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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Disclaimer: The comments in the blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

In the February 11, 2017 edition of the Glendale Republic a Letter to the Editor from Larry Johns of Peoria proposed an interesting concept:                                                              “As an 11-year ticket holder, I certainly have experienced highs and lows.     

“The recent plan to build a new home for the Arizona Coyotes with ASU in Tempe is dead. However, CEO Anthony LeBlanc still wants to ‘secure the future of hockey in Arizona.’ He also said that the team is ‘ready to invest more than $170 million in a new arena.’ Glendale still owns nearly $150 million on the Gila River Arena.

“My suggestion: LeBlanc and the Coyotes should offer to buy the GRA for $150 million and put another $20 million into repairs and upgrades. Glendale would be free of the remaining GRA debt payments; it would still have sales tax revenue coming from the use of the arena and could focus on paying down their other sports stadium obligations or improving Glendale’s infrastructure.

“The Coyotes would be free from their acrimonious relationship with Glendale, would have control of the arena and, most importantly, would remain in Arizona. Just a thought.”

Yes, it is just a thought but an intriguing one. As long as the Coyotes remain in their self-imposed limbo weekly rumors will continue to abound. This week’s crop related to a media report on Tuesday that the team had sent representatives to check out locations in both Portland and Seattle. Geoff Baker, a reporter for the Seattle times, tweeted, “Attendees at developer/owner #KeyArena tour by city 2 weeks ago shows no #arizonacoyotes reps among non-city staff/media. Coyotes deny going.” He backed up his assertion by posting the attendees sign in sheets for the tours.

Anthony LeBlanc, Coyotes CEO, was quick to deny the current relocation rumor with this Coyotes Press Release, “Recent reports by the Glendale Star that the Coyotes ownership group has explored arena options outside the Arizona market are completely false. The Star referenced an anonymous arena source and an anonymous Coyotes source, and these are a fabrication.” He went on to say, “Maybe a little less seriously because of the publication, but because it has gone national — which is disappointing — we take this seriously, as does the league.” The magic words in his denial are as does the league.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has already demonstrated his commitment to keeping the team in Arizona by having the NHL manage the team for several years after Jerry Moyes declared bankruptcy of the team in 2009. The Phoenix Metropolitan media market is a highly lucrative one for the league. It’s a market the league does not want to abandon. Bettman’s other goal is to create a new franchise in the west.  I suspect after a conversation with Bettman, LeBlanc couldn’t get to the media fast enough to deny rumors of relocation.

Denying rumors of relocation by LeBlanc is needed to quiet the fan base as well. Since the purchase of the team by IceArizona, average attendance figures have dropped like the proverbial stone and the team has earned the distinction of being the second lowest in the league with an average of 12,841 for the 2016-17 season. Only the Carolina Hurricanes have a lower attendance figure of 12,204. It should also be noted that their marketing efforts this season have been minimal. How many TV ads do you remember seeing this season?

LeBlanc points to these attendance figures as the reason why the team must move

Coyotes play off game White Out

to the East Valley. I would remind everyone that when the team made the play-offs attendance figures were robust. History shows no one complained about coming to Glendale to watch a winning team performing in the play offs. It certainly has a lot to do with the product on the ice. When the product is good, people will come. It’s the same for any sports franchise. When the team is hot and fan expectations are high, people come out of the woodwork to attend and suddenly tickets become very pricey.

All of this circles back to Mr. Johns of Peoria and his thought. If the Coyotes really do have money to play with…why not buy the Gila River Arena and become masters of their own fate? They characterize Glendale as inhospitable. Why? Because the city council didn’t want to continue subsidizing the team’s operations while losing money every year? The council simply wanted to stop bleeding each and every year and work toward insuring Glendale’s financial stability. It wasn’t, as portrayed, because they disliked the Coyotes and wanted to get rid of them.  Keep in mind the city had its own problems in dealing with the ownership group which was often obstructionist, especially in sharing financial information.

If the ownership group really has $170 million dollars why wouldn’t it take the opportunity to buy the arena? Many suspect that the Coyotes really don’t have that kind of money without attracting a new crop of investors. Rumor has it that may be exactly what they are doing…seeking a new investor(s).

Can they strike a deal with Sarver? Doubtful. Can they strike a deal with the Salt River-Pima-Maricopa Indian Community? Doubtful. The painful lesson LeBlanc, et.al., are learning is that no one is willing to pay them to play…anywhere.

© Joyce Clark, 2017        

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘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 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 material. For more information go tohttp://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.

It has been 18 years and 23 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Over the holidays there wasn’t much news about the Coyotes. Now that we are in a new year on January 7, Paul Giblin had a story in the Arizona Republic citing the results of a recent poll on the subject of a Coyotes relocation. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2016/01/07/poll-arizona-coyotes-should-stay-gila-river-arena-glendale/78314406/ . He reported, “Approximately 54 percent of frequent voters in Maricopa County surveyed believe the Coyotes should remain at Gila River Arena in Glendale, according to the poll that was conducted Dec. 29 for Phoenix-based public-relations firms MBQF Consulting and Marson Media.”

The problem for any other governmental agency attempting to locate the Coyotes will be to garner enough public support to pay for yet another very expensive sports facility. Thirteen years ago, in 2002, the cost to build the Gila River Arena was about $180 million dollars. The cost today to build the same type of facility has exploded. It is expected that the cost would be in the $400 million dollar range. The sixty four dollar question is can enough public support be generated in some other Valley community to use precious and scarce taxpayer dollars?

Public support would probably be found if the economy was booming and world affairs were stable. That is not the case. The economy staggers along as the middle class continues its death spiral. The general public fears more ISIS inspired events on our soil as the Middle East explodes into further turmoil while China’s stock market takes a dive and North Korea’s bomb tests reminds us that we, as a nation, are vulnerable. This is not an environment that is conducive for public sentiment to use taxpayer dollars on yet another sports facility.

Anthony LeBlanc, one of the Coyotes’ owners and apparent Public Information Officer, has had to walk back some of his previous assertions about the Coyotes.  He has hired a sports consultancy firm to assist him in his quest for a new location. It seems likely that a location in any other Valley municipality will be very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. His only hope may be can he cut a deal for another new facility funded and built by the Gila River Pima Maricopa Indian Community? His refusal to bid for management of the Gila River Arena may come back to haunt him.

Which leads to another bit of recent news. The City of Glendale received 3 bids to manage its Gila River Arena submitted by AEG Facilities, Spectra by Comcast Spectacor and SMG. All three are “big guns” in the sports management business. All have the experience and knowledge required to successfully manage Glendale’s arena. Currently the bids are TOP SECRET. In the next few weeks Glendale’s senior management staff and city council will each receive separate briefings regarding the specifics of each proposed bid. This management deal is more complicated because the Coyotes will play in the arena for another season and it is expected the chosen management company contract would begin this July 1, 2016. That means that the preferred management company and the Coyotes would have to negotiate revenue streams for one year of Coyotes occupancy. There is always the remote possibility that a deal could be crafted comfortable enough for the Coyotes to create an incentive for them to stay at the Gila River Arena beyond their final year.

The city council may be ready to vote on an arena manager as early as February 9, 2016. If a vote is not taken around that date expect that one of the bids is in further negotiation before final acceptance. The public, as is the case with mushrooms, will be left in the dark and fed horse manure. There is no opportunity for public input in this process. While everyone understands the theory of representative government they also understand the theory of transparency. It seems that once again “father knows best” trumps the public’s right to know.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

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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 ‘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 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 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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Glendale Adult Center meeting

On Thursday, February 12, 2015 the last of the city presentations to citizen boards and commissions was held regarding the proposal to sell and relocate Foothills Library. The presentation was before the citizen Arts Commission and was held at the Adult Center. Since it was not held in the heart of Foothills library territory one would think no one would show. That was not the case. There was a healthy citizen representation and it demonstrated that this is an issue that is city-wide and not confined to north Glendale. The presentation was like the two that had preceded it. There was ample time for citizen comment and the comments again, were similar to those offered the previous times:

  • Incompatibility of library and recreational activities
  • Concern about diminishment of the book collection and
    IMG_0272

    We love our libraries!!

    inadequate space at FRAC

  • Questions about the adequacy of parking spaces, especially in the summer
  • Concern about the library as a babysitting location when children have finished recreating
  • Comments on the low ball appraisals of the library
  • Comments on the loss of special interest classes and activities offered by library and FRAC

Rodeane Widom is the former Director of Library Services for Glendale. She sent a letter voicing her concerns to senior management and the Library Advisory Commission:

“As a former Glendale Library Director and as a Glendale resident, I want to discuss concerns I have about the potential sale of Foothills Library.  I served the city for 27 years and oversaw the construction of both Main Library and Foothills Library. 

After listening to Mr. Strunk’s presentation at City Council Workshop regarding the library’s sale, I was startled by the appraised amount of the building, site, and art.   I decided to check the library’s expenditures on the city website’s “Follow Your Money” ( http://wwwglendaleaz.com/followyourmoney/) to find information about the appraisal.

I discovered that Mr. Strunk authorized the use of $4,999 for “Library Appraisal Report” from the Library Book Fund on 8/18/14.  The Library Book Fund includes all profits from the sale of books donated by library users.  I believe that Mr. Strunk broke an unwritten contract with the public by using this money to pay for an appraisal of the library building for possible sale.  Mr. Strunk chose to fund this appraisal with donation profits for a purpose so very opposite of what donors would have wished—the sale of the city’s newest library! I consider this shocking behavior on the part of the Library’s Executive Director.  He should be well aware of the source and intended purpose of the Library Book Fund money— enhancement of the library, not vastly diminished services.

Mr. Strunk gave a workshop presentation that I consider a blatant sales pitch stressing benefits of selling Foothills Library while omitting the many downsides to the library and FRAC.  His written City Council agenda sheet was entitled “Potential Relocation of the Foothills Branch Library and Expansion of Library Services.”   The “expansion” he discussed should more aptly be called “reduction of library services” which I believe will result from the sale.

I have lost any confidence in Mr. Strunk as the library’s highest executive.  To make my distrust even stronger, I noted that the appraisal report cost $4,999. The city web page dealing with purchasing states, “The City Council approved modifications, which make doing business with Glendale as simple and straightforward as possible. The formal limit for bids and proposals was raised to $50,000. The small purchase level was raised to $5,000.” Mr. Strunk’s appearance is of a city employee using a technicality in order to personally select the appraiser, which I feel questions the validity of the appraisal. 

This also puts in doubt other cost estimates provided by Mr. Strunk—such as the estimate for renovation of FRAC to accommodate library use. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.  If you have any questions about this, please feel free to call me at home or on my cell phone.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sincerely,                                                                                  Rodeane Widom                                                                           CC: Library Advisory Board

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Foothills Library Meeting

If you are a glutton for punishment and really, really have nothing better to do here are the links (courtesy of the Glendale Daily Planet) to the videos of the Wednesday, February 11, 2015 meeting at Foothills library (warning: it is 3 hours long), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXsazZSakZI&feature=youtu.be  and the Thursday, February 12, 2015 meeting at the Adult Center, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mopHcIxLkic&feature=youtu.be  .

What happens now? Each of the three citizen commissions typically meet once a month. Their February meetings consisted of the presentation on Foothills library. At their March meetings they will have an opportunity to discuss the library proposal and come up with their commission’s recommendation for city council.

You have an opportunity to express your opinion on the proposal to each commission member. I would advise you to keep the pressure up by expressing your opinion to every relevant commissioner. This can be accomplished by sending an email to Erik Strunk and copying all three commissions: strunk@glendaleaz.com  and at the end of your email please Cc: members of the Parks and Recreation Commission, members of the Library Advisory Board and members of the Arts Commission. It will be his responsibility to make sure each commissioner receives a copy of your email per your Cc.

After the three commissions have made their recommendations to the city council, I would expect the proposal to become a city council agenda item for a workshop or regular meeting. I will monitor city council agendas and publicly post when it is scheduled before the city council.

I want to congratulate every one who took the time to attend one of the three presentations or all three, for that matter; those who spoke publicly at a meeting; and those who sent emails to the mayor and council. It is so gratifying to see Glendale citizens participate in their local government. It’s not over yet…not until the city council rejects this proposal. Please stay informed and participate in the process.

Sadly, I wish that this same caliber of citizen activism occurred on many more Glendale issues. Many of the policy decisions made by your city council result in a profound effect on your lives, such as the temporary sales tax increase becoming permanent. All too often, our concern about a vital issue only becomes visible after the decision has been made. At that point it is often too late and the proverbial horse is already out of the barn.

Local government is the governmental entity that dictates your individual quality of life within Glendale. All too often, citizens fail to realize that even a little noise on an issue can direct its outcome. And so the Library War continues…

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

On Monday, February 9, 2015 the city hosted Round 1 of the “library war.” City staff presented its proposal to sell the Foothills Branch Library and relocate it to the Foothills Recreation and Aquatic Center (FRAC) to the citizen Parks and Recreation Commission.

The meeting took place at FRAC and there were estimates of 150 to 200 people in attendance. There were ordinary citizens standing out in front of the building handing out flyers about the proposed sale.

Mary and Patty, two readers of my blog, kindly shared some observations of the meeting:

  • “Many people who use the FRAC were in attendance and they were not happy campers.”
  • “At a time when the FRAC is trying to beef up their membership, this endeavor would mean cutting many programs and farming out some programs to other locations. People pay a membership to FRAC but will have to go to another location for weightlifting, dancing, table tennis, etc.”
  • “There is a lot of running around and noise generated from the children using the pool during summer hours; a library is supposed to be a quiet place.”
  • “Children should have the experience of reading and handling books.”
  • “From a realtor: ‘this is not a good time to be selling. It’s a buyer’s market’.”
  • One person challenged the picture showing many rows of books in the meeting room we were in. She asked if this had been drawn to scale. Eric Strunk answered, ‘No, it’s just our perception of what the room will look like’.”
  • “The head of the Parks and Recreation Commission asked excellent questions and all members were actively listening and questioning.”
  • “Concerns were also raised about harming the integrity of the programs offered and expected by the Rec center patrons and that the pool table area is actually the only area youth that could not afford to join could freely use.”
  • A man shared how he bought his home because of the proximity of the library.”
  • “Several promises have been made by Midwestern but once a sale is made there is nothing to keep them from selling the dog parks, etc.”
  • Once sold, the Foothills library is not intended to be used as a library but rather as a study area.”
  • It was said by staff that less books were being checked out but a woman who is a library volunteer shared that would be expected since library hours and days have significantly decreased.”

From the comments offered you get the idea. There were a lot of difficult questions for staff with less than satisfactory answers. Staff promised to look into the many questions and to offer complete answers online at the city’s website.

Round 2 of the “library war” is:

  • TONIGHT, Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 6 PM
  • at the Foothills Branch Library, Coyote Room

The same presentation will be made before the Library Advisory Board with the same opportunity for citizen comments. Seating will probably be at a premium. A word to the wise, come early to guarantee yourself a seat. Let’s outdo the attendance figure of the Monday night meeting. It’s no longer a matter of just saving Foothills library but it also includes preserving the programs and the space needed to conduct them at FRAC as well.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

First, some further clean up information on the Foothills Library. Questions have arisen as to which entity initiated the idea of sale of Foothills Library. Some contend senior staff offered it to Midwestern in an effort to produce more funds for the city. Others contend that Midwestern approached the city first. The jury is out on that question and only the two principals know the answer. What I find far more interesting is city council three years ago had requested a list of all city properties and their value. To date they have never received such a listing from senior management. To my knowledge, city council has never given specific direction to sell the Foothills Library.

Some have asked about the Capital Improvement Bonds issued to build the library. Voter approval was granted for bond capacity issuance in various categories, including that of parks and libraries. While the voter approval caps the dollar amount of bond value that may be issued, that capacity can be used for any project within its category and is not voter mandated as to which capital projects will be funded.

The current Foothills Library is 33,500 square feet. It would be reduced in size and scope to 9,100 square feet if relocated to the Foothills Recreation and Aquatic Center (FRAC). In reality the relocated library would be placed in the FRAC’s Coyote Room which is 3,000 square feet. The kitchen area in which the library would have access is 500 square feet. The FRAC Activity Room which is occupied by pool tables would be dedicated to the library and is 2,700 square feet. However, the room’s walls are rounded. Thus the useable space is less than 2,700 square feet. The total space is 6,200 square feet, not 9,100 square feet. The additional 3,000 square feet are second floor meeting rooms counted in the library’s new square footage of 9,100 square feet. Those meeting rooms currently are dedicated to Parks and Recreation programming. Special interest classes currently held in those meeting rooms would have to be relocated. The only other option is to share the 3,000 square feet of meeting space between Parks and Recreation and the relocated library.  Hmmm…a reduction in library size from 33,000 square feet to 9,100 square feet (an approximate space reduction of 60%) will certainly enhance library services…not.

As more and more Glendale residents become aware of this proposed sale of the Foothills Library, citizen displeasure and pressure is growing to reject it. You can help by contacting the mayor and council to voice your rejection of this idea at:

Other agenda items from the Tuesday, February 3, 2015 city council workshop was the Glendale Fire Department’s request for a Certificate of Necessity (CON) from the Arizona Department of Health Services to provide city owned and operated advanced life support transport services (ambulances) within Glendale and outside of Glendale (due to Automatic Aid). Council gave its support to proceeding to seek this CON. Once the Certificate is granted, Glendale does not have to implement this service. Make no mistake, the Fire Department will seek any and all opportunities to grow and will seek to implement the service.

I read the minutes of the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) on the CON application for American Medical Response (it was granted recently). Of interest to note are the rates the state has approved for various medical transport services:

  • Advanced Life Support (ALS) rate: $862.40
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) rate: $768.20
  • Mileage rate: $15.48
  • Standby/Waiting rate: $192.05
  • Subscription Service rate: $80.54
  • Disposable Medical Supply rate: Separate charges apply

We will wait to see what the Fire Department proposes after it receives approval for a Certificate of Necessity. Council should take note that the one time, upfront cost to implement Glendale’s Advanced Life (ALS) Support with 4 new ambulances is said to be $760,000. Fire claims that cost is recoverable. It is not. I also have difficulty in accepting that this is the total cost. An ALS equipped ambulance will be in the neighborhood of $200,000. Add to that the cost of personnel to staff each vehicle.  These are real costs and it doesn’t matter whether it’s contract labor or a full time Glendale employee.

The last agenda item was city council discussion of mayoral and council staff becoming “at-will” employees rather than as they are now, classified employees. It is my observation that council missed a golden opportunity to insure its independence and confidentiality. City Manager Brenda Fischer announced that insuring council’s confidentiality was an “administrative” prerogative. Brent Stoddard, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Supervisor of all council staff, assured council that he would maintain council staff’s “political sensitivity.” While council staff does not report directly to Fischer, it does directly report to Stoddard. And who does Stoddard report to? Why, City Manager Fischer. Duh… When Mayor Weiers asked if there would be retaliation if his staff refused to divulge confidential matters, he got a non-answer. Not exactly reassuring. Councilmembers Turner, Sherwood, Chavira and Aldama were in the majority and wished no change to the current employee status.

Of note: Did you know the Phoenix Business Journal is about to present City Manager Brenda Fischer with the “Outstanding Woman in Business Award?” I guess they didn’t get the memo on Fischer’s very public tantrum at the Yard House restaurant berating Don Heicht, the CEO of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. A majority of Glendale’s residents are embarrassed by her non-professionalism and believe at the very least, she deserves a reprimand in her personnel file.

Lastly, Republican State Senator Sylvia Allen of Snowflake introduced a bill this week that is designed to gut the state’s Open Meeting Law. Currently the law forbids elected officials from discussing upcoming agenda issues in secret among themselves. Allen’s bill allows elected officials to discuss agenda items prior to their vote, secretly. Please take the time to email Glendale’s state representatives with your expression of non support for this legislation:

Emails are a fast, efficient and very effective way to let your elected officials know your position on proposed legislation whether it is to the Glendale mayor and council to express your disapproval of the proposed sale of Foothills Library; or to your state representatives on legislation to destroy the state’s Open Meeting Law. Your voice does count…make it heard today!

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

On Sunday, April 7, 2013, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave the following interview. I have taken the liberty of transcribing it and then commenting on his answers to the questions posed to him. Here’s the link if you wish to listen and follow the transcription:

http://www.king5.com/sports/NHL-Commissioner-comments-on-Seattle-franchise-201875051.html

Bettman Interview from King5.com by Chris Daniels, April 7, 2013 (3 minutes, 40 seconds)

Bettman

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman

Reporter (R) Question 1: Unintelligible

Bettman (B) Answer: “We’re not planning on changing the realignment and we’re not planning on moving Phoenix, as we stand here today.” (Italics and bold mine)

Please note that I have italicized and boldened  Mr. Bettman’s last phrase. He could have ended his comment after he said we’re not planning on moving Phoenix but he threw in that last phrase, “as we stand here today.” That does not seem to omit future consideration of moving the team.

R Q 2: Is any decision on Phoenix imminent?

B A: “No, when it becomes imminent we’ll tell you. We apparently aren’t operating on the same time frame that a lot of your colleagues are.”

R Q 3: Well, what time frame are you operating on?

B A 3: “On one that works on getting the project completed in a successful light.”

R Q 4: Do you have multiple…Can you give us an update on Phoenix?

B A 4: “As Bill Daly said, quoting him who was quoting me, this is a work in progress and it remains such and Frank hates that when I use that over and over again. But we’re continuing to work on it and there are a lot of things that are in play.”

In Commissioner Bettman’s answers to Q 2, 3 and 4, I would bet you he said the same things in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

R Q 5: In terms of keeping the team in Glendale or…?

B A 5: “Well, we haven’t been exploring the alternatives.”

What is unsaid is just as relevant as what was said in this response and that is we haven’t been exploring alternatives right now.

R Q 6: You haven’t explored relocation?

B A 6: “We are exploring everything we can to work this out and there seems to be considerable interest. You know, if you go through the history of this, there have been lots of reasons this has taken lots of time. There seems to be now, calm at the moment, a lot more interest than we’ve ever seen.”

It is interesting that this question went unanswered and was meant to direct attention away from relocation. Apparently it was successful because the reporter’s follow-up question is related to the time it has taken.

R Q 7: Why do you think that is…going for a long time?

B A 7: “Because there are a lot of things that happened. Some were with our control, some were beyond our control. Whether or not it was third party intervention, whether or not it was the work stoppage, whether or not it was the deal that went bad for a variety of reasons, the fact of the matter is, there seems to be more interest at this particular point in time than we’ve seen throughout the process.”

R Q 8: Is the city any more cooperative?

B A 8: “Well, I’ve been in regular touch with the mayor and we agreed that when we get a framework lined up then we would come see the city. We don’t want the city to have to expend resources and time getting involved until there’s something concrete to present to them.”

The Commissioner’s response corroborates what has been widely suspected and that is the NHL will select a buyer and bring the deal to Glendale to take it or leave it. The NHL certainly wasn’t this solicitous of the time and resources the city used on a parade of previous suitors.

R Q 9: Could there be some kind of combination of previous suitors?

B A 9: “That would require a lot of speculation and information that might not be constructive to the process.”

R Q 10: I’m coming to you so that I don’t have to speculate…

B A 10: “And I would prefer that we not talk about it because what’s more important is that we get through this process and I think we’ll have a better indication from these meetings this week as to whether we’re getting closer to resolving it.”

The Commissioner is reluctant, as obviously anyone would be at this point, to reveal any of the suitors or their deal points.

R Q 11: Is insurance the main issue this week?

B A 11: “There are lots of issues. I know in your business it’s more interesting for the people that follow you to have specific things to focus on. This doesn’t get done until all of the essential elements get done and so it doesn’t take a focus on any one of the issues.”

R Q 13: Can you tell us when the meetings are and who is meeting?

B A 13: “I think the meetings are either Wednesday or Thursday. NHLPA, IOC and double IHI.

R Q 14: How close are you following the NBA Board of Governors and the potential of the Seattle arena going in?

B A 14: “Just from afar.”

Do we really think so?

R Q 15: Does it affect Phoenix?

B A 15: “Not really. Phoenix is Phoenix. They’re gonna, I assume the NBA Board of Governors will make whatever decision they think is in the best interest of the league and the franchise involved.”

I wouldn’t be commenting on Seattle as a relocation possibility for Phoenix either.

R A 16: Seattle in general. Do you have any thoughts on that as a potential hockey market?

B A 16: “The research I’ve seen tells me that it would be a very strong hockey market. I haven’t looked at it in detail but it’s all anecdotal and third hand and obviously, if there were a team in Seattle it might foster a pretty decent rivalry with a northern neighbor, namely Vancouver.”

Look for a team in Seattle in the future. Whether it turns out to be the Coyotes or another team, only the Commissioner knows and he’s not telling.

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