The architects of a disastrous foray into professional sports by the suburban city of Glendale, Ariz., will not be around to deal with the fallout.
Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, 68, announced this week she will not seek a sixth term in office this summer. Earlier this year, Glendale city manager Ed Beasley, 53, said he planned to “retire” some time this year.
The politician and the bureaucrat are leaving behind a debt of almost $1-billion (all currency U.S.) for the city of 250,000, much of it created by the decisions to build an arena for the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes (and to spend more than $50-million propping up the team) and a spring-training complex for Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.
It was Beasley who handled the day-to-day operations of Scrugg’s master plan of building facilities to attract major-league teams. The only scheme that worked out was building a football stadium for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. Glendale will play host to its second Super Bowl in 2015.
However, the fate of the Coyotes remains up in the air, as the NHL has been unable to find a buyer willing to keep the team in Glendale. Talks with former San Jose Sharks president Greg Jamison have yet to produce a deal and the likelihood of the Coyotes moving to Quebec City, Seattle or Kansas City is growing.
The Arizona Republic has the details of Scruggs’ decision and her legacy. The most interesting parts are the comments from Scruggs’s fellow politicians about her reign.