Goldwater Institute Tries to Block Coyotes’ Arena Lease Agreement

The Goldwater Institute, a conservative watchdog group, has filed a lawsuit to block the arena lease agreement between the city of Glendale and the potential buyer for the Phoenix Coyotes.

The lease deal is at the core of Greg Jamison’s attempt to purchase the ‘Yotes and assemble an ownership group to get the job done. The reported price tag on the Coyotes is $170 million at this point and time. Jamison was given the lease, which pays out $324 million over 20 years in management fees for the arena. The lease was granted to Jamison after Glendale city council voted for it.

The Goldwater Institute has frequently tried to block the lease agreement throughout the proceedings. The most recent attempt came as they tried to get a restraining order against the vote that gave Jamison the lease.

This most recent lawsuit comes on behalf of “two Glendale taxpayers,” apparently. They want the court to invalidate the council vote. They also don’t want the lease to go through – at least until the details are made public. The argument is that the lease violated Arizona law about public records. Apparently Glendale has not complied with a 2009 court order that called for full disclosure of any and all documents related to the lease on the facility.

“We continue to hope that the city will construct a lawful deal that protects the interests of Glendale taxpayers,” Goldwater president Darcy Olsen said. “Without seeing critical exhibits contained in the arena management agreement such as the arena annual budget or the arena management performance standards, it is not possible to determine the constitutional validity of the agreement. Arizona’s public records and open meetings laws mean nothing if the city of Glendale can get away with a $425 million deal without disclosure.”

The figure of $425 million is Goldwater’s estimation of the 20-year cost of the lease to the city of Glendale should interest be included in the final figure. In the first five years of said lease, $94 million in annual payments will go to the Jamison group.

This lawsuit appears to be more stalling tactics from the Goldwater Institute. They are clearly trying everything and anything to break down the deal and essentially ship the franchise, one they believe can’t be afforded at this point and time, elsewhere.

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