For the better part of a year, we have watched and waited for the final outcome of the fate of a hockey team in Glendale, Arizona.
Repeatedly, we commented on the apparent favoritism being shown by the NHL, the City of Glendale, and creditors to the Coyotes to Jerry Reinsdorf.
The question has remained – why?
Since last summer, we were made aware of the business dealings and relationship of Michael Reinsdorf with officials at Glendale, in a business capacity. And, of course father Jerry has his spring training ballpark located there as well. In short, the Reinsdorf name in Glendale, AZ seems to have a “family” appeal to the city.
But it gets a little tiresome to continually watch the link between government and private corporations sharing favour to the detriment of the people of the region.
If the Coyotes stand a fair chance to remain in Glendale, the City Council has dropped the ball by shunning Ice Edge, since the Edge group are the only chance of the 24 year commitment the league has promised the fans.
It’s all sounding a lot like lip-service when you cannot put the plan where the promise is. It brings us back to the suspicion and the questions as to why the City council would pick Reinsdorf’s low risk offer to that of Ice Edge’s bigger commitment to the future. What incentive will Reinsdorf have after five years, knowing there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and possible huge profiting possible? This, according to those close to the situation, would say is the motivation. If it won’t make money, there won’t be a reason to take it on in the first place.
The whole situation reminds me of good advice. Never lend money to family, as they will take advantage of you. Does the same apply with the relationships already in place in Glendale? Something smells.
After almost a year of discussion and battling the fans in Phoenix, the folks in Hamilton have come to an understanding as well. Fans in Hamilton love hockey, but we can also appreciate the love of the game of those true fans that would stand to get the shaft in Glendale, should things not work out.
If the motive is profit who would you trust to do the best job to commitment to making it work – the group with no recourse and alternative options, or the one who can bail in five years, ensuring profit? Let’s see – no brainer.
It might be suggested that the fans in Glendale get behind who was once considered the enemy – the Goldwater Group.
At least we can see that in the end, it is apparent this deal is unilateral – all benefits and no risk to Reinsdorf. That does not a fair and legal arrangement make.
The New York Times says it well, and those close should heed the warning:
“The Reinsdorf deal creates serious legal questions,” Carrie Ann Sitren, a Goldwater lawyer, said last week. “It puts a huge amount of risk on the city, whereas Reinsdorf takes on virtually none. It could be a contract without a give and take from each side, which would be illegal. Beyond that, the city might make substantial payments to support Reinsdorf’s ownership and still lose the team after five years.”
Economists have called Glendale’s agreement unprecedented for its generosity to a prospective owner. The city is still paying off a $180 million debt for the rink, and would have no chance to pay it off if the Coyotes left.
“I have worked with dozens of government entities, and I can’t think of anyone who would entertain anything like this,” Marc Ganis, a sports-business consultant, told The Arizona Republic. “But the whole bankruptcy situation has been unprecedented.”