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Goldwater Institute still looming in Glendale

May 23, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT

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Could the Goldwater Institute end up scuttling another sale of the Phoenix Coyotes? The taxpayer watchdog group already forced Matthew Hulsizer to walk away; now it’s turning its attention to Greg Jamison’s bid.

If Goldwater’s going to object to anything, it’s likely to be the $17 million arena-management fee that the City of Glendale has tentatively approved payable to the Coyotes.

Is $17 million really an appropriate fee to manage city-owned Jobing.com Arena?

Or, in Arrested Development terms, are we talking about a $10 banana?

More from the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts (who, the more we think about it, might be a secret Goldwater agent):

Carrie Ann Sitren, a Goldwater staff attorney, could not say officially how the institute will respond to the latest sale attempt until it sees a lease in writing. Council discussed the lease agreement in-camera Tuesday and no details came out in the public meeting aside from the payment. But Sitren made it clear even though there is no bond issue in the Jamison deal, the size of the management fee remains clearly in Goldwater’s sights.

She pointed to recent comments from outgoing Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, who is one of three councillors opposed to the $17-million payment to Jamison, that a more reasonable management fee, based on her research, is $11-million.

Not that I have a ton of experience in these sorts of matters, but if Glendale really wants to funnel money to the Coyotes without the Goldwater Institute making a stink, isn’t that what secret slush funds, briefcases and late-night meetings in empty parking garages are for?

Related: Glendale sets aside $17 million for arena-management fee

  1. adambballn - May 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    I was rooting for the Coyotes and their fans to get this deal done but after that completely classless display by their fans after last nights loss I will feel no pity for them when their team is moved.

  2. greatminnesotasportsmind - May 23, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    If I’m Jamison or the NHL, I take my chances with the Goldwater Institute. If they really want to get in the way of a prospective owner wanting to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, so be it. Then the NHL has every right to sell the team to anyone who wants them, including whoever wants to move them to Quebec.

    The NHL then also have every right to point out that the Goldwater Institute wants to make a fuss over 17 million dollars while a 220 million dollar arena less than 10 years old sits collecting more dust than your grandma’s coffee table she’s neglicated the past 4 years in the attic. That makes sense

    • lewdood - May 23, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      It’s not “making a fuss over 17 million dollars.” It’s making a fuss over $340 million ($17 million x 20 yrs). The fact is that Jamison is trying to buy the Coyotes with Glendale’s money. He’ll actually make a profit straight from the Glendale taxpayers.

      Jamison and his mystery investors wouldn’t need this subsidy if they had these two necessities:

      1) Enough money / financing to buy the team outright (approx. $175 million)
      2) A plan to make the Coyotes financially successful in the greater Phoenix area

      They have neither, so they need to have the taxpayers cover their purchase AND their expected losses. Nothing about this purchase makes sense for anybody other than Jamison and his mysterious financial backers.

  3. ballistictrajectory - May 23, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Well…

    The questions:
    “What do we get for our money?” and “Do we really need to spend that money on that function?” are valid questions that should be posed by any watchdog group when public funds are at risk.

    For an example of how it goes without the watchdog I offer two words: Curt Shilling.

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