Pushing Back Against the Opposition: A Phoenix Coyotes Lease Story

By Jaime Eisner
Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Earlier today, fellow Rant Sports contributor Brian Palmer wrote a story saying the city of Glendale made a “poor” decision by approving the arena management agreement with prospective Phoenix Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison. He called it “the disaster in the desert, the gaffe in Glendale and the albatross in Arizona.” Below I will examine his article piece-by-piece:

“NHL took control of the Coyotes in 2009 and have had exactly zero bona fide offers for ownership since.” – Zero bona fide offers, huh? Does an approved lease and the funds reportedly in escrow constitute a “bona fide offer?”

“‘Fans’ there are generally disinterested or only show up because of free tickets or the two-for-one kinds of deals that are usually limited to junior hockey leagues.” – Thanks for putting the word fans in quotes, which shows an unwillingness to admit people enjoy hockey in Arizona. Yes, the Coyotes do give out free tickets: to active military, anthem singers and in-game contests. This practice is done by almost all (if not all) of the NHL teams. A further explanation on the alleged “two-for-one kinds of deals” is needed as there is no evidence that backs up the statement.

“The team has struggled with attendance since the team left downtown Phoenix for the albatross that is their situation in Glendale a decade ago.” – The team has certainly struggled with attendance the last three seasons. But, to say the have always struggled while in Glendale depends on your definition of “struggled.” In the first 3.5 seasons at Glendale Arena (now Jobing.com Arena), the Coyotes had 88 percent occupancy. In those 3.5 years, they had more attendance than the Chicago Blackhawks (twice), Washington Capitals (twice) and the Boston Bruins (once).

“Being okay with Greg Jamison’s deal to buy the team, despite multiple reports suggesting he barely has the money to get this deal done.” – How about the multiple reports that he does have the money? How about the man himself saying he will present the money? Do you not think the NHL may know a little more about Greg Jamison’s financial situation than you and I do?

“And then of course there is his unwillingness to divulge who any of his investors are. That’s right, Jamison isn’t the one who is actually coming in to save the day, he’s just the guy on the white horse leading a pack of hooded riders like a scene from The Lord of the Rings.” – I am awaiting the inevitable reveal of where Palmer has ever made his money. The fact is that Jamison runs a private company and has no legal or ethical requirement to reveal his investors publicly. Most people are pretty sure that Ice Edge or at least Anthony LeBlanc is one investor (happy now?).

“They voted to approve the deal Jamison made despite the fact this move will sink the city into an even deeper black hole of debt from which they might never recover.” – Once again, those pesky facts always are getting in the way. The presentation at the Glendale city council meeting on Tuesday showed that the city would gain positive fiscal benefit in keeping the Coyotes in Glendale in years 7-20 of the deal. In year 20, the city benefits by nearly $100 million by keeping the team. The “deeper black hole of debt” you speak of only happens if the Coyotes leave.

“May God help you, citizens of Glendale, because your city’s leaders sure don’t want to.” – A little over-dramatic, methinks.

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