Coyotes Deal Inches Forward

A federal judge ruled June 19 that a section of the Glendale City Council’s arena management deal with a potential buyer of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes is invalid and needs to be written but didn’t stop the deal from moving forward.

Judge Dean Fink’s ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by the Goldwater Institute, a conservative watchdog group that seeks to negate the council’s 4-2 June 8 vote to approve a 20-year, $325 million lease agreement for Arena with potential Phoenix Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison.

Residents have about 30 days from the June 8 vote to gather signatures for a public referendum on the deal.
“We’ve already won something; we know we can have a referendum now,” said Ken Jones, one of two plaintiffs represented in the Goldwater lawsuit. “The will give the citizens of Glendale a chance to speak. They’ve never had that before.”

Goldwater officials maintain the council didn’t meet the requirement that five of seven members have to approve the vote for it to qualify as an emergency vote and immediately go into effect.

The lawsuit also claims the city didn’t hold open bidding for the arena management contract and didn’t make two documents related to the proposed 20-year lease available to the public prior to the council’s June 8 vote.