Fiddling While Glendale Burns

March 4, 2013

The expiration date (January 31) for the Hockey Partners arena management agreement with the City of Glendale was over a month ago. Despite vague assurances from new mayor Jerry Weiers that he has “four people” interested in pursuing the arena agreement and the Coyotes, there has been no public verification beyond a couple statements in the press.

LeBlanc made a brief statement, mentioning he would need something pretty close to the Hockey Partners deal to be realistic. Grant Woods made a quick appearance in the press implying he was repping the Ice Edge guys and then he disappeared.

David Leibowitz, the PR mouthpiece for John Kaites (former and probably current Reinsdorf front man), made a quickie announcement that Mr. Kaites was interested in purchasing the team but insisted the deal would have to be a money maker.

Greg Jamison (Hockey Partners) is rumored to still be in the hunt, Glendale Council member Gary Sherwood mentioned he had spoken with Mr. Jamison on multiple occasions, including some discussion of details.

So, what is the hang up?

The Weiers Factor

Skeete, Scruggs, Weiers and more

Skeete, Scruggs, Weiers and more

After his “state of the city” speech, in which the Coyotes and the arena were barely mentioned, AZ Rep reporter Caitlin McGlade (video here) joined Jerry for a few questions. The beginning of the interview:

McGlade: A lot of Twitter users were hoping you’d talk about the Coyotes tonight, you didn’t mention a whole lot, is there a reason why?
Weiers: The main reason is I have nothing to report right now. There’s been interest from different people, phone calls, but with the phone calls there’s been nothing put on the table and I’m not much for spreading rumors.
There’s no sense giving you information that I can’t substantiate what the people are intending to do until they tell us.
With that said, as soon as they put things on the table we’ll turn that over to the Glendale folks, our city staff and let them start going through it, they’ll present something to myself and the Council and we’ll make a decision from there.

I won’t dispute the “not much for spreading rumors” statement, the veracity of those words is self-evident. It sounds like Jerry is waiting for somebody to step up and make a bid, right?

I called the mayor’s office this morning. I asked what, exactly, is the process for “putting something on the table” and Anne Finch said:

AF: Well, first they would have to be approved by the NHL as a buyer.
Me: Let’s assume they are.
AF: Then they would speak with the city manager.
Me: Not the mayor?
AF: No, the city manager.
Me: Is there a formal process for doing so? An RFP or anything?
AF: You’d have to talk to the city manager about that, I can connect you.
Me: Please.
…..
AF: They must all be in meetings, all their phones are forwarded.

 I called the city manager’s office this afternoon and was put off. I suppose the real answer will have to come from Horatio Skeete (assuming he has a job after tomorrow) about what the process was. I was told that the process of submitting a Request For Proposal was probably the way to proceed. I asked if the RFP was available and was told no.

Neither the mayors’ office nor the city manager’s office mentioned making a bid through Beacon Sports Capital.

So Now What?

We mentioned that Glendale city attorney Craig Tindall was recently bounced (click here). There was conflict between acting city manager Horatio Skeete and Tindall, so we might expect that Mr. Skeete felt some relief that a nemesis was no longer employed by the city.

Just a little while ago, a special city council meeting was announced for tomorrow at 4 pm (click here). The wording is nearly exactly the same as it was for the similar meeting where Tindall was disposed of. This time, the acting city manager Horatio Skeete and city clerk Pam Hanna are apparently on the chopping block.

Expect the meeting to convene, some brief blah blah, then a motion to adjourn to an executive session will be made (probably by Alvarez, Chavira or Hugh) then seconded by one of the other two and the public portion of the meeting is over. I don’t know whether either party has already been asked to resign as was Mr. Tindall.

Sounds like the new mayor is cleaning house.

Who will be the contact for arena and Coyotes negotiations? Probably not the guy with many months of experience doing so, the way it looks today.

Update 03/05/2013

I was wrong in my assumptions about the special city council meeting. Apparently it was initiated by Vice Mayor Knaack and CMs Martinez and Sherwood. I assume they remain upset over the dismissal of city attorney Craig Tindall and the way it was presented. They probably feel that acting city manager Skeete and city clerk Hanna should be subjected to the same scrutiny.

Since it’s not likely they will be able to manage four votes for anything that requires a show of hands, it may all be moot anyway.

Matt says:

I agree with both of you. I would rather they move to US Airways or by Talking Stick Resort than lose them all together. I’m getting sick of Glendale dragging their feet and playing hard ball with the Coyotes. Anyone read the article that Glendale will be be ponying up more money to bring the Cardinals summer camp to Glendale and build them a practice facility? What ever happened to poor, broke Glendale?

Paul Cornelius says:

Can we please just move the team back to US Airways? We would be better off going back to restricted view seating than this mess. Maybe at this point Bettman (I’m sure he’s had his fill of COG) would drop the price to actual market and the extra dollars could be used towards remodeling to accomodate hockey. That place could use rennovation anyhow.

AZ Schumi says:

How about the “tribe” builds a facility by Talking Stick Resort, uses the hotel for teams and venue participants, promotes the hell out of it, and points to “We did it for MLB, now it’s your turn, Bettman!”

Or am I just dreaming….?

john181818 says:

“Seems to me Weiers wants to run the whole ship, when City Charter doesn’t allow it.”

Like a professional politician he is setting himself up to either be the knight on the white horse or the guy who can blame everyone else for screwing the pooch. Of course he will never take any responsibility for firing the City Attorney and perhaps the other two if that happens on Tuesday.

Bill Eikost says:

What’s interesting is if this really does happen tomorrow. Who is running the City? They have yet to begin a search to replace the position that Skeete currently holds. Should have started when Beasley submitted resignation. Seems to me Weiers wants to run the whole ship, when City Charter doesn’t allow it. Good Grief Charlie Brown!

Larry Feiner says:

We don’t need a time machine… just look at the Hartford Civic Center. Hint:Ghost town with minor league hockey.

WTF this just wont stop. Someone please build a time machine so COG can see it future at westgate without a NHL team so they can come back to the now and make the right descions. The king is not wearing any clothes

It will stop pretty soon, hopefully with an outcome we can all live with for a long time to come. Have fun at the game tonight, we’re missing this one.