide ever since the bulldozed the orchards and fields and stopped bottling Squirt.

The AZ Republicans are against wasting taxpayer money on taxpayers.

But eclecticdog do you remember Bulldog and Monk and the Curve restaurant and the beautiful Susie Washam.
Bulldog was the big hairy guy Wallace and Ladmo brought on the show with no shirt on and wrapped in a big chain. When I got here in 50 the "Valley" was everything from Peoria/Buckeye to Apache Junction. Population somewhere around 186,000 between September 5 and May 31.

Curve restaurant was on the east side of the Black Canyon Highway north of Deer Valley Road.

Those things I don't remember!

Uncanny resemblance: Jon Talton ordering gourmet water:



I have a porkpie hat just like that.

Fitzimmons must have seen you out and about.

Kotkin's general views are a straw man. The stat cited here was cost-of-living and in his list Phoenix was half way down the list, with Seattle in 9th place from the top. Though Houston is in 1st place there are many Texas cities in the bottom half (e.g., San Antonio, at 36th).

Kotkin did not write the table in question: the source of his cost of living data is given as the Council for Community and Economic Research. This group determines the ACCRA index which is widely used across academia and industry. It's been in use since 1968.


The second issue cited in the blog to which I responded here was the number of corporate headquarters in Phoenix, described as "low". Note that the issue was not the number of employees downtown, which is another straw man argument.

For Fortune 500 headquarters, Seattle has Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Expeditors International of Washington.


Phoenix has PetSmart, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Avnet, Republic Services, and Insight Enterprises.


If you want to discuss the comparative merits (company revenues, number of local employees, etc.) that can be done but it's a separate issue. Phoenix has just as many Fortune 500 corporations headquartered there as Seattle, so let's put this one to bed.

I said that Phoenix's reputation for low-cost of living is overstated (middle of a list of 49 cities) but that, objectively, it has as many corporate headquarters as Seattle and about the average given its population. That isn't "boosterism" it's simply an objective, balanced evaluation of the claims made. Evidently there are some readers here who cannot accept any claims which do not uniformly exaggerate the city's faults and ignore its positives. OK. If you fence with me I'll call you out.

Wow! Emil the rapier has thrown down the steel glove. I am not bright enough to challenge the stats but somehow it seems, to me, that Phoenix's Fortune 500 companies pale in contrast to other cities. Frankly if they all left Phoenix for Seattle tomorrow its OK with me.

Jon, With all due respect my psyche could never accept living in Seattle or any place where the sun seldom shines. I once spent 3 months in Newport News Virginia and like to went insane without the sun.

On a positive note, I have noted that over the last three months Phoenix city buses that I observed regularly as near empty now seem to be near capacity?

As tired as I am, Emil, I must parry your lunge. Your harping on the nominal number of Fortune 500 companies in each city is the straw man.

Am I supposed to go away now, scratch my head, and say, "Wow, Phoenix is doing just as well as Seattle..."?

Your fetish with counting Fortune 500s within city limits entirely misses my point. It never had anything to do with Fortune 500 companies.

You are a smart enough man, and I am a clear enough writer, that my earlier comments will have to stand on their merits. Arret.

WBIYB has become much more crowded over the last 8 months too, cal. I rarely get to sit down anymore.

(One of the delights of the economic downturn.)

Not only does metro Seattle have more Fortune 500 companies than metro Phoenix, the quality (in terms of revenue and reputation) of these Fortune 500 companies is much higher in metro Seattle than in metro Phoenix.

Sanjeey, you either can't count or don't understand that the discussion is about the City of Seattle vs. the City of Phoenix.

Mr. Talton, respectfully, you said that Phoenix has a "low" number of corporate headquarters but offered no evidence of this. When confronted with a listing of Fortune 500 companies refuting this, you introduce another straw man, asking me whether you should admit that Phoenix is "doing just as well as Seattle".

The answer is: no, and you were never asked to. I raised a simple, accurate, highly limited objection and was repeatedly attacked for it, despite the fact that in the process I explicitly pointed out the fact that Seattle is 9th from the top in terms of cost-of-living-adjusted income whereas Phoenix is 23rd. There is just no pleasing some people and good grace is in short supply everywhere.

As for comparisons between companies, Amazon is awesome, no doubt about it. After that, the two corporations in the two cities (not metro areas) with the highest revenues are both located in Phoenix: Avnet, and Freeport (in that order). So much is obvious from the Fortune 500 links I gave.

Offhand, I would say that Amazon and Starbucks well outstrip the other companies in terms of total employees.

Incidentally, while WalMart is the largest Phoenix area employer, Banner Health is second with about 28,000 (very few downtown).

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