Sometimes cooler heads should prevail and take a step back from an obvious action. The obvious, and completely legitimate, reaction to the ill-advised June 9 actions of the Glendale City Council is to boycott every merchant in Glendale to hit the sales tax revenue of the city.
Maybe it’s premature.
Grounds For Divorce
On June 9, the Glendale City Council had a hastily called emergency meeting to decide whether to void the city’s arena management agreement with IceArizona. The grounds cited were the actions of two former city employees accepting work with the Coyotes after working on the negotiations and eventual final deal with the team.
The two employees are former City Attorney Craig Tindall and former Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni.
The calendar shows that Tindall was forcibly retired well before negotiations began and Frisoni was the communications director for the City when the deal was being struck.
But, that was good enough for Glendale City Attorney Michael Bailey, who advised the council at the meeting they had grounds for dismissing the deal.
Let’s Be Friends (or not)
A few days prior to the voting meeting, some Coyotes brass met with mayor Weiers, vice-mayor Hugh, the aforementioned Bailey, and Acting City Manager Dick Bowers.
The meeting, called by Glendale, was ostensibly to discuss the state of the agreement with the Coyotes.
Once sitting around the table, however, the City ambushed the Coyotes executives with an ultimatum:
Renegotiate this deal, or we will use the legal grounds we’ve discovered to kill this agreement.
The Coyotes demurred and the legislative process to dissolve the agreement began.
Coyotes fans are used to this sort of stress, so are the Coyotes honchos.
What we are NOT used to is the positive and nearly unanimous clamor of support for the Coyotes position from formerly antagonistic sources.
There was a nearly immediate outcry to boycott Glendale and vote with wallets. That’s an effective tool for making a point to municipalities, do some damage to the sales tax revenue and bang the bottom line.
The boycott wheels went immediately into motion thanks to the response time of social media.
Jeff Teetsel, Westgate’s development manager and several merchants from Westgate talked at the podium at the meeting. They made a plea to the Council to reconsider their vote so their businesses would not suffer from the lack of 600,000+ people visiting Westgate for Coyotes games annually and spending money in their places.
It’s true, it’s not hard to make an argument that “No Coyotes” means “No Westgate”. People that have been battling to keep the Coyotes at home for years have used that argument for years.
It’s a good argument because it’s true.
Plenty Of Time
The first venture into court went the way of the Coyotes. The vast majority of legal opinions published since the Glendale action have given the City little chance of a win. It’s likely hundreds of millions of dollars could be awarded to the Coyotes for damages.
In the larger arena of public opinion, maybe “we” as individuals should show compassion for our fellow humans that happen to be merchants in Glendale. If we don’t forever, maybe we can for the time being until this situation has a chance to mellow and coalesce.
Make Your Presence Known
We’re, instead, suggesting printing some cards or pieces of paper to let Glendale know where you stand when you spend money in the city.
Hand something that states you’re a Coyotes fan and your money will disappear immediately if the team leaves. Let those pieces of paper gather at local merchants for awhile, see if the City Council pays attention.
If they don’t, everybody can still boycott in a few months if the situation isn’t resolved.
Whichever way people decide to express their opinion, let’s hope that we maintain solidarity and respect each other’s opinions. We all have the same goals in mind, and even if we don’t respect is a good thing.