Mayor Jerry Weiers
Vice Mayor Ian Hugh
Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff
Councilmember Bart Turner
Councilmember Jamie Aldama
Dear Mayor, Vice Mayor, and Members of the council,
Has it sunk in yet? That feeling of dread? Did any of the words spoken in council chambers last night resonate with you at all? You have now wandered down a path that has two possible outcomes; you lose your legal fight, the Coyotes keep playing in Gila River Arena, and you get sued for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Or you win your legal argument that the arena management agreement was not negotiated fairly, still get sued for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, and still have to pay the debt on an empty arena.
Win or lose the admittedly already "cash strapped" City of Glendale will have to fight those battles in court. The Coyotes have the backing of the NHL, a three billion dollar industry, whose team of lawyers would love nothing more than to litigate you until the sun burns out.
Glendale's backers are a little more modest, all 234,632 of us will have to pay for these legal fees probably long after you have all been voted out of office for what can only be called sheer financial incompetence and contractual ignorance. What was your end game here, to renegotiate an already mutually agreed upon contract?
My best guess is you the council wanted reduce the annual payment to the Coyotes by a few million dollars, while on the back end the Coyotes would likely restructure the fee payments coming back to the city in a similar amount. All the while creating ill will and negative publicity for the city and the Coyotes, and losing out on the potential upside after hockey attendance increases and the event business improves. Your gamble will likely cost you your seats, the city millions of dollars, and the valley a professional hockey team.
Glendale, AZ resident
cc: Councilmember Gary Sherwood
Councilmember Sammy Chavira