Wednesday May 11, 2011 6:35 am
Glendale City Council votes to keep Phoenix Coyotes
It ain’t over yet. The Glendale City Council has voted in favor of paying the bills to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Arizona for yet another season. The Council’s 5-2 vote on Tuesday night means the city will pony up $25 million to the NHL that it pledged a year ago. That, by the way, is taxpayer money coming from citizens who have more than proven that for the most part, they are uninterested in the game on ice out in the desert.
The NHL vehemently contests that it wants to keep the Coyotes in Glendale instead of moving it to Winnipeg, Manitoba, from whence it came. To the outsider, this stance continues to boggle minds as off-ice, the franchise seems to be little more than a money-sucking abyss from which there is no return. Yet another $25 million will be thrown at the problem, and that might not even be enough to cover the operating costs in full.
There will be more than a few people watching carefully at where the money is actually spent. It’s supposed to do nothing more than maintain Jobing.com arena, home of the Coyotes, but if any of it goes towards funding hockey operations, the city may find itself in violation of the state constitution. The city is already under threat of a lawsuit from the Goldwater Institute over the terms of the lease of the arena.
Of course, this vote buys the NHL one more year to figure things out, except next year they’ll enter into a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. After how poorly the last one has worked out, despite the loss of a full hockey season, many changes will probably show up in the next one – changes that just may save hockey in Glendale permanently, to the detriment of other franchises actually turning a profit. And in the end, Gary Bettman will get to continue praising himself for allegedly “saving” another crippled franchise.
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- gary bettman, glendale city council, goldwater institute, national hockey league, nhl, phoenix coyotes, sidefeatured, winnipeg jets
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