The more Arizona residents learn about Coyotes tax kickback plan, the more they hate it

So we know that Arizona state legislators aren’t crazy about the idea of giving the Coyotes $170 million in state sales-tax money for a new arena so they can leave Glendale (and possibly as much as $375 million apiece for another other sports construction deals that come along), but what do Arizona voters think of the plan? Turns out they really, really hate it:

Seven out of 10 voters statewide and in Maricopa County say they oppose using sales tax dollars to help pay for a new hockey arena, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Eight out of 10 reject state legislation that would create a special taxing district to build an arena. That number grew to nine in 10 when poll respondents were told about the remaining public debt on the arena that Glendale built for the Coyotes in 2003.

In case you think this sounds like the more residents learn about the deal the more they hate it, yeah, exactly:

“The poll shows that the more voters know about the proposed plan the less they like it,” [poll conductor Bert] Coleman said in a release.

All this is leading some people (okay, sportswriters) to flip out about what will happen in the Coyotes are forced to leave, but, you know, there is a perfectly acceptable arena there in Glendale — it’s just that Coyotes owner Anthony LeBlanc is throwing a hissy fit over having to play there without getting paid $8 million a year to do so. Sure, this could potentially be the final straw that tips LeBlanc into moving the team elsewhere, but that 1) is far from certain, given that he’s already extended his Glendale lease once to buy time and 2) could be true of pretty much anything, and you can’t negotiate a sports lease while tiptoeing around in fear that if you make any demands, the team will bolt. I mean, you can, and elected officials do so all the time, but it’s stupid and counterproductive.

Anyway, now that the people of Arizona have spoken that LeBlanc should suck it up and stay in Glendale, it’ll be very interesting to see what the response is. My money’s on flying to Seattle for the weekend and seeing if that throws a scare into the populace.

11 comments on “The more Arizona residents learn about Coyotes tax kickback plan, the more they hate it

  1. OK, then. Neil is on record as believing in any poll whatsoever, no matter how slanted the questions. Good to know.

    • OK, then. Ben is on record as believing any poll is “slanted” if he disagrees with it, without even reading the questions.

      • A space is about to open up in the Trump cabinet, so if you are right about Mr. Miller’s skill set opportunities may present themself.

    • I agree that the poll *maybe* could have been worded slightly differently. Instead of “tax paid by consumers” if could have been less targeted “taxes on activities at.” Instead of “..using taxpayer dollars..” it could have been “using the revenue from those taxes.”

      On the other hand, those are taxpayer dollars, so tell it (or ask it) like it is.

  2. This just proves the primary rule about welfare for billionaires:

    You have to get the binding contract approved by legislators before anyone outside your company can read it. The ideal situation is to get them to approve an agreement that consists of a cover page with the words “contract between” your company’s name and that of the future plaintiff, but other than that it should only contain a signature page at the end to bind the agreement and blank numbered pages in between so that you can add in whatever you want after it has been approved.

    LeBlanc is an amateur and lightweight at this, clearly. It’s a good thing Piggy had him x’ed out as a potential NFL owner years ago.

  3. My Turn: Why I sponsored bill to help build new Arizona Coyotes arena

  4. Coyotes exploring Sloan Park in Mesa for new arena

  5. It,s basket ball,and football country So pack up and move to Quebec or Seattle. Them two city,s are crying for a team and great facility’s

  6. The Coyotes to Seattle threat always amuses me. In that, there is no venue there up to NHL standards for them to play in. Nor possibly will there ever be, the way Seattle politics works.

    • THAT’s for damned sure. With no NBA or NHL team, Seattle would be poised to be the Tampa Bay of the 21st Century, a straw horse for team owners elsewhere pushing for a new arena where they’re currently located. Two problems, though: Seattle only has UnnamedBankArena to offer, a facility the NBA already determined to be “inadequate” nearly a decade ago, before its location got even more hemmed in by traffic; and Seattle’s sports-hating mayor and city council are determined to renovate UnnamedBankArena because they own and control it, and Chris Hansen’s proposed privately-funded arena in SoDo would cut in on their business.

      Besides, Seattle is not that great a hockey town. Ask any local about an NHL team and all they talk about is what a great rivalry they’d have with Vancouver, as thought the Canucks would fill all 40 home dates instead of non-draws like Carolina, Florida or Columbus. Seattle couldn’t even keep its Junior team from moving out of UnnamedBankArena to a 6.000-seater 20 miles south of town (where they only sell 65% of THOSE tickets). Hockey peaked in Seattle when the Mets won the Stanley Cup 100 years ago.

  7. I lived in Mesa when the city dug up the nice little Riverview golf course to build the Cubs their spring training park. It was ideally situated to benefit the hotels and restaurants of adjacent Scottsdale and Tempe. I asked the council what was in it for Mesa residents, and was told that the remaining part of the park would be vastly improved, a wonderful thing for Mesans. Ah, but now the plan is to give the remaining parkland to the money-losing hockey team. And the vast empty fenced-off plots in the middle of Mesa? Still there.