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Glendale City Council Approves New Coyotes Lease with 5-2 Vote

Keith Yandle skates on ice that should be in Glendale for at least another 30 years.
Keith Yandle skates on ice that should be in Glendale for at least another 30 years.

The City of Glendale has approved a new lease agreement with likely new owner Matthew Hulsizer that should keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale for the next 30 years. While council members Phil Lieberman and Joyce Clark voted no citing concerns about the financing of the deal and the possibility, though remote, that Hulsizer could use an out clause in the deal to take the money and leave. The five other member of the council didn't seem to have any issues with the terms of the deal though as they all voted in favor of the deal. Following the lease approval, the council then voted in favor of the bond issue to fund it 6-1. Odd that Councilwoman Clark would be in favor of one and not the other, but that's neither here nor there as both motions passed and Coyotes fans are nearly done with this 2 year ordeal.

Some of the important things to take away from tonight's meeting:

The City of Glendale is NOT just giving the money away to Matthew Hulsizer or the Coyotes they are basically paying for two things. First they're buying the rights to charge for parking in the lots surrounding the arena for 100 million dollars. It wasn't entirely clear how much money they would recoup per year in order to get that money back, but the city floated a bond issue to make it happen so they have to be confident in their ability to recoup that money otherwise they wouldn't risk their credit issue. The other 97 million that keeps getting talked about is basically paying Hulsizer or whatever group he has running things for the management of the arena. This was worked out as if the Coyotes were not there the City would have had to pay something around 20 million per year to keep the arena going and keep events coming into the arena. There is also an option in the agreement for Hulsizer to purchase the arena after 5 years. 

As far as the Goldwater Institute is concerned the City is meeting with them on Thursday to explain exactly how the deal is working. While in a statement the Institute said they would be fighting it as they thought it violated Arizona's gift clause. In tonight's meeting though the city attorneys as well as council members believed that they had crafted a deal that would pass anything GWI would throw at it and that GWI was basing it's objection on false information. At least from everything the, quite frankly, more lucid members of the council said, it should just be a matter of breaking the deal down for them so time wouldn't have to be wasted litigating anything.

One other important thing to come out of the meeting is that Glendale residents are pissed about their water bills. I don't know what the deal was but during the citizen comment time anyone that was against the deal felt the need to complain about the cost of their water bill. Very strange. This was after they opened the meeting by getting an award for having good clean water. Whatever floats your boat I suppose.