Goldwater still watching as Coyotes lease agreement goes before Glendale council

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Today in Glendale, city council will discuss a re-worked lease agreement with prospective Phoenix Coyotes owner Greg Jamison at the city-owned Jobing.com Arena.

The lease could go to a vote on Nov. 27.

If you’re curious (or would like to punish yourself by reading boring legalese,) click here for the proposed agreement in full.

The agreement, which calls for the city to pay Jamison an average of $15 million over 20 years for arena management, is a controversial one.

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.

But the fact some deem the agreement a subsidy raises the specter of the Goldwater Institute, a taxpayer watchdog group, intervening and arguing that the lease contravenes the state’s gift clause.

That clause reads as follows:

“Neither the state, nor any county, city, town, municipality, or other subdivision of the state shall ever give or loan its credit in the aid of, or make any donation or grant, by subsidy or otherwise, to any individual, association, or corporation, or become a subscriber to, or a shareholder in, any company or corporation, or become a joint owner with any person, company, or corporation, except as to such ownerships as may accrue to the state by operation or provision of law or as authorized by law solely for investment of the monies in the various funds of the state.”

The Goldwater Institute tells PHT via email that it continues to monitor the situation; however, it has no comment at this time.

Related: “Glendale is not your cash register,” new mayor tells Coyotes