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Report: Coyotes lease opponents struggle to put together referendum

Jul 9, 2012, 11:35 PM EDT


Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal reports that organizers are struggling to collect enough signatures from Glendale residents to force a referendum on the $300 million Phoenix Coyotes lease at Arena.

It’s unclear exactly how many signatures are needed and when the deadline to collect them all actually would be. Failing to make that referendum happen would open the door for Greg Jamison to buy the team, according to Sunnucks.

As usual with Coyotes sale stories, it’s far from straightforward. The city argues that the deadline for the signatures should be Monday while opponents believe they should have until July 16. Furthermore, opponents think they should only need to collect around 1,000 signatures while Glendale claims they need 1,800. It’s all muddled, as per usual, but we’ll pass along updates until this seemingly eternal tug-o-war actually ends.

I mean, it has to end at some point, right?

  1. thenewraoulduke - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Sunnucks is an idiot who reports stuff without fact checking. The petition is dead.

  2. lordfletcher - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    and I thought my MN Vikings stadium was hard to get approved.

  3. quizguy66 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    The Five For Howling blog has a great breakdown of where things stand on this. Basically, today was the deadline (according to Glendale) and no petitions were filed. The Goldwater Institute people are saying that July 16th is/should be the deadline. If they get the number of signatures required (or that they think are required) they’ll have to sue and win in court to get it on the ballot.


  4. quizguy66 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Oops – forgot the link to the article from Five For Howling. I have no association with them, they just seemed to have a clear understanding of where things are at:


  5. atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Why does anyone want this team in Glendale? Outside of the 12,000 per game they get (according to NHL attendance figures) this seems like a losing proposition all the way around. I guess Jamison wants it cause he gets free money, which apparently he doesn’t have any of at this point. But the NHL seems to have no logical reason to keep the team there, the City of Glendale has had to cut library hours and other things because they have no money…why keep a losing horse? I’ve heard it’ll cost the CoG a lot not having a team, well then sell the building to a private owner and let them do as they wish, but throwing good money after bad isn’t going to turn this donkey into a thoroughbred.

    • thenewraoulduke - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:30 AM

      In regards to your library argument the City’s libraries are now under the jurisdiction of the Maricopa County Library system. A building like Arena is near worthless without an anchor tenant and without those guaranteed events Westgate would likely die too costing over 700 jobs. Also economic studies show that even though Glendale will lose money, they will lose less money then they would without the Coyotes at the arena for the next 20 years.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:37 AM

        Fair point about the libraries, I didn’t know that. Is the building actually worth anything with the Coyotes as tenants? They’ve been losing around $25 million per year in recent years, although it’ll probably be less this year because of the playoff run, eventually you’re going to run out of owners who are willing to lose money, it seems like they might be there now. Not sure if they changed it (they would have had to) but its been reported in the original agreement with Jamison that he had an out clause after 5 years (give or take a year) where he could move the team with absolutely no penalty to be paid to the CoG, at least if they move now they’ll seemingly get paid some money for breaking the lease.

      • grimlock410 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:21 AM

        I’m guessing your a local so I’ll ask you why wasn’t this team offered to whom ever own the suns or at least let play in US airways center. It seems insane that a Arizona hockey team has its own stadium.

      • madmediaman - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

        The Coyotes used to play at U.S. Airway Center back in the mid 90s… the problem was some 10% of seats were obstructed view seats. The area was never built with hockey in mind and Jerry Colangelo had no interest in owning the team at the time.

        The main culprit in this whole affair is the Scottsdale City Council. Twice voters agreed (in ballot measures) to turn the old Los Arcos Shopping Mall (in the middle of metro Phoenix) into a hockey arena and entertainment district and for some insanely stupid reason two members of the council killed funding. This would not even be an issue if that chain of events had not unfolded.

        But fortunately this proposed ballot initiative is dead and even GWI admitted as much. The agreement went through 30 days ago and they had 30 days from that date to collect the required signatures. One of the old coots who has been collecting the signatures said he didn’t get the paperwork to collect the signatures until after the council meetings 3 weeks ago… well that’s on him. He could have gone down to the local elections office and gotten the paperwork needed right after the council vote last month. He CHOSE not to do that and probably ASSUMED GWI would prevail in the courts… oops.

  6. guitarmy204 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    This will just give Quebec time to get their new arena built in time for when the team moves in about 5 years (if that)

  7. mclovinhockey - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    DOANt expect Shane to be back ; )

  8. thenewraoulduke - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    @atwatercrushesokoye I have read the lease and the only things I remember where the conditions where Jamison would have to pay to move the team and it is very expensive for him to relocate the team. However it is available here for anyone who wants to pursue it:–SubstantialFinalDraft.pdf

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:58 AM

      Then they did change that, which is very reasonable, intial reports in the Globe and Mail were that he only had to keep them there 5 years which would be a horrible contract for the CoG.

      • thenewraoulduke - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:02 AM

        I know the deal last season only required 5 years, but that wasn’t with Jamison.

    • thenewraoulduke - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:13 AM

      sorry the nonrelocation agreement is a separate document below:

  9. jaguar0413 - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    If you really want to analyze the problem with the Coyotes, a large share of the blame has to fall squarely on the shoulders of the NHL. Moving to a non-traditional hockey market was a huge risk (but one that has worked elsewhere). They compounded that risk by moving the team into an arena that was not capable of hosting hockey (US Airways Center). After Scottsdale Council blew what could have been a great opportunity for the entire metro Phoenix region, Jerry Moyes panicked and took horrendous risk by agreeing to move to Glendale. If Gary Bettman and the NHL had showed half as much interest in the Phoenix market as they do now when Moyes was looking to build an arena, they could have avoided this entire debacle.
    As for the City of Glendale, why they ever agreed to build this arena is beyond me. So much debt. If I lived in Glendale, I would be furious at the amount of risk that they took (on the backs of taxpayers) to fund this idiotic arena. This is yet another example of disorganized metropolitan region politics. The arena should never have been built in Glendale. It should have been built to the east of Downtown (Scottsdale, Mesa, etc.). Now, because of terrible planning, everyone in the region is going to lose out when the team moves. The sad thing is that the Coyotes have persevered to become a great team and will probably be much more successful in another market.

  10. buffalomafia - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    WTF! Move the team already!

    Quit beating a dead horse!

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