When Jerry Moyes walked into bankruptcy court with his Coyotes paperwork in his hand four years and two months ago, he started a new chapter in the history of the club. While there has since been a lot of success on the ice to celebrate, everything was tinged with tones of turmoil and uncertainty.
A new chapter began Tuesday, July 2.
We have the chance to help write this chapter, it’s out of the hands of the NHL and bankruptcy courts and municipal government. A lot of people fought for this chance, and the opportunity is now upon US.
But, first, some more housekeeping will be necessary.
Same As It Ever Was
There’s no need to rehash information all over the Interwebs about the details of the management agreement between Glendale and RSE / Global Spectrum. Most people familiar with the history of negotiations for the Phoenix Coyotes feel it’s the best deal for Glendale that’s ever been approved.
The anti Coyotes factions are clamoring for Goldwater Institute to insert themselves into the situation as they did with the Hulsizer deal. Goldwater is not likely to disabuse anyone of that notion as long as there’s any chance of free publicity, so:
Happy 4th. Quick update. Goldwater Institute President and CEO Darcy Olsen tells me GWI is still reviewing the #Coyotes' deal.
— Craig Morgan (@cmorganfoxaz) July 4, 2013
Without going into the specifics of this current deal, the revenue sharing plan agreed to between the parties must obviate the use of the AZ Constitution “gift clause” for Goldwater. Without that, they really don’t have a weapon unless they also chose to apply the same rules to the Diamondbacks and deals with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority. They will not do that for reasons obvious to those familiar with Goldwater and local politics.
Glendale also put out requests for bids for arena management that only garnered two legitimate responses. Neither of those responses offered guaranteed revenue to the city. One of the components of the Goldwater argument in the press was always that the city never publicly requested bids.
Be Careful Out There, Ken
We haven’t seen the paperwork yet, we will early tomorrow. We have it on good authority that Ken Jones has once again filed his papers to gather petition signatures for a referendum in opposition to the deal approved by the council.
This will be the third time Ken has attempted this. His first attempt, with partners Joe Cobb and Goldwater Institute, was opposed by Glendale First! and failed. His second attempt, with partner Francine Romesburg, was also opposed by Glendale First! and also failed, this time failing so badly they didn’t even bother to turn in their petition sheets.
We don’t know who Ken has pegged for his partner this time, but a partner is needed to allow for a committee treasurer. I doubt either Joe or Francine will be interested, perhaps somebody like the ever present former Glendale employee now Glendale pension receiver Bill Demski?
Hopefully Bill won’t be in charge of doing the spelling or grammar on a committee with an already spotty history of following the rules of the language. Bill was at Tuesday’s meeting, although he has apparently exhausted his sign materials budget since his sign was printed on a flattened box. He did continue to spout the word “scumbag” in the presence of the kids there despite being asked, politely, to refrain from same.
We’ll know who it is tomorrow morning, although it doesn’t matter.
I assume Glendale First! will also oppose this attempt successfully for a threepeat. We have an ethical dilemma, though, one that will have to be addressed within days by the principals involved.
We’ve seen Ken’s health seem to deteriorate in the past few years, more noticeably in the past year. He’s somewhere around 80 and has been using a walker every time I’ve seen him for awhile.
It was in December the last time Ken took a run at the Coyotes, the weather was spectacular in Glendale. Now it’s July, and it’s hot, very hot. Temperatures over 100 will be the norm, and sitting in the vicinity of a hot parking lot will be no fun.
The weather is hot enough to be dangerous to extremely healthy people and, obviously, much more dangerous to people that are less robust.
So, the question is, will formal opposition of a nearly impossible attempt to gather nearly 7,000 signatures only strengthen the resolve of a guy that has the chops to stick it out? It might. Ken has a lot of resolve.
That brings up the second question, would perhaps unnecessary (because a chance of success is so remote) opposition be the cause of further damage to the health of an elderly man? It’s a philosophical question that will have to be answered sooner rather than later. Nobody should suffer permanent damage over any arena deal.
There’s a lot of Coyotes fans. Are there enough? Nope, not yet. The difference between hockey, particularly Coyotes hockey, and the other three major sports in the Valley is loyalty. I have a blog post in mind for later about that subject, but for now the point is that we are not likely to give up now after four years of strife. There’s plenty of fight left in this fan base as there is in the new consortium of owners. After all, more than one of them has been around for the entire four years trying to make this happen.
Since we’ll probably never get back “Hockey The Hard Way” as a marketing slogan for the Coyotes, I had an idea that would also probably never fly for any number of legitimate marketing reasons. I still like it, though because it seems to be entirely appropriate to describe the experience of being a Coyotes fan, team member, employee or now hopefully owner…
“Because It’s Family”