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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

A quick note before taking a look at the NFL bid requirements for a Super Bowl. Yesterday I wrote about Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers’ inability to purchase tickets for the Super Bowl taking place a mere 5 days from now in Glendale. Today the Arizona Republic has an editorial very much in agreement. They refer to the NFL’s actions, or better yet, inaction, as “petty.” On this assessment I disagree. The pettiness is owned by the Bidwills. If they wanted Mayor Weiers to have Super Bowl tickets, the deed would already have been done.

On to the Super Bowl bid process. There are two links that provide the NFL requirements for hosting a Super Bowl. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has the entire 153 page document has a limk. Here it is:  http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/262253921.html . Glendale, years ago, posted only that portion of the bid document (43 pages) relevant to a host city. Here is the link: https://www.glendaleaz.com/clerk/Contracts/8806.pdf . I am not going to go into excruciating detail about the requirements. You have the links to read the entire bid for yourselves.

It is interesting to note that there are several phrases very, very liberally sprinkled throughout the bid specifications. The first is “at no cost to the NFL.” The second is “made available to the NFL rent-free.” The third is “provided by the Host Committee at no cost to the NFL.” The fourth is “discounted to the NFL.” The last is “the NFL must have exclusive rights at no cost to the NFL.”

Host cities go to great lengths to get noticed by the team owners in the hope that they will win the bid. In 2011 Arizona presented each team owner with an IPad, customized with each team’s logo and already loaded with a video presentation touting the Arizona bid. In 2012, Indianapolis had children deliver its bid to each of the team owners. Florida promised the owners yachts; Tampa offered all of the owners a golf outing with Arnold Palmer; and Texas just outright offered a million dollars to cover the Super Bowl game day costs. Here is a sampling of the ‘must haves’ included in the bid:

  • Provide 35,000 free parking spaces
  • Free billboards across the Valley
  • Receipt of all revenues for the game’s ticket sales
  • Installation of NFL preferred ATM’s at the stadium
  • Presidential suites, at no cost, in high-end hotels
  • Free access to three high-end golf courses in the summer or fall before the game
  • Free curbside parking at the NFL house
  • Free access to two top quality bowling venues

And the list goes on:

  • Temporary stadium seating must be 19” wide
  • Seating for the hoards of media must be 20” wide with an accompanying 24” clear, workspace
  • Grass field must be re-sodded for the game; and the NFL can remove chunks of it after the game, for resale, if it wishes
  • The stadium must be available to the NFL 4 weeks prior to Game Day and 4 days after; exclusive use for the NFL is 2 weeks prior
  • NFL has complete and exclusive control for 2 weeks prior to game of all club, restaurant, meeting, and hospitality facilities at the stadium
  • The host city must guarantee that its police, fire, permits, etc. are the top priorities
  • NFL has exclusive right to sell game day programs and novelties at the stadium
  • NFL will receive the stadium’s percentage from the sales of food, beverages and catering
  • Only NFL sponsor’s products will have logos seen on all products; all other logos are to be covered or removed
  • NFL allotted suites get a 30% discount on food and beverages
  • NFL requires 300 top quality buses; 65 limos (no older than 5 years); 5 premier quality buses and 125 “school” buses
  • Hotels where the teams stay obligated to televise the NFL Network for a year before the Super Bowl

There’s far more but this alone is enough to make one’s head spin. What does the NFL expect its game day costs to be? About $2.5 million dollars but let’s be generous and double that to $5 million dollars. For a several million dollar investment it earns billions. Yet it will not reimburse host cities for their costs. How greedy can it get? Oh, and the Host Committee must stipulate which of the NFL game day costs of $2.5 million dollars it will cover.

Did you know the Arizona Host Committee, just like the NFL, is a 501 (c) 6 non-profit organization? Its contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions but they can be deducted as a trade or business expense if ordinary and necessary in the conduct of business. Don’t you think every one of the businesses that contributed to the Arizona Host Committee had their CPAs and attorneys justify their contributions as deductions to the IRS? You bet they have.

Did you know that the Bidwills bought Tom’s Tavern in downtown Phoenix? It’s being operated by Rojo Hospitality, a division of the food company the Bidwills created to serve the University of Phoenix stadium. No wonder Michael Bidwill is so ecstatic to see NFL major events occurring in downtown Phoenix rather than in Glendale.

Why is Michael Bidwill feuding with the City of Glendale? He wants the City of Glendale to build a parking garage in the Westgate area at a cost of $25 to $35 million dollars. Why the need? Every inch of land surrounding the footprint of the stadium has been approved for development as the Bidwill’s Sportsman’s Park East and Sportsman’s Park West. These approved plans call for hotels, apartments, offices and retail — some 200’ feet tall, twice the height of the stadium (to date unapproved by the FAA). Of course those plans call for parking but it is parking dedicated to the structures to be built while removing all of the football parking space surrounding the stadium. That football dedicated parking has to be replaced and what better dime to use than the city’s.

If all of this doesn’t make you angry, nothing will. Perhaps someday the general public (read taxpayers) will realize in reality, they pay for the Super Bowl, and not just with tickets to the game or the merchandise they buy. I still call for all of the potential host cities to form their own league (or consortium), present a united front to the NFL and say “enough already.”

©Joyce Clark, 2015

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have 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, democratic, 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 and 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.

Lately media reported the reason Glendale would not be hosting NFL Super Bowl related events was that the Bidwills, the NFL and the Arizona Host Committee felt Glendale was not fulfilling its obligations with regard to the parking provision or capping Glendale’s hotel room rates. Oh really? It was all smoke and mirrors. Let’s revisit the Cardinals/Arizona Host Committee bid.

Mike Sunnicks had an article about the bid in the Phoenix Business Journal on October 12, 2011, 2 and 1/2 years ago. Here is the link: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/morning_call/2011/10/arizona-super-bowl-to-have-downtown.html  .

The story says in part, “Concentrating more Super Bowl-related events in downtown Phoenix was a key component of the winning presentation put together by the Arizona Cardinals, advertising agency E.B. Lane and the Arizona Host Committee.” It went on to say, “For the 2015 game, the Valley’s bid promoted more downtown Phoenix events. That includes the media center and media hotels.

There could also be a Super Bowl Village fan experience at the Phoenix Convention Center as well as major concerts, public and private parties, and other events hosted at CityScape, downtown hotels and other venues — possibly including theaters, Chase Field and US Airways Center.”

Rutherford, New Jersey can feel Glendale’s pain. That’s where this last Super Bowl was hosted but the media ignored Rutherford and planted themselves in New York City, a far sexier site. Nearly every advertisement and every major NFL related event for the Super Bowl was in New York City. Gosh, New York renamed a street as Super Bowl Boulevard. That is exactly the treatment Glendale got the first time around and will experience this time as well. All major advertisements and the media will tout Phoenix, not Glendale.

At the time of the latest bid clearly Glendale was already being pushed aside by the Bidwills, the NFL, the Arizona Host Committee and the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA). That is why when Michael Kennedy (past President of the Host Committee and the Cardinals’ attorney) presented the bid before the Glendale City Council seeking their support he positively sneered at my request that the Host Committee support a bill that would recompense Glendale for its expenses. All of them probably rue the day they decided to build the stadium in Glendale because they sure act that way. It appears to be inconsequential to them if Glendale loses money as the host city. Their view of Glendale is as a minor player and has never been welcome at the “big boys’ table” with any sense of legitimacy.

Why the public vituperation by Michael Bidwill now? It sounds good to accuse Glendale of a lack of cooperation hosting the Super Bowl but that’s just more smoke and mirrors. The real reason is likely that the Bidwills want Glendale to build that darned parking garage…now. Is he using the Super Bowl to put pressure on Glendale? That is for you to decide and many of you may come to the conclusion…yes.  Mr. Bidwill violated the cardinal rule (no pun intended!) about airing dirty linen in public. In so doing, he may very well have damaged the Valley’s chances to host future major events.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have 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, democratic, 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 and 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.

Every once in awhile I collect all of the rumors and speculation and offer them to you, the readers, as such.

It appears that public safety union representatives may have briefed their rank and file to the possibility that Glendale could declare bankruptcy within 18 months. Add to that City Manager Brenda Fischer may have raised the same prospect to employees a few months ago. Looks like everyone within the organization has been forewarned of it as a possibility. Everyone has been told but you, the Glendale taxpayer. Which begs the question: Why the rush to make the temporary sales tax permanent and possibly raise it if it will not stave off a possible bankruptcy declaration?

Also heard around the water cooler is council learned – for the first time — a few months ago when they requested information from staff on assets that could be refinanced, sold or leased, that former City Manager Ed Beasley had already done a lease back for the Public Training Facility. So strike the Public Safety Training Facility as a candidate for refinancing of its debt. As we are all finding out there was a lot that Beasley did not share with city council or the public. This appears to be another in a long list of omissions by Beasley. It also appears that the current council and senior management are not above keeping secrets as well.

Several asked regarding the Tindall blog, “Friday is supposed to be a slow news day…” and it is a fair question to ask: If Frisoni and Burdick were recipients of the infamous Tindall “informational” email about state tuition tax credits for schools, why did they not report the email upon receipt? Tindall used city email for what was evidently a personal purpose. Wouldn’t it have been incumbent upon them to report the violation? Why didn’t they? Was it because they were reluctant to turn in one of their buddies?

The Arizona Republic presented a timeline surrounding Tindall’s activities. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20140130glendale-city-attorney-email-timeline.html . It puts events in context and so it is offered here:

  • Jan. 23, 2013 — Then-City Attorney Tindall uses city e-mail to ask at least 40 people to contribute to his son’s private-school tuition.
  • March 26 — Glendale City Council formally selects the law firm Haralson, Miller, Pitt, Feldman & McAnally CQ to head an extensive audit of possible wrongdoing by city employees. Attorney Jose de Jesus Rivera, CQ who was one of the people Tindall e-mailed, leads the project.
  • April 1 — Tindall officially resigns as city attorney, with the provision that he receive full pay for six months for working up to five hours every pay period.
  • May 28 — National Hockey League executives announce Canadian businessmen George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc’s investment group as the preferred buyer for the Phoenix Coyotes.
  • July 2 — The City Council agrees to pay Gosbee and LeBlanc’s group $225million over 15 years to manage Jobing.com Arena.
  • July 30 —The Phoenix law firm Fennemore Craig announces that it has hired Tindall.
  • Aug. 5 — The NHL completes the sale of the Coyotes to Gosbee and LeBlanc’s group, IceArizona.
  • Aug. 20 — Tindall begins work as the Coyotes’ general counsel.
  • Aug. 21 — Glendale releases Rivera’s audit, which identifies several employees involved in wrongdoing, but spares Tindall.
  • Sept. 3 — Glendale hires former Peoria City Attorney Michael Bailey, who received Tindall’s e-mail on Jan. 23, to succeed Tindall as Glendale’s city attorney.
  • Oct. 1 — Tindall’s employment with Glendale officially ends.
  • Nov. 26 — Former City Councilman Phil Lieberman asks the state Bar to investigate Tindall for possible violations of ethics rules.
  • Dec. 20, 2013 — The Bar notifies Lieberman that it has launched an investigation.

Did you know Michael Bidwill is deliberately trashing Glendale? He thinks Glendale is “selfish” when it comes to hosting the Super Bowl. Why? Because the city hasn’t forced all Glendale hotels to join the NFL agreement to cap room rates. Really? What does he want Glendale to do? Hold a gun to hotel managers’ heads and say, “Join or else?” He knows that Glendale can ask and suggest but cannot make private companies bow to the will of the NFL. It must be embarrassing to him in front of other owners and execs in the NFL that he does not control everything but to trash the city for it is beyond ludicrous. I think we can assume that he is part of the reason that Glendale is not hosting any Super Bowl events. If he is trash talking Glendale publicly, my goodness, can you imagine what he is saying privately?

There’s more that comes across the transom but that’s enough for you to chew on for now. Try to enjoy your weekend!

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have 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, democratic, 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 and 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.

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