By Steve Miller
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is a total jackass. Not only is his blatantly opportunistic attempt to lure the Phoenix Coyotes away from Glendale uncouth, it could even be illegal.
First of all, I am not a sports fan. It’s probably because I was the skinny, uncoordinated kid in PE who never got picked for the team. I was usually mandated to one team or the other after everyone else had been picked… me and the fat kid who carried a rescue inhaler on a string around his neck. I think giving a full boat scholarship to some jock with a room temperature IQ while a gifted student has to work three part time jobs to get the medical degree that may enable him to cure cancer, is a waste. The dufus goes pro and ends up with a multimillion dollar contract and retirement at 32 while the doctor struggles to pay off a student loan. I know, it’s a general stereotype, but I know it wouldn’t be if it didn’t happen – a lot.
So, not being a sports fan, I wouldn’t care if the Coyotes played in Glendale or Winnipeg but if I had to choose it would be the latter. I think that the City of Glendale was way out of bounds when they got in bed with the developers of the arena in the first place. The city council and management is supposed to tend to city business, not sports and entertainment. The lure of additional tax revenue, however, tempted them to get in bed with the devil. And now that they’re sharing the sheets with Satan, they realize how warm it is under the covers.
Meanwhile, dozens of small businesses listened to the alluring chant of the city fathers. “If you build it, they will come.” The taxpayers built it and small businesses invested millions knowing that the sales revenue would be there for the forty or so games the Coyotes played every year. At least they thought they knew. They trusted the city leaders. That was a mistake.
So, as the story continues, the Glendale city attorney recently decided to quit and go to work for the Coyotes. All of the negotiating that he did on the part of the city he was now to benefit from on the other side of the table. Yeah, that’s a conflict of interest and he probably flipped the City of Glendale the bird on his way over to his office in the Coyote camp. Hey, who said ethics were supposed to factor into the equation?
In disgust, their feelings hurt and egos wounded, realizing they made a bad deal to start with, the Glendale elected political heroes decided to pull the plug on a contract that is pretty obviously biased toward the other side.
Who gets hurt? Not the Coyotes because they can play anywhere and they’re not on the hook for a multimillion dollar arena. The taxpayers of Glendale get hurt and the businesses that invested their money to support the sports complex get hurt. Thanks Glendale. Too bad you didn’t spend as much time worrying about the city as you did screwing around with the Coyotes.
Then to add insult to injury, Coyote meets Jackass. Stanton invites the Coyotes to share an arena with Phoenix and cut the Glendale taxpayers and business owners completely out of the deal. It’s like a guy inviting his friends wife, who’s contemplating divorce, to come live with him. But then who said ethics were supposed to factor into the equation?