Glendale Approves Sale of Coyotes – For Now

After years of blockades, negotiations, financial troubles, and questions, the Phoenix Coyotes can finally say that they have a new owner who’ll endeavour to keep the franchise in Arizona.

A Glendale city council vote on a $15 million per year deal that’ll stretch out over two decades has gone forward after a judge rejected the Goldwater Institute’s efforts to get in the way.

That doesn’t mean smooth sailing from now on in, of course, as the Institute has promised that it’s lawyers will be back in court next week to try to void the vote and the deal. The claim is that the city held the proceedings and the vote without the proper legal disclosures – anything to block the deal.

Glendale is hoping to use the arena lease management deal to help a group led by Greg Jamison to purchase the Coyotes and keep the team in Phoenix. Obviously this would be great news for the NHL, as they’ve been hoping to keep the club in Phoenix ever since they purchased the team two years out of bankruptcy.

The issue for Glendale has been whether the costs would outweigh the benefits, what with the city and much of the country in dire financial straits.

For the Goldwater Institute, the issue is that assuming the debt and financial responsibility of the club will prove an unnecessary tax burden on citizens. With the arena funded by taxpayers, the city would be paying out a total of $300 million over 20 years for the facility. And with the franchise reportedly still losing money year-on-year, it could be a tough road for citizens of Glendale.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in town for the city council 4-2 vote that pushed the taxpayer-funded agreement a step further to fruition.

It should also be noted that there are no other professional sports teams in Arizona receiving tax-funded subsidies.

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