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Glendale to NHL: It’s up to you now

Dec 8, 2011, 1:25 PM EDT Arena Getty Images

Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs is sick and tired of being blamed for the Coyotes’ sluggish sale process. There’s nothing the city can do about it, she says. It’s up to the NHL to figure out a deal with Greg Jamison, Jerry Reinsdorf or whoever wants to buy the league-owned team.

“The matter really rests in the hands of the NHL,” Scruggs told the Glendale Star. “We’ve made our decision and it’s up to the NHL, and we don’t have anything to talk about until a potential buyer proposes a change.

“We, as a council, have discussed the arrangement with the potential bidders, and we know what would work for us and what won’t work for us. We have reviewed the proposed terms of the agreement, heard the terms of the agreement and considered these. Mr. Jamison is trying to finalize a deal, and he’s extremely serious, and knows what he’s doing. He’s diligently working to put a proposal together, and I have not heard one statement, except from the Canadian press.”

Take that, David Shoalts.

You can’t blame Scruggs for getting testy. This whole thing’s been a humbling experience for Glendale, home to publicly-funded Arena, University of Phoenix Stadium and a MLB spring training complex.

It was only three years ago that the New York Times was quoting an optimistic Scruggs about her sleepy city’s aggressive foray into the sports-facility business.

“In 1999 and 2000, you would have been hard pressed to convince me that government should be getting involved with professional sports and all the hoopla that goes with them, all the glamor and whatever,” Scruggs told the Times. “But I was really wrong.”

Wonder if she’d like a mulligan on that comment.

Lucky for Scruggs the NHL is still working to keep the team at Arena when the league could’ve easily thrown in the towel by now.

“We’re continuing discussions with a couple of potentially interested purchasers,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said this week. “We’re going to continue with that process and, ultimately, the goal continues to be to transition ownership locally in Glendale.”

  1. Elite Leadership Training - Leadership Out Front!!! - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    It’s easy for political leaders to pass the buck. The hard thing to do is dig in & make something work for everyone involved. You want to keep jobs in the Glendale area, the Coyotes will need to stay. Though moving to Canada, Seattle, Las Vegas or other mentioned venues is always an option, it’s been proven hockey can work here, this is not Atlanta.

    • govtminion - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      I don’t know about ‘proven’. I know a few Coyotes fans, and they’re as rabidly loyal as any fan base in the league. But let’s be honest- this has been hanging over the team for YEARS now- seems like every year since the lockout we’re hearing about this being the end of hockey in Phoenix. It’s not like they’re in a rut right now and that’s keeping fans away, the way teams like Dallas and Colorado can claim. This is just how it’s been there- and it really is time for the NHL to shit or get off the pot.

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