A disclaimer: I have not made a decision on the Renaissance Sports and Entertainment bid to manage the city’s arena. It is not possible until I have read the document. To date it is not available to the public.
I don’t usually post 3 blogs in one day but this appears to be one of those days that demands it.
On June 25, 2013, Paul Giblin, a reporter for the Arizona Republic issued the following story online, Glendale still unsure about Phoenix Coyotes deal. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20130625glendale-unsure-phoenix-coyotes-deal.html . Several aspects of his story are troubling. One issue is that a vote is still scheduled for Tuesday, July 2, 2013. It is my understanding that the council has requested another Executive Session for Thursday, June 27, 2013. The city had better made sure that notice of another Esession on June 27th is properly posted 24 hours in advance. Which means that the meeting notice has to be posted on Wednesday, June 26th…today. However, even more worrisome is that with an Esession scheduled for June 27 the very earliest the deal points could be posted publicly would be on Friday, June 28th or even as late as on Monday, July 1st. Could the city post as late as 24 hours before a scheduled vote? Yes, they could but would they? I hope not as suspicions will shoot through the roof if the public is given one day to review and understand any deal between Renaissance Sports and Entertainment (RSE) and the city.
Now, about that second $25M the NHL has offered (at the 11th hour) to take payments on of $5M over each of the next 5 years. Great…too little, too late and it doesn’t solve the city’s problems. The $30M leaseback of City Hall was designed to replenish the city’s Enterprise Funds, Vehicle Replacement Fund and Technology Replacement Fund. Glendale staff crafted a brilliant strategy. Now that strategy has been tabled by council until after the scheduled Coyotes vote on July 2nd… Hmmmm…The $20M the city has held in an escrow account for the NHL payment simply isn’t enough to cover all of the city’s needs. It will pay back some of the loans leaving $5M still outstanding. While a generous offer on the part of the NHL, it could have been done a long time ago and in fact, I and several former councilmembers called for just such an arrangement. Why now? I suspect it is in reaction to what they perceive as a very negative story about the city planning to enter a leaseback of City Hall to pay back loans directly related to the $50M partially paid and partially still owed to the NHL.
To discover that councilmembers are not on top of the revenues derived from either the Westgate area (remember those revenues are already being used to pay off the original construction debt on the arena and are NOT new found money) or the arena is disturbing to say the least. At least one of them has touted himself as an expert on the entire RSE deal.
Lastly, good old Councilmember Alvarez and her statements have got to have you snapping your heads in double-take mode. Alvarez said, “I called them knuckleheads, because they don’t get it. They don’t get it. They don’t get it. They’re going to continue discussions. Discussions of what? We’re selling City Hall because of paying $50 million. C’mon. C’mon.” Factually she is incorrect. The city is proposing a leaseback arrangement not an outright sale of City Hall with visions of employees moving out after a sale. As for continuing discussions, they should continue but they don’t have to result in acceptance of the deal…not if RSE cannot or will not guarantee “enhanced revenue streams” for the city.