Coyotes Bidders Are Serious

Taking the advice of a local PR boffin, we requested supporting information from the City of Glendale.

Serious Barometer Readings

Also Specializing in Serious Barometer Readings

Maybe it would be more proper English to use “seriousness” rather than “serious” in describing a fictional barometer, but that’s okay since no such barometer actually exists in many minds.

We all want to know who the “serious” bidders for the Coyotes are, don’t we? Since Jason and mayor Weiers are buddies, working together on his campaign and probably still working together now, he should know what he’s talking about. Plus, maybe it was a not so subtle message from the mayor being delivered through the political machine pipeline to “other less serious bidders” than the group visiting with the mayor most often?

Freed Up Time

Now that Jason has retired from his brief assignment repping Amy’s Baking Company after their Gordon Ramsay meltdown, he may once again become more involved in Glendale politics. Anyway, we requested a list of any visits, scheduled on the mayor’s calendar or not, of the logical bidders we all know about. We received a simple and very brief dump of a few days in the mayor’s calendar. So, that means that only the people listed on those calendar entries actually visited with the mayor OR we got blown off a little.

No Drum Roll Necessary

According to the criterion set forth by  the mayor through his PR guy, the serious bidder for the Coyotes is John Kaites. In a distant second place is Darin Pastor.

So, is Renaissance Sports and Entertainment (RSE), widely regarded before the rumor blackout as the strong frontrunner in the bid for the Coyotes REALLY the likely candidate to be successful purchasing the Coyotes?

Not so much, at least according to the mayor (or his unofficial spin doctor) of the city that owns the building the team would be playing in. The only other explanation is that Jason was simply blowing smoke somewhere it doesn’t belong with his snarky tweet. Let’s assume he was snarkily sincere and continue.

Chow Time

John Kaites (image from SCA site)

John Kaites
(image from SCA site)

Mr. Kaites, an attorney, was scheduled to meet for two hours with the mayor on January 30 at “My Big Fat Greek Restaurant” in Phoenix. This was the day before the expiration of the Jamison deal. Coincidentally this was also the day prior to a mystery lawyer “representing Jamison” making a mystery call to the mayor asking for an extension of the deadline. Click here for some background on that story, if you’re interested. The topic of conversation is not listed on the calendar.

Mr. Kaites then met with the mayor on  for lunch at “Sierra Bonita” in Glendale. Joining the two men for lunch were Don Cardon and Walt Kallestad. Mr. Cardon is a developer currently working the Phoenix CityScape project (not the Scottsdale CityScape project targeted by Goldwater Institute) which is, coincidentally, a block from US Airways Center. I believe Mr. Kallestad is a pastor at the Glendale Community Church of Joy. The topic of conversation is not listed on the calendar.

Darin Pastor is on the mayor’s schedule for April 3 for one hour. That’s it. He didn’t even get a sandwich, a bad sign.

So, the winner is clearly John Kaites and, we all assume based on past history, Jerry Reinsdorf. I speculated in the past (click here) that Kaitesdorf had the upper hand in Glendale. It’s speculation based on facts, not the least of which is the massively ridiculous (for Glendale) deal Reinsdorf managed to get through with Camelback Ranch for his baseball team.

I believe there are plenty of people that would disagree with Kaites being the frontrunner. Almost everybody, in fact.

But, Wait

We had actually made a similar records request about three weeks ago, attempting to determine who the players were in the Coyotes mess. Part of that request was for the mayor’s calendar for the period in question. Oddly, there are even more meetings with John Kaites that weren’t included in this second request that should have, if anything, returned MORE results.

On February 18, the mayor had lunch at the Yardhouse (in Westgate) with John Kaites and Peter Sullivan. Peter Sullivan works for Global Spectrum and is the honcho at University of Phoenix Stadium. Global Spectrum is almost certain to be a frontrunner in the “non-hockey” bidders for the arena management deal. So, maybe Jason mis-tweeted and meant the “serious barometer” of the “non-hockey” bidders? The topic of conversation is not listed on the calendar.

On March 26, Mr. Kaites and the mayor met with Scot Butler and Governor Mendoza, the topic of conversation appears to be truncated on the printout of the calendar but begins with “Congressional”. Scot Butler is, I assume, a lawyer from Phoenix. Governor Gregory Mendoza is the governor of the Gila River Indian Community.

Why the above two meetings were omitted is anybody’s guess. Assuming it was an honest mistake, it leaves some doubt as to the credibility of the results returned both times.

So What’s The Moral?

It’s simple to dismiss the credibility of a guy that thought representing Amy’s Baking Company was a good idea (beyond the obvious free publicity), even though it’s unlikely any tweet from his account wasn’t calculated for effect before being sent. While it’s marginally disturbing that the mayor of Glendale might be sending messages to legitimate bidders looking to play in “his” arena, it’s really no big deal.

The mayor is one vote of seven. None of us are politically naïve enough to believe that the mayor doesn’t actually have more influence than a “normal” council member, but when it comes time for a vote he only gets one. The mayor has made it clear he will need a deal significantly revised from the one that expired on January 31, the major political roadblock being the amount paid by the City to manage their arena. The assumed frontrunner to purchase the Coyotes, RSE, has indicated they will need a deal similar in structure to the Jamison deal. So, the mayor is not likely to be considered in the vote equation any of the likely bidders are using.

The proposals are due to be submitted to Beacon by May 31, one short week away. Decisions are to be finalized by July 1 to coincide with the fiscal year of Glendale. Things will be moving fast now, with perhaps the first domino falling in the right direction being the announcement Coyotes GM Don Maloney will be sticking around.

I can offer Jason a list of people to call if he wants to know who the serious bidders for the Coyotes are. Assuming he’s actually interested in more than simply spinning another story.

Unlikely, I know, but we must maintain our faith in human nature.