There will be a vote. The Glendale city council gave direction to move forward with a vote on the arena management agreement with prospective Phoenix Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison. The vote will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the regularly scheduled city council meeting. The vote will either be 4-2 in favor of the lease or a 3-3 stalemate depending on the vote of councilmember Yvonne Knaack. A 3-3 vote would not approve the management agreement and for all intents and purposes serve the effect of the deal being voted down. Knaack declined to comment on how she would vote.
With only six active council members, four were needed to approve the opportunity to vote. Council members Knaack, Joyce Clark, Manny Martinez, Norma Alvarez and Vice Mayor Steve Frate approved sending the agreement to a vote. Only Mayor Elaine Scruggs voted to not put the agreement up for vote.
Besides the expected dissension from Alvarez and Scruggs on the lease itself, there was an unexpected contrarian to the management agreement, the negotiator himself. Despite the fact that he negotiated the lease and the fact that he said the deal benefits the city in the long run, Acting City Manager Horatio Skeete did not recommend the council approve the arena management agreement with Jamison. Skeete’s reasoning was based on him being uncomfortable with the number of up-front cost cuts.
The presentation at the Glendale city council workshop on Tuesday showed that the Coyotes are worth about $94 million to the city of Glendale by year 20 of the lease. A 20-year budget outlook was presented that showed Glendale would benefit in years 11-20 (by as much as the aforementioned $94 million in fiscal year 2032) by keeping the Coyotes as opposed to letting the team leave the city.
The council was presented with essentially the same figures from the Oct. 2 workshop. All details can be found here but essentially the total cash payment has been reduced from $324 million to $320 million and incentives and event minimums have been added to the agreement that originally passed via council vote on June 8. The option for Jamison to buy the arena from the city is still in the lease. Clark mentioned that if Jamison chooses to buy the arena the city will be relieved of the arena management fee payment forever.
Scruggs wanted to delay the vote on the agreement until after the new city council was sworn in. She was the only councilmember to support that opinion. Scruggs was on her cell phone often throughout the meeting even while her questions were being answered.
In the workshop, Skeete told the council that Jamison would need 30-45 days to complete the transaction of purchasing the Coyotes from the NHL. Skeete anticipates that the NHL would extend the lease agreement with Glendale at no charge during that 30-45 day period.