According to the Canadian Press, the NHL will sell the Phoenix Coyotes to former San Jose Sharks executive Greg Jamison for $170 million. As part of the deal, a 20-year lease is to be signed which will pay the Jamison group $15 million a year to manage Jobing.com arena. Jamison will be the arena manager, charged with keeping an ” anchor tenant at the arena” during the 20-year lease.
The team will continue to pay rent ($13 million) to the city of Glendale over the duration of the agreement. The city also expects to take in a huge windfall in naming rights and ticket surcharges (close to $70 million). The deal also includes a massive non-relocation agreement. The team would have to pay between $250-300 million in damages if they try to break the lease and move the team.
The deal will be presented to the Glendale City Council on Thursday for a historic vote.
The wild card in all this is the conservative think-tank known as the Goldwater Institute. The Goldwater Institute champions themselves as the protectors of citizens rights when government oversteps its authority. If Goldwater believes Arizona law as been violated, they have shown the propensity to sue in the past. Previously rumored owner Matthew Hulsizer pulled out of the deal when Goldwater threatened to sue to stop his deal with the city of Glendale from going through.
Goldwater CEO Darcy Olsen said her group could have problems if the fee paid to Jamison is out of whack with what it really costs to run the arena. She also said the city could run the arena itself or put it out for a competitive bid instead of just approving a deal with Jamison. (Phoenix Business Journal- Sunnucks)
“The city could sign an arena management contract for less than that amount or for no amount at all if the city decides to manage the arena itself or put it out for competitive bidding,” Olsen said in a statement. “That said, we do believe this arena management fee is legally questionable if it is far greater than the value of the services to be provided (PBJ- Sunnucks).”
Glendale voters may also have the ability to place the deal on the ballot as it deals with tax issues and the city council.
The Yotes are not out of the woods yet, but every step in this direction gives all of us diehard Coyotes fans hope that we will have another season in the desert.
About the Author
Written by Michael Jenkins
I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Graduated from THE University of Arizona. I now reside part time in San Francisco, CA. I am a diehard Phoenix Coyotes fan (season ticket holder since Day 1) and a diehard Chelsea FC fan. I am passionate, energetic and highly grateful to get the opportunity to work in this business again.