In the latest chapter of the never-ending Phoenix Coyotes ownership saga (we believe it’s chapter 13,349), the City of Glendale will vote this evening on a 20-year lease with prospective team owner Greg Jamison.
The lease is a controversial one in that it calls for the cash-strapped municipality to pay Jamision in the neighborhood of $15 million a year to manage the city-owned Jobing.com Arena.
Some say it’s nothing but a subsidy and that the arena could be managed for considerably less.
The counterargument is that it’s the only way to keep the Coyotes from moving and that, with the potential loss of jobs and indirect business taxes, things would be worse for the city without the NHL franchise.
The vote’s outcome could come down to city councilor Yvonne Knaack, who didn’t indicate last week which way she was leaning.
It’s also worth noting that city manager Horatio Skeete no longer supports the lease, even though he’s the one who negotiated it with Jamison.
Of course, even if the lease is approved by city council, Jamison would still need to close on the deal. Last week, he told the Arizona Republic that his group would “move as quickly as we possibly can” should the vote go its way.
There’s also the specter of the Goldwater Institute, the taxpayer watchdog group that may challenge the lease, which many have called a subsidy, in court.