It has become something of an annual tradition since 2009; news comes out about the Arizona Coyotes and their arena situation, the Arizona Republic decides to take notice, and the ensuing articles usually have a certain 'tone' shall we say.
The latest edition of our annual ritual comes from Republic columnist Laurie Roberts, who published a blistering editorial on the Coyotes proposal to create a special taxing district to fund a new arena somewhere in the Valley. Unsurprisingly, it's less than cheery.
So with that in mind, let's dive into this editorial in light of Glendale's new agreement with AEG Live. Spoiler alert: we have some issues with it.
For your listening pleasure, a soundtrack to read by, from your friendly bloggers at Five For Howling.
The Arizona Coyotes. What can I say?This is a team that has some howling big brass ba…,, er, I mean, audacity.
A testicles joke? Bravo, your "certified blogger" credentials are in the mail!
Arizona’s NHL franchise is preparing to bolt its current 12-year-old taxpayer-supplied digs in Glendale and is looking for new taxpayer-supplied digs.Naturally.
"Preparing to bolt" only after their landlord decided to void their 15 year agreement, but hey, let's keep the narrative going...
"this, after the Glendale City Council all but pushed them out by reneging on their agreement."
The preceding passage was only added after being called out by fans on Twitter.
@JohnGlennPhx That's a fair criticism. I added it.— Laurie Roberts (@LaurieRoberts) April 13, 2016
That seems like less of a "fair criticism" and more of "the entire reason we're at this point".
The Republic’s Craig Harris is reporting that team leaders are looking to the Legislature to create a special taxing district that would have you-know-who kicking in hundreds of millions of dollars to build yet another place for the team to play.
"Yet another" So you must be referring to the arena built with hockey as an afterthought in America West, and their current arena that was ill-conceived and built in the wrong place after Steve Ellman and Jerry Moyes sold the Glendale City Council magic beans.
Specifically, the Coyotes are looking for a special taxing district in which most the taxes raised would be put towards paying off yet another new arena for the team. Team owners say they would also kick in $100 million or so. Nice of them, don't you think?
$100 million is nothing to laugh at, but remind me again how much the other valley teams chipped into their taxpayer subsidized stadiums?
The bill is currently drawing dust on a shelf at Legislature, but alarm bells go off when I see who is pushing this deal.
Jim Norton, that would be - Gov. Doug Ducey’s old college pal and part of the new powerhouse Axiom Public Affairs. Axiom is filled with Ducey confidantes and no doubt will be donning its binocs when Ducey is ready to explore running for president in 2024.The fact that Norton is involved means this special taxing district is a distinct possibility.
Breaking news: friend of the Governor of Arizona has influence in the Arizona State Legislature. Details at 11.
Coyotes officials tell Harris that special taxing districts – in which taxes generated from businesses within a district are used to pay off an arena – have been created a number of times around the country.In fact, the Coyotes had such a deal in Scottsdale during the late 1990s – thanks to a previous Legislature that set up a special taxing district – but bolted for what they saw as a better deal in Glendale.
They didn't bolt for a better deal, they decided that if two public referendums on the Los Arcos project wasn't enough for the Scottsdale City Council, then maybe they should talk with someone else.
How many public votes did Anthony LeBlanc & Co. go through while attempting to strike a deal with Glendale? Six City Council votes and two referendum attempts? Real opportunistic, those guys.
One in which taxes generated by the businesses at Westgate were supposed to pay off the debt on the arena.
One function that will be difficult if the Coyotes leave, drawing in 13,000 folks on average, 41 nights a year.
Now the team is looking to leave Glendale, where taxpayers still owe $144 million on Gila River Arena.
And this is the team's fault, how? The original $15 mil per year agreement saw Glendale get back $5.8 million ($8.1 cost) in a shortened agreement year with a defined 50/50 revenue sharing. The team was on track to send back $7.2 million ($7.8 cost) in year 2 before Glendale's own professional Kenny Rodgers cosplayer pulled the plug. The hastily renegotiated deal set a fixed cost of $6.5 to manage the arena, this of course with a guaranteed 41 night schedule, but limited revenue sharing. Now Glendale has AEG lined up to manage the arena for, drumroll......
$5.6 million, with only a 25% revenue share going to the city, and no guarantee of 41 nights of activities, and upon further examination:
Yep. On top of $5.6M, COG pays AEG $420K for naming rights, $500K for rent (both used to go to city). Net cost $6.5M https://t.co/uOdU6FITan— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) April 26, 2016
We all know the drill. Just think, we'll be told, of all the new taxes that will be generated given this fantastic new district -- one that'll draw hotels, restaurants, etc., ad nauseum.Because, of course, no hotels or restaurants would be built in this, the nation's sixth largest metropolitan area, without a hockey team.
"of course, no hotels or restaurants would be built ... without a hockey team." Well, it certainly built Westgate.
This makes three – count ‘em, three – professional sports franchises now with their hands extended, palm up, awaiting sizable amounts of public cash.The Suns want a new arena. The Diamondbacks are making noise about 18-year-old Chase Field, which is apparently about to crumble any day now.And now, the Coyotes.
Again, the Coyotes didn't start this mess, It's a negotiation tactic. A tactic the Coyotes would be foolish to ignore. If someone wanted to build an arena that could accommodate hockey and you didn't have to deal with the lunatics in the Glendale City Council, wouldn't you take it?
Oh, for the day when taxpayers across the land learn one simple word:No.
Probably the same day they learn to not believe everything they read on the internet.
With the passage of the AEG and the City of Glendale agreement last night, The Coyotes may have a bit more pull then originally thought. AEG has placed a "dreaded" out clause in the agreement with Glendale.
And then there is this clause at the very bottom of the COG-AEG agreement document. pic.twitter.com/WC883VrRN9— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) April 26, 2016
So if/when The Coyotes make their nearly inevitable trip to the East Valley, will this be their fault as well? Or will Glendale continue to try to be John Cusack at the end of Say Anything?