Sporting News: A Coyotes arena deal rewrite?
A Glendale mayoral candidate wants the city to rework its $ 300 million, 20-year arena management deal to help Greg Jamison buy the Phoenix Coyotes because a possible lockout could nix games for the next National Hockey League season.
Walt Opaska, a intellectual property attorney running for the open Glendale mayor’s seat, worries the city could be on the hook for a $ 17 million payment to Jamison even if the 2012-13 season is cut short or canceled by a lockout.
NHL owners and players are trying to work out a new collective bargaining agreement. If they don’t reach a deal by Sept. 15, it could result in owners locking out players. The NHL season starts in October.
Opaska has written current Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs and the City Council that approved the Jamision deal asking them to rework it in case there is a lockout.
“Under the Jobing.com Arena Management Agreement, Glendale will be forced to pay the Jamison Group $ 17 million dollars this year, even if the Coyotes do not play a single game in the Jobing.com Arena. Glendale should immediately renegotiate the payment terms of this agreement and require the Coyotes to use Jobing.com before Glendale pays Greg Jamison, the prospective owner of the Coyotes, $ 17 million,” said Opaska.
He is running for mayor against Manny Cruz and Jerry Weiers. Scruggs, who opposed the arena deal, is not seeking reelection.
Opaska wants an arena deal prorated based on the number of games played during the season. The city of Glendale declined comment on the letter.
Jamison has been trying to purchase the Coyotes from the NHL since 2011. The city approved arena deal
The purchase deal for the team has yet to be finalized, and the group trying to buy the team has battened down the hatches related to information coming out on the sale.
Jamison has had investors come in and out of the deal during the past several months as he tries to buy the team from the NHL, which supports his ownership bid.
An official close to the Coyotes sale says the CBA and potential lockout are not playing a detrimental role in the sale’s progress.
But others familiar with the deal wonder if prospective investors and particulars of the deal hinge to some degree on the terms of the CBA, revenue sharing between owners and players and whether or not games are being played this season.
The source did say labor negotiations are taking up most of NHL officials time right now. Part of those negotiations are the state of some financially troubled franchises including the Coyotes.
The Arizona Court of Appeals will hear a case on Aug. 23 regarding a lower court ruling upholding Glendale’s disqualification of sales-tax measure because of misleading language.
The measure asks voters to reverse a city sales tax increase that started Aug. 1 that is part of Glendale’s plan to close a $ 35 million budget deficit and help pay for the city’s outlays on the Coyotes front. A lower court sided with the city’s disqualification of the sales tax measure.
The measure is backed by the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona and the Sanderson Ford car dealership. They are appealing the disqualification.
Mike Sunnucks writes about politics, law, airlines, sports business and the economy as a senior reporter for the Phoenix Business Journal.