To quote some of the article from cb's link above:
PHOENIX - A conservative watchdog group plans to ask a judge for a temporary restraining order Friday to prevent a Glendale City Council vote on a lease agreement that would clear the way for the sale of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes.
The Goldwater Institute said Thursday that its request will be filed at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court. The institute bases its request on its contention that the city violated the Arizona open meetings law by failing to make public all documents related to the lease.
The seven-member council is scheduled to convene at 10:15 a.m. Friday to vote on a lease that would pay prospective owner Craig Jamison $17 million a year for arena operation costs and other items. The NHL has owned the team for three seasons after buying it in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Goldwater officials said they question the timing of the council's vote.
"The city of Glendale plans to consider what is estimated to be a $425 million arena management deal for Jobing.com Arena," Goldwater Institute president Darcy Olsen said in a statement. "Arizona's Open Meetings Law and multiple court orders require the city to make public all documents related to the proposed contract at least 24 hours before a council vote is taken, which it has not done.
"The 100-page deal released on Monday refers to a number of exhibits that are central to analyzing the impact of the deal on Glendale's finances, which the city must make public," Olsen added.
The article quoted above comes a day after these:
Glendale's proposed $17 million taxpayer-funded arena-management deal with the Phoenix Coyotes for next year would be the only one like it among the Valley's major sports teams and may be one of the most lucrative in the National Hockey League.
The city would pay the team's prospective owner anywhere from $10 million to $20 million a year over the 20-year life of the deal, for a total of $300 million, leading some sports-industry experts and Glendale leaders to question whether it is more lucrative for the team than necessary.
A 4-3 majority of the Glendale City Council appears poised to approve the lease agreement with likely Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison to operate the city-owned Jobing.com Arena.
None of the other professional sports teams in the Valley -- the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks -- receives a tax-funded subsidy to run its stadium or arena, sports executives and local government officials said.
"It's very, very large relative to anything," said John Vrooman, a sports economist and Vanderbilt University professor. "It's probably a blanket fee that covers lots of other things."
Glendale will also foot the bill for $24 million in capital improvements to the 9-year-old arena. Glendale officials expect to collect roughly $2.2 million in annual rent payments, ticket surcharges, sales taxes and other fees. They also cite the intangible benefits of keeping the team in Glendale, among them hundreds of jobs and thousands of visitors.
Executives with the Suns, Diamondbacks and Cardinals declined to comment on the proposed deal between Glendale and Jamison. Privately, they say they want the hockey team to stay in the Valley because having four major professional-sports teams in one market contributes to community pride and notoriety.
However, one executive said the city's arena-management payment to Jamison likely would also be used to offset operating losses in running the Coyotes. Two executives said they were unaware of any other professional-sports franchise in the country that received such a lucrative subsidy from a municipality.
While Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs and two other council members have publicly questioned whether the proposed fee is too steep, other city leaders say the figure is supported by months of research on operation costs.
and also yesterday, Goldwater's letter to Glendale..
Dear Mayor Scruggs and City Councilmembers:
As the City considers a deal that will add substantially to its existing financial obligations, at a time when it is overloaded with debt and has had to cut city services and lay off city workers, we hope the Council will carefully consider the following questions:
What is the actual cost of managing Jobing.com Arena, minus the capital expenses for which the City remains liable under the proposed agreement? If the agreement is challenged under the Gift Clause, a court will look to the difference between actual management costs and the amount the City is obligated to pay to determine whether the agreement is a subsidy. The Council should insist on knowing those numbers so that it can determine whether the agreement is lawful and fair to the taxpayers.
The City also is giving the arena manager parking rights. In the previous proposed deal with Matthew Hulsizer, the City valued parking rights at approximately $100 million over a specified period, and used those estimates to issue bonds. The Council should be informed of the value of the parking rights that are being transferred and the basis of that value, as part of the assessment of whether the agreement includes an illegal subsidy and is fair to taxpayers.
We understand that the Tohono O'odham Nation has offered once again to partner with the City to relieve some of the financial obligations related to the arena. We are not aware that there has been any formal analysis of alternative Arena uses or a request for competitive bids for Arena management. We hope that the Council will explore all options before it exposes taxpayers to substantial additional long-term financial obligations.
We understand the Council is considering adopting the deal as an "emergency" measure, which would deprive Glendale citizens of their right to refer the matter to a vote. As you know, the circumstances justifying an emergency declaration are limited. Given that the City apparently has been negotiating this proposal for quite some time, and the dire financial condition the City is in, denying citizens their right of referral seems inappropriate.
We hope that these inquiries will assist the Council in its deliberations over the proposed deal. We further urge you to not to rush to a vote. The terms of the 100-page proposal were released to the public for the first time on Monday, and not all the exhibits and associated documents have been released yet. There should be an adequate public comment period after all the documents have been released, particularly when they commit substantial public resources over many years.
tl;dr --- Goldwater submitted a restraining order on the city countil's vote at 8:30am, the vote was scheduled to happen 5 minutes ago. So certainly by today's end we'll hear some news on this topic again.
Edited by Shoreline, 08 June 2012 - 09:49 AM.