Today the city released as an agenda item for Tuesday, March 26, 2013 city council meeting. The council will be asked to formally ratify a contract with Beacon Sports Capital Partners that has apparently been in effect since March 4, 2013. In fact, the City’s Communications Director, Julie Frisoni, denied as late as March 15, 2013, that there was any such contract. An action George Fallar and I have speculated upon for the past month.
I suspect that the contract was vetted in a previous Executive session after a council workshop. Keep in mind, council may not vote in a workshop or Executive session but they can certainly come to consensus and give direction. When I served on council, a majority routinely gave direction in an Executive session. The council meeting on March 26 merely ratifies direction provided as a previous executive session. So much for a greater transparency embraced verbally by the new council and recently lamented as absent by the infamous Ken Jones in recent letter to the editor in the Glendale Star. The bloom may be off the rose for Mr. Jones and his love affair with the new council.
The Beacon contract is short and sweet and takes only 4 pages. Glendale tasks Beacon with developing an RFP “process for the future lease and management of the Arena to prospective Venue Managers…” Its role is that of liaison for Glendale and it has no power to bind Glendale to any contract. Its duties consist of: reviewing all existing business contracts; preparing the RFP; soliciting interested parties and assisting them in their due diligence and review process; providing a recommendation to the city manager and council; developing the arena management agreement and sealing the deal between the venue manager and the city. We have to presume that the NHL approves of such an arrangement as they continue their silence (there is an occasional platitude signifying nothing).
This contract is in effect for 6 months (September 6, 2013) or if a venue manager is secured before the end of the stated term, it will terminate earlier. When this agreement is ratified by council, presumably on March 26, Beacon will receive a $25,000 retainer. In addition to that retainer the city will pay $400 per hour for the services of 3 Beacon principals: Richard Billings, Jr., Gerald Sheehan and Christopher Billings. Oh, and by the way, these fine gentlemen will be reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, lodging and meal expenses. The costs of this contract are not budgeted in the Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget. The funds will have to come from the “Unappropriated Contingency” Fund (read the $17M allocated in this year’s budget to pay for an arena manager). Lastly, both sides in the contract recognize that this agreement is proprietary and confidential.
In a previous blog, “Ripples in a cornfield,” I related that a 2005 suit was filed against Beacon Sports, IFG and Michael Reinsdorf by West Coast Arena Ventures, LLC in the Superior Court of California. West Coast Arena Ventures sued because it alleged that its confidentiality was breached by Beacon, IFG and Michael Reinsdorf. I do not know the outcome of this suit. It has been alleged previously that when IFG and Michael Reinsdorf had work they could not or chose not to take they passed it on to Beacon. A leopard doesn’t change its spots. It may very well come to pass that the Reinsdorf/Kaites group will have an inside track because of its relationship, perceived or real, to Beacon Sports.
The previous Reinsdorf deal for the purchase of the Coyotes insisted there be a 5 year opt-out clause. If they hold to the same line, the Coyotes could stay for an abbreviated period and then be moved to…Seattle?