We own mismanaged banks, automobile companies and mortgages so why not a money losing hockey team?
by Jim Iannuzo
Judge Edward Burke has ordered the city of Glendale, Arizona to release documents regarding negotiations concerning the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes. Glendale officials initially refused document requests by the Arizona Republic newspaper and Goldwater Institute, citing a need for secrecy and have reluctantly followed the court's ruling, albeit with much of the information blacked out like a highly classified CIA document released under the FOIA.
Make no mistake; this translates into Mayor Scrugg's desire to give away incentives (a.k.a. taxpayer money) to a private developer to keep the "precious" in Glendale. The city council's lobby is filled with personally autographed sports memorabilia, I think you understand. The financially struggling Coyotes have a superior offer from Blackberry CEO Jim Balsille who wants to move the team to Canada. Secret negotiations took place between Glendale officials and a Chicago group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf who has indicated he will submit a lower offer to the bankruptcy court than Mr. Balsille. Mr. Reinsdorf will keep the Coyotes in Glendale with incentives.
The current owner has filed for bankruptcy protection leaving Glendale taxpayers on the hook for the Jobing.com arena bonds. The Coyotes have consistently lost money since moving to Glendale. The City of Glendale is considering a $20 million dollar incentive (a.k.a. bribe) for a new owner interested in keeping the money losing Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale. The city council will not consider the best offer which allows the team to move to Canada, potentially paying off a much larger portion of the debt. The city should take a deal which reduces their citizen's liability to the lowest level possible. If Arizona is a good location for a NHL hockey team, someone will come based on sound business decisions not bribes. Throwing good money after bad is pure stupidity. Tax payer money funneled to private business development is theft. Isn't it strange that the first requirement should be changing the name to Glendale Coyotes.
Ah, the sweet memories of FIAT buying Chrysler.
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