Glendale, Arizona faces a hard reality. Can the town afford to host a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise team, the Phoenix Coyotes? Bad enough that Glendale publicly financed a dedicated structure for a professional hockey team, and that team chose to remain branded to its bigger neighbor, but now Glendale has chosen to additionally burden its citizens with arena management fees, formerly funded by team owners.
When former Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes tossed in the towel three years ago, the NHL assumed ownership under league rules, which prohibited private business interests from acquiring and moving the team to Canada. The NHL desired a continued presence in the sixth largest market in the U.S, the Phoenix metropolitan area. Glendale looking to protect its sports brand, also called foul any team relocation efforts, but incurred stiff penalties for interim administration of team operations by the league, fees amounting to $25 Million per year.
Independent management cost estimates were sought by Glendale officials as an aid to negotiations with future team owners. Since before 2009, operating expenses were a team responsibility, so post-bankruptcy, arena operating costs were a mystery to Glendale officials. Perhaps city officials were distracted by their ongoing legal battle with the Tohono O’Odham tribe over ownership of unincorporated Glendale land, less than a mile from Glendale’s sports district. This property was taken into reservation by the tribe, with the intention of building a casino/resort. Why Glendale failed to protect real estate within eyesight of both the arena and the football stadium suggests a reoccurring theme, a lack of proper city planning.
Last year when a price of $14-15 Million was given by an arena-consulting firm as a “reasonable” estimate to operating Glendale’s hockey facility without any specific tenant; city officials could not refute the numbers. With only these figures, Glendale bargained with perspective buyers of the team, agreeing to pay new owners $16 Million per year over the next 20 years, in pursuit of a promise to keep the team in Glendale. This negotiated offer was less than the ransom now being paid to the NHL under league ownership. Yet even this sweet-heart deal fell through this year, suggesting team profitability in even a worse state than previously imagined.
In a council meeting last year just a few weeks after the above cost estimate was made public, actual management figures of about $6 Million per year, were revealed by Glendale City Attorney Craig Tindall, as he maneuvered to counter alleged city misuse of public funds by the Goldwater Institute. April of this year, Glendale put out to bid solicitations, seeking private management of the arena, and actual management expenditures incurred by the NHL holding company currently managing the facility since 2009 were offered as hard fact.
So where is the justification for Glendale paying $25 million/year, the past two years to the NHL, when real operating costs were only $5.1 – 5.5 million, according to league figures? Either the NHL is gouging Glendale, or the Coyotes are indeed a net-loss franchise in the desert southwest. The truth is probably something of a mix. That the new mayor and city council members wish to plead ignorant to these findings when detailed costs are available in public documents out-to-bid, accentuates the real negligence in the bleeding of taxpayer monies.
Kudos to Paul Giblin’s recent article in the AZ Republic providing much background material.
First article in the AZ Republic which weighs the evidence and favors the arguments for a casino in Glendale. Perhaps the worm has turned.
Giblin & McGlade clearly present the crux of the matter: does the current AZ Gaming compact implicitly limit the number of casinos in the Phoenix metro area? This is the last remaining argument worthy of judicial interpretation, and the presiding judge seems to find this line of reasoning specious.
Washington attorney Jason Hauter, a member of the Gila River tribe who has been involved in the case, said the proposition and the compact clearly limit the number of tribal casinos.
However, the Tohono O’odhams state in court filings that the compact lacks specific language that prohibits the tribe from building a Phoenix-area casino.
During a June 2011 hearing, Campbell (the presiding judge) alluded to that point, asking Gila River attorney James Tuite whether it would have been easy to include in the contract that no new casinos would be built in Phoenix.
Tuite said that it would have been but that there were good reasons to think that the parties didn’t feel the need to spell it out.
Campbell responded: (emphasis mine)
“Well, that’s a pretty surprising idea, in my mind, for parties who are represented by lawyers and who are negotiating a contract that will become a compact that has an integration clause that says, ‘No other understandings or agreements not in writing will be enforceable.’ For somebody with that kind of a clause going into the compact, saying this other understanding is so fundamental that we don’t have to say it just didn’t make any sense to me.”
If this next court ruling goes for the tribe – one more time, perhaps the new city leaders of Glendale under Mayor Weirs will take the practical road and end their opposition to this west side resort. We shall see. Last week Gila River Reservation offered Glendale a $0.5 million bribe to continue the good fight. Will Glendale get cold feet? Only time will tell.
Some background: I too enjoy shooting sports and have been trained and licensed in the legal use of handguns for self defense. That said, I believe Sam Harris overreaches in his promotion of lethal force as deterrence to violence, in his most recent writing. Still, his is a more honest discussion than many editorials on either side of the issue, following the various national calamities of gun play, and deserves a read.
Mr. Harris’ comments reflect his experience with death threats precipitated by his controversial publications. Sam cannot be blamed for arming-up in response to bad intentions pointed his way — yet projecting a similar need among others, who live a less notorious life-style, strikes me as excessive.
I particularly question his dismissal of efforts to ban high capacity magazines. Equating multiple lo-cap magazines as equal in force to hi-cap single fill clips, begs the question. He seems to allow unbalanced killers the calm to dexterously swap cartridge clips — while suffering within a blinding craze of destruction. And speaking for the well-armed citizen, what would be a thoughtful situation demanding a hi-capacity response? A wild Indian raid? Perhaps a Zombie attack? Where outside of actual warfare, does massive fire power following a pull of a trigger, offer other than liability to innocent bystanders.
While Sam offers statistics which purport a relative low-risk from death-by-lunatic, he oddly follows this conclusion with an argument in favor of the introduction of weapons in schools as a deterrence from attacks by madmen. Before we implement such defensive protocol, perhaps we could talk to a few seasoned teachers, who confront teenage angst daily. Let’s see if they favor introducing lethal alternatives into the soup of childhood hormones. Not likely, and certainly not conducive to a calm learning environment.
I begin to wonder whether controversy is the goal rather than the byproduct of Sam Harris’ brilliant essays.
I was feeling my oats, so had the emotional stamina to check out one crazy fella Dean Chambers, this weeks right-wing crush at “UnSkewedPoll“. When reality bites, folks who can’t handle the truth, resort to making stuff up. This grifter simply cuts the numbers until his conclusions meet conservative expectations. Let me speak of something I know a bit about, something I like to call the “Internet shell game“. If you haven’t been nicked by this before, consider yourself lucky. Here’s how it works…
The scammer registers multiple website names, say… “product.site” & “product-review.site“. The swindler first advertises a product heavily, then touts the same product on the review site he created! This scheme is best exemplified by my favorite quotation: “Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.”
Here’s Mr. Chambers’ hard work uncovered by – Matt Zopfi in the comments section at The Examiner on Sept. 19 2012.
I love how you cite your own articles on your skewedpolls.com website. This is really over the top especially after you said – “The UnSkewed Average of polls released today shows Romney with a 7.8 percent lead.” YOU CITE YOUR OWN WEBSITE. This isn’t “reporting” and you calling yourself a journalist is laughable at best.
Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC (http://www.godaddy.com/).
Domain Name: UNSKEWEDPOLLS.COM.
Created on: 28-Aug-12.
Expires on: 28-Aug-13.
Last Updated on: 15-Sep-12.
Chambers, D. M. Ross email@example.com.
Q Star Productions.
47 Blueberry Lane.
East Falmouth, Massachusetts 02536.
Delusions of this sort have been sold to gullible marks since time memorial by religious institutions, among others. And like those con jobs, if it gives peace of mind in the present, perhaps it serves some purpose. But in the end, dead is dead. So goes the Romney campaign.