On Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Darrell Jackson, for the Glendale Star, posted a story online in which he reported two sources (not councilmembers but apparently city administrative staff) have confirmed my speculation that the Monday, July 13, 2015 city council executive session was to discuss an offer made by the Arizona Coyotes. Not a bad guess for a former councilmember.

It raises more questions other than answering only one — what was the subject of the e session? If Jackson’s sources are correct the Arizona Coyotes had offered to drop their management fee to $8M for the next 3 years.

Without knowing any more details of the purported offer, the first thought is, don’t the owners of the Coyotes realize they are virtually confirming they plan to exercise the opt-out clause in 3 years? The second thought is city council is absolutely convinced they have a solid legal case against the Coyotes. You can be sure we have not seen all of the city’s cards when it comes to the 2 former city employees, Craig Tindall and Julie Frisoni. I suspect we will not find out how much more there is to know until the discovery phase of the trial — which seems more certain to occur than ever.

Offering to pay a lesser management fee while keeping the opt-out clause does not sound like much of a win-win deal. The city pays the team $8M a year to play in its arena for the next 3 years and then the team leaves? Again, who is going to pay the Coyotes $15M or $8M a year to play in their venue? You can be sure the City of Phoenix and Talking Stick won’t. They have management companies. No, the only thing they will expect is a hefty rental payment from the Coyotes. It seems as if the handwriting is on the wall. No one, other than gullible Glendale has been willing to pay them to play and now, even Glendale has decided that it’s not such a great idea.

If the Coyotes owners are as committed to staying as they claim they are, the first concession they should have made to the city was to remove the opt-out clause but they didn’t offer that carrot. Why? Because they plan on exercising the provision in 3 years. For all those die-hard Coyotes fans out there, what will it take to make you believe that it is quite possible that the Coyotes are not here for the long haul, despite what the sometimes dubious truth teller Anthony LeBlanc has been saying? You know which Anthony LeBlanc I’m referring to. It’s the one who denied Andrew Barroway’s purchase of 51% of the team only to retract his denial. Yes, I realize Barroway is no longer the majority owner but he was for a brief time and LeBlanc originally denied it when it was first reported.

Jackson reported that several administrative staff would like to see arena management separate from the team. At this point in time, that seems to be an idea worth embracing. Hang on folks. This is a new chapter of Coyotes history, barely written and I suspect there is much, much more to come before this chapter is completed.

© Joyce Clark, 2015


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