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(Ross D. Franklin)
(Ross D. Franklin)

Goldwater not budging on Coyotes deal Add to ...

Matthew Hulsizer was waiting for further analysis from the Goldwater Institute of his proposed deal to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and hoping the public watchdog might finally have a kind word for him.

Another look at the deal came Thursday afternoon from a Goldwater lawyer and undoubtedly Hulsizer is feeling chagrined.

Carrie Ann Sitren wrote a report for Goldwater that once again said the municipal bond deal to provide Hulsizer with $100-million (all currency U.S.) to help buy the Coyotes from the NHL for $170-million and cover this season's losses of $40-million, is a bad one for the taxpayers of the suburban city of Glendale.

The interesting thing about this report is that Sitren compares it to a similar one for one of the most successful franchises in sport. The New York Yankees strong-armed the city of New York into coughing up $102-million through a bond sale for the baseball team's new Yankee Stadium.

Like the plan in Glendale, parking revenue around Yankee Stadium is supposed to cover the bond payments. But it is not working out that way.

Sitren said in her report the Yankees' parking revenue is 40 per cent below projections. According to her, the Yankees could not even cover as much as $1.5-million of the annual $7-million in bond payments. And the company that handles the parking owes the city $17-million in back rent and taxes.

Considering the millions of fans the Yankees draw each season and that on a good night a Coyotes crowd might number 14,000, that is not a promising indicator for Glendale's bonds.

The bad news is really piling up on Glendale. The debt from its various attempts to attract sports teams and their fans is now approaching $1-billion. Revenue shortfalls are being reported on the spring-training facility for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers and now it looks like the big centre for USA Basketball will not get built. Then there is the NFL lockout to worry about and the scandal that threatens the Fiesta Bowl at the football stadium, which is a big revenue producer for the city.

Rebekah L. Sanders of the Arizona Republic has all of the woes facing Glendale's politicians and taxpayers here.

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