Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Glendale Quietly Helping Coyotes

((HT: Arizona Republic))

Just when you thought the Phoenix Coyotes ((Jobing.com arena pictured, thanks Michael Schennum/Arizona Republic)) situation couldn't get any more odd, the Republic and Brahm Resnik of KPNX-TV 12 let us know that the city of Glendale their own selves has been letting the team play, for all intents and purposes, rent free for the last seven months. The value of the non-payment adds up to US$4-million.

"They're using that money for their operating money when it should have been paid to the City of Glendale," said Councilman Phil Lieberman.

Council members who were informed of the bailout by 12 News said it was news to them.
"Absolutely I should have been told," said Lieberman, a member of the city council for 17 years. Joyce Clark, who represents the district that's home to the Coyotes, also said she was never informed.

Glendale spokeswoman Julie Frisoni declined to make City Manager Ed Beasley available for an interview, citing policy not to discuss ongoing negotiations.
She did say there was no need to notify council members because the break on the lease was part of a change to an agreement, not an entirely new agreement the council would have to vote on.

"That whole arena was structured on certain revenues coming in," Mayor Elaine Scruggs, a longtime friend of team owner Jerry Moyes, said last month. "And we need to retain the ability to meet our debt payments."
The Coyotes have not delivered the lease revenue. For example, the lease requires the team to pay an arena parking fee to Glendale of $2.85 per ticket sold. That parking fee makes up almost half of the team's $16.8 million in lease payments since 2003 -- $7.75 million to date. But that's $10 million short of the $17.8 million in parking fee revenue the Coyotes were projected to deliver.
Meantime, the bond rating agency Moody's has raised concerns about Glendale's ability to service its mounting debt, after the city borrowed $200 million to build the new spring training complex for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. Moody's cited continued declines in sales tax revenue.

No comments: