Judge rejects Goldwater’s attempt to invalidate Coyotes lease

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An Arizona judge has ruled against the Goldwater Institute in its attempt to invalidate a 20-year, $324 million lease deal between the City of Glendale and the prospective owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, Greg Jamison.

You can read the ruling here. (Enjoy!)

The court’s decision is a victory for Jamison, though hurdles remain. If enough signatures are collected by opponents, the lease will go to a November referendum. (The deadline for signatures is July 8.)

Of course, even if it does go to a referendum, Jamison could still close on the purchase from the NHL before the fall. At worst (or maybe even best), lease opponents win the November vote and he’s got a mobile franchise that’s worth more in other markets than Glendale. A quick flip to an owner in Quebec City and he books a nice profit.

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves, as there’s no guarantee we’ve heard the last of the Goldwater Institute — the taxpayer watchdog group could still sue Glendale for providing Jamison with an illegal subsidy.

Update: Goldwater president Darcy Olsen: “If the arena management deal goes into effect, we will examine its terms and determine whether it violates the subsidy ban in Arizona’s constitution.”