Glendale council still can’t agree on Coyotes deal, won’t talk in public until they do

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.”

8 comments on “Glendale council still can’t agree on Coyotes deal, won’t talk in public until they do

  1. That dollar amount for selling City Hall is hilarious because Jim Balsillie offered the City of Glendale the exact same amount of $50M four years ago.

  2. I expect more “leaks” of a Seattle or Quebec City Coyotes logo popping up on some random semi-professional websites. Safe travels Neil.

  3. “It remains to be seen what the NBA will do…” NBA? You must mean NHL. I don’t think you want David Stern getting in on this. ;)

  4. Balsillie offered them a $50m leasebreak. I suspect that figure was chosen because interest/income from it could have earned the city about the same amount annually the Coyotes had been paying them for use of the arena.

    I don’t think Balsillie had much of a chance of winning his “get Toronto for the price of Phx” shell game, but I’m willing to bet at least some members of city council wish they’d thrown their lot in with him instead. They partnered with the NHL instead, and they’ve been paying Bettman vig ever since… and look set to continue to do so in perpetuity. Be careful who you choose as friends.

  5. Looks like they’ll be releasing the points and discussing it in public after all. The two big cheerleaders for the plan on the Glendale council are pushing the deal out of the back room and into a public council meeting next week forcing and up and down vote on it. Something tells me it’s nothing but a desperate attempt to shame the opposition into voting “nay” in public. Which frankly would be a reason to re-elect each of the “nays” in my book for having the guts to end this lunacy.


    The terms sheet being thrown around.

  7. Council voted 4-3 to keep them.

    What was despicable was Chavira mentioning the 19 dead firefighters before basically giving the finger to the fire department and issuing his support of the team. I hope that man has to fight fires the hard way when he dies, if you catch my drift. Just absolutely disgusting.

    Anyway, I’m already betting right now the team is going to threaten to move in 5 years unless an even better lease happens. Glendale just made another big mistake, and it’s only going to get worse.