The Glendale city council, after weeks of meetings behind closed doors about the Phoenix Coyotes‘ lease subsidy demands, finally held a public hearing last night where residents could testify about the proposal — but first they held a four-hour closed session to discuss the plan. And then announced that they wouldn’t be revealing any details of the subsidy proposal, because they couldn’t agree on what they would be:
“We’re just not there yet,” [city spokesperson Julie Frisoni] said.
It’s still possible that the council could vote on the matter Tuesday, Frisoni said.
“It seems tight that we would hit a July 2 date, but I would tell you that anything is possible,” she said.
That does seem tight, given that there’s still no public information about how the city would raise the $15 million a year for 15 years that Renaissance Sports & Entertainment (aka George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc, aka the Ice Edge guy and his rich friend) wants in order to keep the Coyotes in town. The council will meet again on Friday to discuss the issue further — but in closed session, of course.
What did leak out after yesterday’s marathon private meeting— plus a public meeting in which the council also tabled the proposal to sell City Hall to pay for past Coyotes subsidies — is that the councilmembers themselves seem confused at to what on earth they might be voting on. The Arizona Republic reports that Renaissance is offering to give Glendale “slices” of team ticket surcharges, parking revenue, naming rights, and “other potential profits,” but in the absence of any information about actual dollar values, it’s still hard to see how that would add up to anything close to $15 million a year. And even those slices seem to be in flux: “We’re still not satisfied with what we have, so the whole mix can change,” councilmember Gary Sherwood told the Republic. “If they offer something else up, maybe they take something else off the table, so it’s not even fair to say what we’ve agreed to.”
And Sherwood is one of the supporters of the subsidy plan. For an opponent’s view, we turn to councilmember Norma Alvarez, who said of her council colleagues: “I called them knuckleheads, because they don’t get it. They don’t get it. They don’t get it. They’re going to continue discussions. Discussions of what? We’re selling City Hall because of paying $50 million. C’mon. C’mon.”
It remains to be seen what the NBA will do, now that a Glendale council vote seems like it may not be imminent. The NHL owners are meeting tomorrow, and deputy commissioner Bill Daly previously warned Glendale that “No decision could be a decision.” If nothing else, expect even more strongly-worded vague move threats to issue from the league offices — as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said of the June 27 meeting, “Stuff’s gonna happen.”