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Goldwater files lawsuit, wants Coyotes lease vote invalidated

Jun 13, 2012, 2:13 PM EDT

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game Two Getty Images

As expected, the Goldwater Institute has filed a lawsuit in Arizona court seeking to invalidate the City of Glendale’s approval of a lease at Arena for the prospective owner of the Phoenix Coyotes.

The taxpayer watchdog group is claiming Glendale violated a 2009 court order that instructed the city to disclose all lease-related documents in a timely manner to allow an appropriate period for review.

“Without seeing critical exhibits contained in the arena management agreement such as the arena annual budget or the arena management performance standards, it is not possible to determine the constitutional validity of the agreement,” said Goldwater Institute President Darcy Olsen in a release.

On Friday, Glendale city council voted in favor of a 20-year, $325 million lease at the city-owned arena with an investor group led by former Sharks CEO Greg Jamison.

And that’s not money going to the landlord; it’s money going to Jamison in the form of arena-management fees and capital improvements.

According to analysis by the Arizona Republic, “Glendale expects to collect less than half that amount via ticket surcharges, rent, sales tax and other team fees during the same period.”

Of course, the city expects to lose more money should the Coyotes leave. Thus, the lease.

Anyway, we’re not law-talking guys, so we can’t say if Goldwater’s lawsuit will be successful.

  1. govtminion - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    …and on, and on, and on. This just never ends.

  2. buffalomafia - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Just move the team somewhere already & make it quick!

    Same ol’ damn story!

  3. flyerscup2010 - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    as much as i’d like to complain about how intent goldwater is on wasting taxpayer money by constantly initiating lawsuits against the city, i really can’t deny that if i lived in glendale i would not be happy about the city being in a leverage situation where billionaires keep offering to buy the team as long as the working people in the city who make as much in a year as the prospective owners do in probably 1/2 a day subsidize it.

    • ballistictrajectory - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      A friend of mine owns seaside property that he leases to cottage owners. He owns the land and ocean access rights, and the cottage owners own their individual buildings, leasing the land that the building occupies. If the lease is not renewed the owner has to remove the building, abandon the building, or sell the building. There is no city subsidy to my friend from the taxpayers in the community. Note the period at the end of that last statement.

      One could make the argument that he’s entitled to some form of subsidy because the cottages draw numerous families to the area for vacations (the owner generally rent them out when not using them directly) and that constitutes economic participation in restaurants, theater, fuel, food, etc… All good for the community, so why not force them to pony up a kickback for it.

      The situation in Glendale is very similar. The property owners are the citizens and they own both the land and the building.

      What I do not get is the belief that a franchise owner merits ownership subsidy of the property the franchise is leasing. If the franchise LEASES the property money is supposed to flow from the leasee to the lessor. The lease gets the franchise in the door. Furnishings, staffing, et al can be part of the lease agreement, but there should be no flow back toward the lessee(we’ll charge you 7.75 per foot but reduce that by 0.75 per foot if you pick up the management costs. For example: hiring the staff, cutting their paychecks, mopping up the spilled soda and beer, and making sure a qualified engineer is keeping the power plant functional.)

      Given that public funds are involved, I don’t see any way that the city council (or their counsel) can hope to get away without close scrutiny. This is one of the few instances where it seems appropriate that a watchdog is involved. If not so the the folks in Glendale might be asking some very pointed questions about who allowed this or that in 20 years, after the perps have fled the jurisdiction.

      • thenewraoulduke - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        The situation is not really like that at all. What is going on with this is that Jamison is renting the property and he is paying rent for the building. BUT the City of Glendale as part of the agreement is hiring Jamison to manage their Arena, and do stuff like book acts and things of that nature. And the management fee is within the range of what many people suggest is the cost of managing the arena.

  4. fiddytucker - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    So many opinions out of haters. I find it funny that about half of what is commented on is either misunderstood or another smear campaign by professional haters. I especially like the ” hockey won’t work in the desert” comment. We have a base that will grow. Most states don’t have 4 pro teams, give it a chance it will work.

    • tru2joelu4eva - Jun 13, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      dude, i totally sympathize with the coyotes’ situation, but the team has been there for 16 freakin’ years! i think it’s a little past the “we have a growing fan base give it a chance” scenario…

      • thenewraoulduke - Jun 13, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        The people who are going to become the truly dedicated fans are the ones who watched the game when they were kids and they are finally starting to get to the age where they are able to go to games. You can also see that we are getting a growing number of youth hockey players which shows that it is working, but ownership problems and terrible coaching have prevented the fan base from really growing, those problems are coming to an end.

    • flyerscup2010 - Jun 13, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      I’m totally not hating, I’m a huge proponent of hockey in Arizona and I really want to see the team stay. The fanbase was once great and has showed the past two years that they’re still there. I think the team will really do well with attendance once there’s a stable ownership situation. If I didn’t know if the team was going to be there from year to year I absolutely would not commit to season tickets because you don’t know how sound of an investment is. I tend to think that many Coyotes fans feel the same way. Once they have a stable lease and know the team will be there for the long haul, I really think the fans will come out in large numbers.

  5. barkar942 - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Perhaps it could be arranged that there can be a little “accident”. You know, like at 3am on a Wednesday when the place is dark and empty, perhaps a little “Military Training Run” with a bomb that just “happens” to fall off of the plane that is carrying it and it just so happens to hit the arena and flatten it.
    Then, the Coyotes could move since there is no building to play in and the city of Glendale could collect the insurance money and EVERYONE would go home happy!

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