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Goldwater still watching as Coyotes lease agreement goes before Glendale council

Nov 20, 2012, 1:51 PM EDT

Jobing.com Arena

Today in Glendale, city council will discuss a re-worked lease agreement with prospective Phoenix Coyotes owner Greg Jamison at the city-owned Jobing.com Arena.

The lease could go to a vote on Nov. 27.

If you’re curious (or would like to punish yourself by reading boring legalese,) click here for the proposed agreement in full.

The agreement, which calls for the city to pay Jamison an average of $15 million over 20 years for arena management, is a controversial one.

Some say it’s nothing but a subsidy and that the arena could be managed for considerably less.

The counterargument is that it’s the only way to keep the Coyotes from moving and that, with the potential loss of jobs and indirect business taxes, things would be worse for the city without the NHL franchise.

But the fact some deem the agreement a subsidy raises the specter of the Goldwater Institute, a taxpayer watchdog group, intervening and arguing that the lease contravenes the state’s gift clause.

That clause reads as follows:

“Neither the state, nor any county, city, town, municipality, or other subdivision of the state shall ever give or loan its credit in the aid of, or make any donation or grant, by subsidy or otherwise, to any individual, association, or corporation, or become a subscriber to, or a shareholder in, any company or corporation, or become a joint owner with any person, company, or corporation, except as to such ownerships as may accrue to the state by operation or provision of law or as authorized by law solely for investment of the monies in the various funds of the state.”

The Goldwater Institute tells PHT via email that it continues to monitor the situation; however, it has no comment at this time.

Related: “Glendale is not your cash register,” new mayor tells Coyotes

  1. ron05342 - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    I find it very interesting that the Coyotes have decided not to play in Phoenix/Glendale this season so far.

    Oh, wait…

  2. blomfeld - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    WOULD SOMEBODY JUST SHOOT THE DAMN THING !

    No offense you Yotes fans, but having an NHL team there in Phoenix makes about as much sense as someone opening up a tanning salon in the Sahara Desert ! It’s ridiculous and it’s never going to work “profitably”. Anyway, I’m convinced that this Jamison character is just a “smoke screen” designed to camouflage this mess until the CBA business is concluded. After that, I can see the Coyotes finally being relocated by Bettman and crew “post haste”. I do empathize with the few fans there in Phoenix, with the emphasis being on “few”. I’ve worked and vacationed in Phoenix over the years and to this day, I’ve never “ever” met a live, breathing, fan of the Coyotes ? So when the team does go, it won’t be such a big deal. The “few” fans they have can simply switch over to being LA Kings fans. We’re their natural brothers and we’re only a short 6 hour drive away on the I-10. Welcome aboard friends ! :)

    • tatdue - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      On this I agree with you blom……Jamison will go away and the deal will fall apart once the CBA is worked out. He has never shown that he has any operating cash and can only afford the asking price with help……He’s just making it look good (the sale) so that Bettman can control Phoenix’s vote throughout this nonsense…..I’ve always agreed with you that this crap was premeditated by the owners but just never agreed as to why……For me the answer has always been simple, it’s just plain old fashioned greed and control…..

      • blomfeld - Nov 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Thanks Tats ! Yeah, there’s no question that this likely all boils down to good ol’ fashion greed in the end and nothing more. The good thing however is that if this is “premeditated” as we suspect, then there’s probably a “premeditated” end date planned as well ? … at least that’s what I’m hoping. We’ll see eh ? :)

  3. kalebreedy - Nov 20, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    you may want to add this to the gift clause information. The AZ Supreme Court clarified it: “The Arizona Supreme Court set forth a two-prong test
    for Gift Clause compliance in Wistuber v. Paradise Valley
    Unified School District, 141 Ariz. 346, 687 P.2d 354
    (1984). It held that an expenditure by a governmental
    entity does not violate the Gift Clause if both (a) the
    expenditure has a public purpose and (b) the consideration received by the governmental entity “is
    not so inequitable and unreasonable that it amounts to
    an abuse of discretion, thus providing a subsidy to the
    private entity.” Id. at 349, 687 P.2d at 357 (internal
    quotations and citations omitted).

    this comes from http://www.squiresanders.com/files/Publication/6cf9da46-f13b-4b7a-b0a2-a6717f156792/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/1a1ee531-9962-451a-896f-66180da64fe5/Arizona_Supreme_Court_Clarifies_Gift_Clause_Requirements_for_Tax_Incentives_in_Economic_Development_Agreemen.pdf but you can check the case yourself, so it isn’t as simple as goldwater would like

  4. rainyday56 - Nov 21, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Plain and simple, if the arrangement is approved by council, this will arm Bettman with the ability to demand fiscal public funding from any other prospective jurisdiction that is seeking an NHL franchise/relocation.

    Lord knows the league needs it, the financial sword of Damacles hangs over their heads if the insurance companies all of a sudden refuse to underwrite their player’s headaches.

    Oh and before I forget:

    Dec 3.

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