Goldwater Institute thinks Coyotes arena deal is constitutional

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In the ongoing struggle to find an owner for the Phoenix Coyotes, the Goldwater Institute has been a strong opponent of some of the previous arena lease deals that prospective Coyotes owners have sought from the City of Glendale. Most notably, Matthew Hulsizer abandoned his bid for the team after facing opposition from Goldwater.

It looks like they won’t fight the recently passed arena lease deal though:

“Based on the information available to us at this time, we do not believe that the Glendale arena management deal would be held unconstitutional,” Goldwater said in a statement on their website. “Changes made to the agreement during the course of negotiations partially bridged the gap between the market cost of arena management and the amount of the payment to the team owner, thus bringing the deal into conformity with cases interpreting the Gift Clause of the Arizona Constitution.

“The initial deal proposed several years ago would have included not only a substantial annual arena management fee, but a $100 million up-front payment to subsidize the purchase of the team. We are proud to have played a constructive role in protecting the taxpayers and taking an illegal deal off the table.”

Just one more sign that the Phoenix Coyotes — soon to be Arizona Coyotes — aren’t going anywhere soon. Of course, with the out clause, we can’t completely close the book on the Coyotes saga.