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Glendale to vote on Coyotes lease tonight

Nov 27, 2012, 12:11 PM EDT Arena Getty Images

In the latest chapter of the never-ending Phoenix Coyotes ownership saga (we believe it’s chapter 13,349), the City of Glendale will vote this evening on a 20-year lease with prospective team owner Greg Jamison.

The lease is a controversial one in that it calls for the cash-strapped municipality to pay Jamision in the neighborhood of $15 million a year to manage the city-owned Arena.

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.

The vote’s outcome could come down to city councilor Yvonne Knaack, who didn’t indicate last week which way she was leaning.

It’s also worth noting that city manager Horatio Skeete no longer supports the lease, even though he’s the one who negotiated it with Jamison.

Of course, even if the lease is approved by city council, Jamison would still need to close on the deal. Last week, he told the Arizona Republic that his group would “move as quickly as we possibly can” should the vote go its way.

There’s also the specter of the Goldwater Institute, the taxpayer watchdog group that may challenge the lease, which many have called a subsidy, in court.

  1. darksidecowboy - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    It’s so refreshing that you can always rely on the PHX Coyotes ownership issues to be there for you, this hockey season….not so much – sigh

  2. busdriver71 - Nov 27, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    This has been Bettman’s folly.

    I wonder how much of the lockout is the result of Bettman stubbornly trying to save his warm weather teams from moving or folding. He and the owners wrote the last contract and now he realizes it doesn’t work with the small market teams. Instead of working with the players (remember cheaper tickets and a promise to work with the players?) to implement a strong revenue sharing plan, he decides to double-down and try and get the players to pay for his failed growth strategy.

    Now it looks like his lockout may cost him hockey in Phoenix and a few small market teams.

    • ron05342 - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:55 PM

      Those “warm-weather teams” as you call them have won 4 out of the last 8 Stanley Cups.


  3. scrouch - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    It’s situations like this that make it difficult to feel any sympathy for the NHLs position in CBA negotiations. Here’s a franchise that’s lost a ton of money every year since moving to Phoenix, that hasn’t had an owner for years, that someone wanted to move to a profitable location but the NHL blocked it, that requires a massive government subsidy even to be viable for someone to purchase, that the government doesn’t want to subsidize but think it’s the lesser of two evils since they’ve invested so much in the arena and area. And the NHL is going to look at this situation and make the concious decision to approve an ownership group that doesn’t have deep enough pockets to absorb the losses the team will have even with the new CBA and subsidies, and to keep the team in a market that’s guaranteed to not be able to keep up with league-wide revenue growth throughout the course of the next CBA and will soon be paying a very high percentage of their revenues into player salaries. At a time when there are markets availalble that could actually support a team and make money for the league.

    If they were to look at the overall economic model of the leauge and have a team revenue sharing system that would accomodate their smaller markets, that would be one thing. But with what they’re looking to do in this CBA they’re knowingly setting up this franchise and the new ownership group to fail.

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