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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Caitlin McGlade of the Arizona Republic has a story on a Supreme Court case that may affect the Tohono O’odham’s prospects of building a casino in Glendale. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com//community/glendale/articles/20131118west-valley-casino-appeal-delayed-until-us-supreme-court-decision.html?source=nletter-

The state as well as other stakeholders such as the Tribes opposed to the TO Casino have asked the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to wait until the Supreme Court renders a decision on tribal immunity. The Supreme Court schedule begins in October and they hear their last case arguments in April. In May they begin to announce decisions. It is assumed that the 9th Circuit Court will agree and wait until the results of the State of Michigan vs. the Bay Mills Indian Community are rendered.

The TO case has no common ground with the Michigan case but the decision that flows from the Michigan decision will definitively impact the issue of tribal sovereign immunity across the country. The Supreme Court decision may help the Valley tribes stop the TO’s plans but it’s a double-edged sword and will affect the concept of tribal sovereign immunity. How much is anyone’s guess — it could be a little or it could be a lot.  

Sovereign immunity is a complex issue and as with all rights can and has been used positively and negatively. It provides all Indian Tribes with the right to determine their long term destinies and protects them legally. It is a concept not often understood and many have  realized, too late, that they have no legal rights on reservation land.

Lately the local media has offered citizen comments on the issue of the casino. The common theme is that the Tribes opposing the casino are greedy and are attempting to thwart competition. It is a simplistic and false notion offered repeatedly to those who are not invested in the outcome but may have a voice in the ultimate decision. They conveniently ignore a major consequence – the destruction of the State Gaming Compact and its effects. There are people who get it and understand that if the delicate balance achieved by the Compact is destroyed the door is open to see the proliferation of casinos throughout the Phoenix Metro area. There are many other reasons to keep this casino out of Glendale but they have been offered by me and others ad nausea.

So, we wait.

© Joyce Clark, 2013

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to :http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: I voted in favor of Glendale’s hosting of the 2008 Super Bowl. I wanted to see if its results benefited Glendale financially. It did not. As a result, I voted against Glendale’s hosting of the 2015 Super Bowl. Please take a moment to participate in my informal Super Bowl poll to the left of this article.

The NFL is a non-profit and also a monopoly. It has tremendous wealth and power. It encourages potential host cities to upgrade or construct football facilities with the promise of a Super Bowl. It validates the economic benefits of a Super Bowl by funding economic studies and then uses their results liberally.

How did Glendale end up in this mess? Go back to the time when the Bidwills were looking for a permanent home for the Cardinals’ stadium. Remember? None of the East Valley cities, even Mesa, wanted it. The East Valley was where they yearned to locate but it was not to be. So it came as no surprise that John F. Long’s offer of free land in West Phoenix adjacent to the 101 was rejected. Glendale was the bridesmaid who became a bride by default. After all possible options had been explored Glendale was chosen. It was positively embarrassing.

The state created the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) as a mechanism to fund construction of the stadium and the Bidwills took out a loan (at an extremely favorable interest rate) from the NFL’s G-3 Stadium Program. Glendale issued $35 million dollars worth of bonds to pay for enhancing the infrastructure around the stadium. Make no mistake it may be a County facility outwardly under the control of AZSTA but it is the Bidwills who silently manage and operate the facility.

As the specifics of the event unfold it was learned that Scottsdale would continue to have a mutual relationship with the NFL for many years to come regarding hotel rooms and in fact, the teams would stay at Scottsdale hotels. Nearly all of the associated events and parties – even the media center — would be in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Tempe — any place but Glendale. We aren’t tony enough. Is it any wonder when you hear when Jacksonville hosted the Super Bowl each of the 32 team owners was given personalized use of a yacht?

It remains advantageous to every entity but Glendale to this day. Just look at the Scottsdale Council Economic Development report of April 30, 2013. Here’s the link: http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Asset48262.aspx . Check out the proposed agreement summary below between the Arizona Host Committee and Scottsdale.  Is it any wonder Glendale may not be thrilled with the prospect of hosting at a loss when it continues to receive the back of the NFL’s and Arizona Host Committee’s hand?

Proposed Agreement Summary

The following are benefits outlined in the proposed agreement between the City and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

• Host Committee will include 3,194 hotel and resort rooms within Scottsdale in its official Super Bowl XLIX room block.

• Host Committee, working with the SCVB (Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau), will encourage Host Committee sponsors and prominent groups to use Scottsdale hotels and resorts for Super Bowl XLIX.

• Host Committee, working with the Sponsor and SCVB, will encourage the use of Scottsdale venues and businesses as sites for Host Committee events and activities related to Super Bowl XLIX. The Host Committee will encourage the use of Scottsdale bars and restaurants as sites for third parties for private events.

• Host Committee will include Sponsor and SCVB representatives, to the extent qualified, on committees dealing with regional public safety and transportation issues associated with the Super Bowl. Sponsor and SCVB will also be represented on committees, if any, dealing with Host Committee events in Scottsdale.

• Host committee will work with SCVB to highlight key Scottsdale resorts, venues, restaurants, etc. during the Host Committee FAM trip proposed for 2014.

• Host Committee will use commercially reasonable efforts to include applicable Scottsdale businesses in Host Committee’s Business Connect Program, benefiting local minority and women-owned businesses.

• Sponsor will have representation in the Host Committee Business Development program, focused on attracting new companies to or expansion of existing companies in Arizona and Scottsdale, and increasing Scottsdale’s convention and meeting business.

• In accordance with the Agreement and Sponsor Guidelines, Sponsor or SCVB logo or text will be included in Arizona Host Committee promotional materials including website and brochures.

• In accordance with the Agreement and Sponsor Guidelines, Host Committee will include Scottsdale events in its social media and provide support for Sponsor events, which might include guest speakers, mascot appearances, etc.

• Host Committee will provide Sponsor directly, or if requested by Sponsor, provide SCVB for the benefit of Sponsor, with corporate entertainment and hospitality opportunities related to Super Bowl XLIX consisting of:

• 12 Super Bowl XLIX Game Tickets

• 12 Host Committee Pre/Post Game Hospitality Tickets

• 30 NFL Experience Tickets

• 12 Tickets, in the aggregate, to Host Committee events or other VIP experiences as mutually agreed upon between the Host Committee and Sponsor

• Host Committee will designate a Host Committee liaison that is available to the Sponsor for questions, concerns, resolutions.

• Host Committee, at the Sponsor’s request, will provide an annual meeting and/or written communications that provide updates on all that is occurring in the way of progress, planning of the event, as well as sponsorship deliverables beginning December 2013.

• Host Committee shall provide the Sponsor a Post Event Report, which will enable an evaluation of the Host Committee’s performance under this Agreement Report shall include a valuation of the Sponsorship Benefits. The report shall be provided to Sponsor no later than 60 days following the conclusion of Super Bowl XLIX.

• In addition to the Post Event Report, if requested. Host Committee will work with Sponsor to prepare recap for the Sponsor Council within 60 days following Super Bowl XLIX.

• Host Committee will make available to SCVB additional promotional opportunities related to Super Bowl XLIX.”

ESPN has announced it will use Scottsdale as its base for weeklong Super Bowl coverage and will offer the city tons of free publicity as it highlights Scottsdale’s desert scenes. For another “diss” to Glendale check out this website: http://www.visitphoenix.com/media/details/index.aspx?nid=412 that blatantly announces that the NFL has chosen Phoenix as its 2015 host city. Geez…and all along we thought Glendale was the host city. How silly of us. Every Glendale resident should be outraged.

How does the Arizona Host Committee fit into this scenario? It is the interface with the NFL. It prepares and presents a bid for consideration to the team owners.  It is charged with raising millions of dollars to offset the costs (and perks offered to team owners and NFL upper management) of the Super Bowl. It is the visible voice of the Super Bowl until the NFL arrives in town. It must gather thousands of volunteers to work the event. Each of the participating cities must tithe to the Host Committee based on population (ironically, Glendale’s population is greater than that of Scottsdale’s). Prior to the first Super Bowl in Glendale the Host Committee virtually ignored Glendale. It had meetings of which Glendale was not informed and to which Glendale was not invited to participate. From then until now it has treated Glendale as the poor relative to be tolerated.  It never welcomed Glendale as a full participant in the decisions or preparations. When Glendale’s financial loss from the first Super Bowl it hosted was known I began to call for the Host Committee and major beneficiary cities like Phoenix and Scottsdale to lobby for legislation to make the host cities financially whole. After all, it would have benefited them as well. The silence was deafening. What about the Bidwills? After all, they have a lot of influence in this state. Where was their support? Oh wait, they are holding out for a parking garage built by the city. Collectively there was none and instead we heard that perhaps we should wait a few years until the legislative atmosphere was more amenable. Well, a few years have passed and there’s still no support.

The September 29, 2013 edition of the Arizona Republic blares that the NFL will place events in other Valley cities. Oh really? No big deal. They’ve been sticking it to Glendale for years. Excuse me, what are they going to take away when there are no events slated for Glendale to begin with? No, this is really a piece of heavy handed blackmail, big time, by the NFL. They perceive that proverbial crack in the host city dike. They want Glendale’s hotel rooms. Glendale’s hoteliers have declined to participate and why should they? What’s in it for them? Do they get additional publicity because a team is staying at a Glendale hotel? No. Do they get additional publicity because NFL team owners are staying at a Glendale hotel? No. There is no incentive for Glendale hoteliers to cooperate. It earns them nothing other than a cap on what they charge for a room during the event. When will they realize that if they want Glendale’s support and that of its hoteliers rather than using the blackmail stick they might consider the incentive carrot. Our Moms used to say, “You get more flies with honey than vinegar.” It’s time for the Host Committee and the NFL to welcome Glendale into the fold as a full participant in preparation for this event.

Think about this. The NFL has set up a system whereby host cities must bid against one another and are forced to offer more and more outrageous goodies for the privilege. It’s time for the host cities to form a consortium of their own to stop this ever more expensive and crazy bidding war. They should develop their own basic ground rules and commonalities of interest. Perhaps they should develop a rotation system. It would certainly be to their advantage. What is the NFL going to do? Move to Europe? Hardly.

Did Glendale do a good job hosting its first Super Bowl? You bet it did. The city received many kudos. We were told by NFL officials, “You had the best Super Bowl ever.” Is Glendale capable of hosting the Super Bowl? Of course it is. Transportation and Public Safety personnel already have the experience of one under their belts and have been planning for the next one. Our city personnel are competent and experienced. The city is ready. Is parking an issue? No, it is not. Part of the parking requirements in the bid refer to the NFL Experience which is going to Phoenix, not Glendale. No surprise. The NFL rents vacant land to use as temporary parking lots in addition to the parking provided by Glendale. It’s a non-issue. There is one area of concern. In preparation for 2008 the council made a conscious decision to allocate funds in a special account for several years prior to the event. This time there has been no conscious decision to allocate funds for use during the event. Perhaps it will be done at the October 1, 2013 city council workshop or failing that, certainly at the council budget workshops in the spring.  The 2008 Super Bowl cost the city over $2M. Expect that cost to have doubled to at least $4M. Where will it come from? Council must address this issue and do so quickly.

Someone asked if the first Super Bowl was so bad for Glendale why is it hosting another one? The answer is not quite so simple. A majority (I was not one) of the council voted to participate in the bid process and therefore were on board to act on a winning bid. I cannot speak for the majority. Their rationale appeared to be to ignore Glendale’s fiscal loss from 2008 and to focus on the intangibles, especially the Frisoni message of intangible publicity value for Glendale. I question that assumption when the media center will be sited in Phoenix and networks like ESPN will broadcast from Scottsdale.  I assume they thought the intangibles outweighed the negative fiscal loss to the city. Or perhaps they feel that hosting the Super Bowl gets them an invitation into the “big boys club.” Our former mayor, who voted in favor of hosting the Super Bowl in 2015, often stated that the West Valley, especially Glendale, did not get the respect it deserved from other Phoenix metro cities. Councilmembers Knaack and Martinez were very tight with the former mayor and may have shared her perspective.

If I was on Glendale’s city council and another opportunity presented itself to host another Super Bowl, just as for 2015, under the current conditions, I would vote “no.” It’s a matter of principle. Glendale must be recognized by the NFL and the Arizona Host Committee as a full partner in the process. It must reap some of the rewards as a host city by becoming a site for major special events and parties. Until there is a financial mechanism in place to make Glendale whole it makes absolutely no sense for our residents to subsidize an event that seems to benefit everyone but Glendale.

©Joyce Clark, 2013

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The NFL is a Super Bully. It is incredibly rich which accrues it tremendous power. It is a non-profit that pays no taxes and is a monopoly. Quite literally, it is the only (football) game in town. It can call the shots and is not shy about doing so. It’s also like your miserly grandfather, watching every penny and constantly on the lookout for freebies. Do you think Glendale should host the Super Bowl? Vote in the informal poll to the left of this article.

The NFL has a wonderful scam going. It encourages potential host cities to build or upgrade facilities by dangling the carrot of an economic bonanza with the prospect of a Super Bowl coming to town. The website www.planetizen.com has an article by Boramici from February of 2013.  He says, “ ‘Since 1990, taxpayers have been paying more than 60% of the bill for new NFL stadiums and more than 59% for new professional baseball stadiums in the U.S. While professional sports teams are integral to their host cities, the sense of ‘identity and civic pride’ they lend comes ‘at such a high price, one extracted not by these civic-minded fans, mind you, but by a uniquely undemocratic cabal of mayors and monopolists’, writes Harry Moroz.
“This year’s Super Bowl in New Orleans’s rehabbed Superdome comes with a price tag of $471 million to taxpayers with $41 million of those coming from FEMA.
“Several survey-based recent studies show that the value taxpayers place on professional sports team retention in their cities does not match up to the cost of building new stadiums or even renovating existing ones.
“What keeps the cycle of dependence going?
“With a limited supply and a more or less credible threat of leaving a city, sports teams are able to appeal to the risk-averse part of city leaders’ brains: People forget about $100 million lost here or there, but the departure of a sports team will be written in a mayor’s obituary.”

Couple the NFL clarion call to build even bigger and better facilities with its tried and true tactic of funding and issuing an economic study that promises untold financial benefit. There is an excellent piece of research by Victor A. Matheson of the College of the Holy Cross; Department of Economics entitled Economics of the Super Bowl. Here is the link: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/Matheson_SuperBowl09.pdf . He contends, “The Super Bowl is America’s premier sporting event. This paper details basic economic facts about the game as it examines the controversy surrounding the purported economic impact of the game on host communities. While the league and sports boosters claim that the game brings up to a $500 million economic impact to host cities, a review of the literature suggests that the true economic impact is a fraction of this amount.”  In his research paper he refers to a W.P. Carey MBA Sports Business Program study commissioned by the NFL on the economic impact to the Phoenix metropolitan region as a result of the 2008 Glendale hosted Super Bowl. That study claimed an economic benefit of $550.6 million dollars to the greater Phoenix area. He states, “There are reasons to be skeptical of such claims, however, since the league has strong financial incentives to publicize studies that report a large financial windfall for host cities. The NFL explicitly uses the lure of the Super Bowl as a carrot to convince otherwise reluctant cities to provide public subsidies for the construction of new playing facilities.” Relying on a study the NFL paid for isn’t the most reliable indicator as, “It appears that most economic impact reports are “padded” at least as well as the players on the field.” That study has become mantra in the Phoenix area and every time there is renewed discussion of hosting yet another Super Bowl it is cited ad nausea. If you repeat something often enough we assume it must be true. Doesn’t this sound all too familiar? The state created the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) to collect hotel and rental car taxes within Maricopa County to fund, in part, the construction of the UofP Stadium because the NFL and Bidwills all but promised that it would host a Super Bowl. And we all drank the kool-aid.

An often cited component of every economic impact study focuses on sales tax collection. It is generally accepted that sales tax figures are a reliable indicator.  How the sales tax figures are generated offers an opportunity for exaggeration. Matheson says, “…of the 23 new  stadiums constructed for NFL franchises between 1992 and 2009, 7 were funded, at least in part, through increases in the local general sales tax rate while another 8 were funded through increased excise taxes, i.e. sales taxes on specific goods and services such as rental cars or hotel rooms (Baade and Matheson 2006b).” Among researchers without a financial dog in the fight the general consensus is that any Super Bowl game generates $100 million dollars – not NFL fueled study numbers of $400 million or $500 million — of economic impact.  Many studies have been done on the South Florida area because of the inordinate number of Super Bowls that area has hosted over the years. One researcher offered this rather sardonic comment, “Finally, it is worth noting that taxable sales in the area during January-February 2000, the year after the game, were $1.26 billion higher than in the same months during the Super Bowl year. Strangely, the NFL never publicized a story announcing, ‘Thanks to the lack of a Super Bowl, there was a $1.26 billion increase in taxable sales in South Florida compared to the equivalent January- February period in 1999.’”

If all else fails and one’s critics will not accept sales tax figures one can always fall back on the intangibles.”… in assessing the impact Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona, Michael Mokwa, chairman of the marketing department at the W. P Carey School of Business stated, ‘The money is just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands and thousands of people who came here for the Super Bowl, of whom many had never been to the Valley before, took away powerful memories and a good feeling about Arizona.’ This translates, he said, into coveted return visits, family and business relocations, and word-of-mouth marketing throughout the country. Priceless, as MasterCard is fond of saying (W.P. Carey School of Business, 2008).”

The problem with intangibles is they are intangible. They are extremely difficult to quantify and substantiate. Have we ever heard a CEO of a company state that he moved the company to Arizona because he had powerful memories and fell in love with it while attending the Super Bowl in Glendale? It is the stuff of urban legend that was used frequently by Julie Frisoni (Glendale’s Director of Communications and Marketing) in 2008 while making a case for Glendale’s first hosting of the Super Bowl. She continually cited the exposure Glendale would receive in hosting the Super Bowl but to my knowledge, there is no company that relocated to Glendale as a direct result of having attended the 2008 Super Bowl.

Government revenues, another intangible, are also non-existent because of the NFL’s stipulation that it pay no taxes. While there is an increase in employment and as a result, personal income, it does not have a lasting effect beyond the event. It is an event that provides an increase in jobs for perhaps a month and then, poof…they are gone. Matheson goes on to say,“Ex post economic analyses of the Super Bowl by scholars not financially connected with the game have typically found that the observed effects of the game on real economic variables such as employment, government revenues, taxable sales, GDP, and personal income, while generally positive, are a fraction of those claimed by the league and sports boosters. When considering optimal public policy with respect to sports infrastructure, it would be wise to take any claims of super benefits from the Super Bowl with a grain of salt.”

The NFL waves the magic wand of promise of a “Super Bowl To Come” to bring pressure to upgrade or construct a facility worthy of such an event. Then for good measure it issues an NFL funded economic impact study that can prove the region will realize a financial windfall. What’s not to like? It is powerful and enticing and appeals to many regions of the country struggling with the aftermath of the Great Recession. The crushing debt it causes taxpayers will be the catalyst causing us to take a second look and ask the question, is it really worth it?

The very last thing the NFL will tolerate is insubordination in its ranks of host cities. A hole in the dike is to be stopped at all cost to keep a flood of skepticism from washing over its always reliable revenue streams. The sentinel that alerts it to impending trouble is the Host Committee. In the next blog, we’ll look at the Arizona Host Committee and Glendale’s role as a host city.

©Joyce Clark, 2013

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.



First a disclaimer: On June 28, 2011 the city council passed Resolution 4502 in support of Glendale’s bid to host the Super Bowl in 2015. I was one of two councilmembers who did NOT support that bid. While I enjoy football and in fact, am in a Fantasy League I voted against hosting on principle. Until such time as Glendale is made whole financially for the expenses it incurs as a host city and knowing Glendale’s precarious financial position I cannot support the further financial strain.

Paul Giblin writing for the Arizona Republic had a story in the September 29, 2013 edition entitled NFL Looking to Other Valley Cities for Super Bowl Events. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20130926nfl-glendale-super-bowl-events.html . Are you furious? If not, you should be. A little background is in order. In 2008 Glendale was the host city for the Super Bowl and lost over a million dollars for that “privilege.” Even though Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix made money on the event Glendale did not. Why? Glendale had made great strides in obtaining more hotel rooms, restaurants and other amenities but there still were not enough of those venues to earn the necessary sales tax revenue to reimburse the city for its expenses. In addition, most of the NFL sponsored events occurred throughout the Valley creating fewer opportunities for event attendees to visit Glendale. For example, the teams stayed in Scottsdale’s hotels, not Glendale’s. Even though the region or state benefited there was and is to this day, no mechanism to offset the host city’s losses. Glendale’s situation is becoming more and more unique. Take Texas for example. The state has a mechanism in place to reimburse the host city. Here’s a link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/super-bowl/local/20110131-state-fund-to-help-pay-for-super-bowl-expenses.ece . For the 2011 Super Bowl hosted in Arlington, Texas, “A state trust fund that uses tax money to help communities play host to major sports events is distributing its largest grant yet for Super Bowl XLV: $31.2 million.” There is a similar mechanism in Florida. Our state legislature has refused to create such a mechanism and don’t expect them to do so in the near future.

To begin let’s take a look at the NFL. Did you know it is the only sports league to have a 501(c) 6 non-profit status? Well, they do and as a result the NFL pays no taxes. It is estimated the dues each of the 32 team owners pays annually to the league is $6 million dollars on which no taxes are paid as it is considered as a donation to a non-profit. Forbes publishes an annual list of the 52 richest sports franchises in the world. Each year the 32 NFL teams, all of them, are included in that list of 52 richest franchises. The estimated worth of just one team — Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboys is $2.3 billion dollars.

The NFL revenue for the 2012 Super Bowl was $9.5 billion dollars (yes, that’s with a “b”). Estimated NFL revenues for the 2014 Super Bowl range from $11.5 to $14.7 billion dollars. If that sounds extreme consider the fact that in 2013 a 30 second TV ad cost $4 million dollars and that in 2014, a 30 second TV ad could cost as much as $10 million dollars. In 2009 Roger Goodell, the NFL president, was paid $9.9 million dollars in salary alone (does not include any perks or bonuses) and by 2019 his salary will be $20 million a year.

Super Bowl tickets are pricey. The nose bleed seats go for $700 and the lower bowl, really nice seats come in at $12,000. The cheapest Super Bowl package (tickets, air fare and hotel) for 2014 right now are priced at over $5,000 per upper level seat and $24,000 per lower bowl seat. Did you visit the Super Bowl Village (NFL Experience) when it was in Glendale in 2008? Admission was free but you probably bought some NFL merchandise. You couldn’t get out of there without having spent at least $100. Multiply that by attendance in Indianapolis in 2013 of 1.1 million people. Conservatively that’s another $110 million dollars. Then there are the TV rights to carry the Super Bowl. According to Forbes over the next 9 years three networks, Fox, NBC and CBS will pay $27 billion dollars for TV rights. Here’s the link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2011/12/14/the-nfl-signs-tv-deals-worth-26-billion/ .

You have the picture. The NFL is the only sports league that is non-profit and pays no taxes, local, regionally, state or federal. The NFL is a football monopoly and as a result, can dictate terms. Take them or leave them. The NFL doesn’t care because there’s always another sucker, er…bidder. The 32 team owners that comprise the NFL have the richest franchises in the world. Super Bowl 2014 will earn these men somewhere in the range of $11 to $14B. Next up, in Part 2, we’ll look at host cities, host committees and Glendale’s role in the 2015 Super Bowl.

©Joyce Clark, 2013

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Lawwho have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Tribes say “Thank You”…and so do I

Posted by Joyce Clark on September 26, 2013
Posted in Casino  | Tagged With: , , , , , | 3 Comments

On Sunday, September 22, 2013 there was a full page newspaper ad by 7 Arizona Tribes thanking members of the Arizona delegation for their bipartisan support of H.R. 1410, The Keep the Promise Act. Many no longer get the newspaper so I have taken the liberty of relaying their comments in full. As they say “Thank You” – so do I as well as the many Yucca district residents that would be directly and adversely affected.thank you


An open letter to members of the Arizona House delegation and members of the U.S. House of Representatives

In 2002, the voters of Arizona approved Proposition 202, the Indian Gaming and Self-Reliance Act. The campaign to approve that measure, supported and funded by 17 Indian Tribes from all over the state, made a promise to Arizona residents. We told the voters that Indian casinos would remain restricted to traditional tribal lands and that no additional casinos would open in metropolitan Phoenix.


Jointly sponsored by Arizona Congressional Representatives Trent Franks, Ed Pastor, Ann Kirkpatrick, Paul Gosar, David Schweikert and Matt Salmon in collaboration with Representatives Jared Huffman, John Conyers and Dan Kildee, The Keep The Promise Act was made necessary when one tribe – the Tohono O’odham – decided to contradict the promise made to voters by pursuing a tribal casino development in Glendale, near neighborhoods, schools, homes and places of worship.

We want to express our deep gratitude for the leadership shown by Reps. Franks, Pastor, Kirkpatrick, Gosar, Schweikert and Salmon on this issue. Their effort sets new precedents for bipartisan cooperation, as these representatives worked together tirelessly to hold every Arizona tribe accountable to the promises made to voters a decade ago: To keep casinos out of neighborhoods and to preserve the balance of Indian gaming that has existed for many years, to the benefit of Tribes and Arizona residents.

Now, thanks to the leadership of the members listed above, The Keep The Promise Ace will move on to the U.S. Senate, where we have every expectation of the same level of bipartisan support. That is why H.R. 1410 matters so much and why our Tribes and many other Valley cities will continue to support its immediate passage.



Cocopah Tribe


Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation


Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe


Gila River Indian Community


Hualapai Tribe


Pueblo of the Zuni


Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

ranch 1Once upon a time when Camelback Ranch was being developed, part of the master plan for the adjacent area was to create a new home for USA Basketball. Much of the land was owned by Ralph Burton. He had already proven himself as the city’s partner in bringing Cabela’s to Zanjero (a project he owned and planned), across Glendale Avenue from Westgate. Eventually he brought in two partners, Bob Banovac and Danny Herndon. In a spectacularly quiet but bloody legal battle Banovac and Herndon wrested control of Burton’s interests.  All of the plans for the 2008 development surrounding Camelback Ranch died when Banovich and Herndon, despite an award from Tucson’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA), could not raise the money needed to develop. We were in the midst of our national recession and they, like many others, went into bankruptcy. Since then the banks have sold the land piecemeal to other interests. The hopes of developing the adjacent area as a cohesive unit were gone.

logo usa basketballOne of the proposed projects for that area was a plan to relocated USA Basketball’s training center from Colorado to Glendale. USA Basketball is the entity that chooses our nation’s Olympic basketball teams and provides a year round training center for those teams. In addition, it hosts a myriad of other events, open to the public, such as basketball clinics. There were also plans for another hotel to service those coming to the center and there was even talk of a sports medicine facility. It would have been a most welcome addition to the city’s plans for sports and entertainment surrounding the Loop 101.

On June 10, 2013 the Arizona Republic reported in an article written by Jeff Metcalfe and Anne Ryman entitled Sources: USA Basketball plans to relocate to Tempe. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/articles/20130610usa-basketball-plans-to-relocate-to-tempe.html. On July 31, 2013 the Arizona Republic confirmed USA Basketball’s move in an article entitled Tempe lands HQ for USA Basketball by Anne Ryman and Jeff Metcalfe. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/tempe/articles/20130730tempe-lands-hq-usa-basketball.html?nclick_check=1 . Although they have finally found a new home for themselves I was saddened to learn that they will not be coming to Glendale. It is a major loss for Glendale and the West Valley.



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A casino in Phoenix?

Posted by Joyce Clark on July 23, 2013
Posted in Casino  | Tagged With: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

There is a story in the Arizona Republic of July 23, 2013 entitled Feds might retake prime parcel written by Eugene Scott. There is a 15 acre parcel of land that the federal government, in a very complicated land deal, sold to Barron Collier Development. It is located on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Indian School Road. Barron Collier has stopped making $60 million in payments to the feds for that parcel. Ownership may revert back to the federal government.

casino 1Justin Johnson, a candidate for Phoenix City Council and the son of former Mayor Paul Johnson, recently said, “My concern is that if the federal government takes over, that they can develop something without public input and it won’t go through local control, and it won’t fit inside the city’s general plan.” He also offered the worst case scenario for that parcel, “We don’t have to look any further than what is going on in Glendale to see the nightmare scenario which could transpire. A potential casino in downtown Phoenix is not a compatible use in this urban area near neighborhoods and schools.”

As has been repeatedly pointed out, if the Tohono O’odham Tribe legally prevails in its quest to place a casino on a county island within an incorporated city, as it is attempting to do in Glendale,the state gaming compact is destroyed. It becomes null and void. As you can see, now one of the Phoenix council candidates has voiced concern with regard to this 15 acre parcel that will end up in federal ownership. Since it would once again become federal land Phoenix would have absolutely no control over what is developed and how it looks.

 It would be ironic if a Tribe created a secret shell company and bought the parcel, waited a few years, and then announced that they were building a casino on the site – shades of Glendale. This is a lesson for all Valley communities. Watch out if you have a county island within your city.  If the Tohono O’odham are successful in Glendale you could be next as casino development warfare erupts.


blog symbol 1A lot of people are reading my blog. The count as of June 10, 2013 is nearly 40,000. The reason I bring this up is that on March 7, 2013 I posted a blog entitled “Twistn n Turnin.” In it I raised some serious questions about the proposed Cardinals training camp to be located on Glendale’s youth sports fields and the costs associated with using the Bidwell’s company, Rojo Management. Councilmembers may have given some thought to the concerns I raised and now may share them.

In my March 7 blog I pointed out that, “There are lots of questions about this staff presentation that were not asked by councilmembers. Without context it’s like comparing apples to oranges.  Global Spectrum’s contract calls for managing and renting out the sports fields all year long for $216,000. We must assume that Rojo’s contract would call for the same yet their management fee is $69,000 higher.  Why? Do they need more people to do the same job that Global does?  Do they pay higher salaries to their personnel than Global does?

“There are many youth sports leagues that rely upon the use of and rent these fields all year long – from soccer to football leagues. There is a major discrepancy between both contracts relative to utility costs. The $40K figure that Rojo cites, by assumption, does not seem to reflect the fields’ usage all year long. Is it their intent to only reflect utility costs incurred during training camp? Or was it a low-ball figure designed to make Rojo’s bid more attractive? I don’t know but these are questions that should have been asked. Rojo, by the way, is a Bidwell subsidiary.

“Another question not asked is, what was the revenue generated by Global Spectrum last fiscal year? The city receives 50% of it from Global. Should we not know what that figure is? Rojo is proposing revenue share of only 20% and that is after the first $150,000 is generated. I am sure staff in preparation for this presentation should have been able to supply an estimate of revenue it expected to receive under the Rojo contract. Council should have asked about revenue projections or staff should have provided this information to council.”


Gary Sherwood

Councilmember Sherwood’s comments in a Craig Morgan FoxSportsAZ article of June 10, 2013 (here is the link: http://www.foxsportsarizona.com/nfl/arizona-cardinals/story/Cardinals-Glendale-still-at-impasse-over?blockID=910423&feedID=11331 entitled Cardinals, Glendale still at impasse over camp has Sherwood saying, “It’s a worse deal than the one we have right now. We lose money. I have no idea why we would agree to it.” or “They still want to make money off of us, and we can’t do that.” One hopes that this is a majority sentiment of council.


On May 13, 2013 the Rose Law Group Reporter posted the following article. I do not usually re-post entire articles but in this case many of you may not see it. This opinion piece was written by those, in addition to Glendale residents, most affected by the Tohono O’odham proposed casino, the Tribal leaders. Read their words. They relied upon the words of their brother and sister TO Tribal leaders.

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents leadership of the Arizona House and Senate in lawsuit against the Glendale casino.)

[OP-ED] Tribal leaders say Tohono O’odham’s has ‘ill ambition’ for casino

Posted By Phil Riske / May 13, 2013

By Diane Enos, Gregory Mendoza, Sherry Counts, Arlen P. Quetawki, Sherry Cordova and Clinton M. Pattea | The Arizona Republic

New federal legislation introduced by Arizona congressional Reps. Trent Franks, Ed Pastor and Ann Kirkpatrick that would keep compacts intact deserves a fair look.

The complexity of the issue has been captured by The Arizona Republic in its editorials and in recent news articles that have delved into the history of the voter-approved Proposition 202 to shed light on how a proposed casino in Glendale has much broader implications.

Arizonans who in 2002 voted “yes” on Proposition 202 did so based on the 17 Arizona tribes’ promise that Indian casinos would be kept out of neighborhoods and, as penned by then-Gov. Jane Dee Hull, “Voting ‘yes’ on Proposition 202 ensures that no new casinos will be built in the Phoenix metropolitan area and only one in the Tucson area for at least 23 years.”

These commitments were accepted and promoted by 17 Arizona tribes, including the Tohono O’odham Nation, and Arizona. We worked for nearly two years to negotiate a tribal-state plan for limited Indian gaming that was accepted by community leaders, business leaders and elected officials, who in turn publicly advocated for what ultimately became Prop. 202.

At the time, none of the participating 17 tribes expressed disagreement with the framework, which is why a proposed casino in Glendale is a plain violation of the commitments made to Arizona voters in 2002.

As leaders of Arizona tribes, we expect honest transactions from federal, state and local officials and set the same expectations of ourselves and of fellow tribes. It is for these reasons that we support this new, bipartisan legislation.

The Keep the Promise Act will protect the integrity of our work during the gaming-compact negotiations.

It will safeguard the trust of elected officials, business leaders, our own communities and the Arizona voters when they said “yes” to Prop. 202.

Without it, an explosion of new neighborhood casinos — in Glendale and beyond — could be on the horizon because if the promises made through Prop. 202 are broken, the door is opened for other off-reservation casinos.

To that end, it is no secret that the Tohono O’odham Nation now says it never pledged to restrict the number of casinos in the Phoenix area or to keep them out of neighborhoods. It asserts the right to develop multiple casinos on county islands near Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale or anywhere else in the Valley.

Such ill ambition is detrimental to Prop. 202, destroys the good work of 16 tribes and cultivates an atmosphere of distrust.

This is why there is an urgent need for the Keep the Promise Act. It will protect the collective vision of “limited and balanced gaming” in Arizona that was carefully engineered by tribal and state leaders, and approved by voters.

Actively support House Resolution 1410, the Keep the Promise Act, and urge your legislators to do the same.

Diane Enos is president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Gregory Mendoza is governor of the Gila River Indian Community. Sherry Counts is chairwoman of the Hualapai Tribe. Arlen P. Quetawki is governor of the Pueblo of Zuni. Sherry Cordova is chairwoman of the Cocopah Indian Tribe. Clinton M. Pattea is president of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.

Coyotes logoThe entire Coyotes ownership saga began with the Glendale city council’s decision to accept Steve Ellman’s proposal for a sports and entertainment district that included the construction of an arena for the express purpose of having the Coyotes as its anchor tenant. Their first game was played in the new arena in 2003. The original lease management agreement did not require a payment to the manager of the arena. That concept died with the Moyes’ bankruptcy in 2009. I was part of the drama until January 15, 2013 as a councilmember. I speak for myself and not for any Glendale elected officials, past or present.

homework 1During my 16 year service on Glendale City Council one of my imperatives was to make decisions that were fully informed. As a councilmember one does that by “doing one’s homework.” That means a commitment to read the material you are provided. Ascertain all of the facts of the proposal. Question staff by asking follow up questions on material not always presented. Talk to people in the industry and talk to the stakeholders, i.e., prospective developers and business owners, and last but certainly not least, one’s constituents by informing them of the facts of the proposal and asking for their comment. You take this vast amount of information and process it through a personal sieve. One overriding parameter is to make a decision that you believe to be in the very best interest of your city, economically and socially.

diff people 2Just as all people are different so, too, are all councilmembers different. During my time on council, I have met some councilmembers who were lazy and didn’t bother to do their homework or who became wedded to a position immediately and would not budge and let facts get in the way. I have even observed some who let personal prejudice determine their position. I have also observed councilmembers who did, in fact, do their homework. Their final position may have been different from mine but that was because their personal framework of reference led them in a different direction. No matter, they earned my respect because they were not swayed by personal prejudice or preference.

city hall 2I was first elected in 1992. I think I can be considered as a Councilmember Emeritus. There are very few of us still living much less living in Glendale. In fact, there are less than a dozen. There are former Mayors Renner and Scruggs, Councilmembers Heatwole, Tolby, McAllister (living out-of-state), Eggleston, Frate, Goulette, Lieberman (living out-of state) and myself. Former Councilmember Hugh is serving once again and former Mayor Klass and former Councilmember Huffman are deceased.

mallarrowhead02From that perspective one has to appreciate Glendale’s recent history. Prior to the 1980’s Glendale was an unremarkable town that offered residents a quiet, hometown quality of life. In the early 1990’s we had an opportunity to create the first major economic engine in the city – the Bell Road Corridor to be anchored by Arrowhead Mall.  I was present for the signing of the beam that was used in the construction of Arrowhead Mall, the anchor tenant for the area.   Glendale had its first major economic engine.

Glitters_lightsGlendale’s second major economic engine became its downtown in the mid 1990’s with the advent of its first, annual major festival, Glendale Glitters and its synergy as an antique center in the state. Since then, downtown commercial has diversified. It is still not all that anyone envisions it can be but it continues to make progress. Its major anchor tenant could be considered City Hall, the Civic Center and the investment the city continues to make in hosting major downtown events. Glendale has its second major economic engine.

Courtesy Christopher B.

Courtesy Christopher B.

In the early 2000’s another opportunity for a third major economic engine was created with the relocation of the Coyotes Hockey team and the construction of Jobing.com arena for the team. The national economy was humming and I and the rest of council were planning for Glendale’s future. The city created a new zoning classification, “Sports and Entertainment District” and Westgate was born. Nearly all of the land surrounding the original core of Westgate to date has been approved with the Sports and Entertainment zoning classification and with Westgate’s and the arena’s stability there will be a surge of development. I won’t relate the history of the arena and the team from 2003 to the present for that has been covered in my other postings.

question 4Today uncertainty about Coyotes ownership and the fate of Jobing.com arena still swirls. Many have asked me for my personal assessment. There is the Beacon RFP and how it plays. There is the current crop of prospective owners: Jamison, LeBlanc/Gosbee, Pastor, Hulsizer and Reinsdorf/Kaites. Do not ignore the non-hockey bids to manage the arena: Global Spectrum, AEG and IFG. They cannot be discounted as players. I am not going to comment at this time and when I do it will be through the prism of what I, personally, believe is good for Glendale. There will be plenty of time to dissect the situation after decisions are made. It’s time to let this situation play out. I think the NHL has come to a decision and it would not surprise me to hear the announcement next week. That much is logical. Whomever the NHL has blessed must get a submission together to respond to the Beacon RFP by May 24. The finish line is in view and the winner is…?


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