Monday, April 30, 2012

A Very Important Message From Our VP

Coalition Vice President Monique Reaux has written up some information on her blog that we feel is imperative to share with you all so I am posting it here as well. Some of it was in our last newsletter - but we have more detail and clarification here.

From Monique:

People ask why I attend the City council meetings when the Coyotes are not on the agenda. Well I’ll tell you, there is a portion of the meeting at the end that lets people talk about items that aren’t on the agenda. That portion is where people who are passionate about a subject say their piece for between 2 – 5 minutes of uninterrupted attention from the Council. Huge decisions have often been made based on 11th hour emotion stirring. Our team often needs a voice that will correct the damage caused by those stray voices disparaging the Coyotes value to the city. There were a few of the usual suspects and a couple of T-bagger types that spoke.

It is funny how belligerent and pugnacious some of those people are, attacking the council members with personal slurs against their characters, insinuating that they are on the take in some fashion and complaining about everything both within the council’s purview and some that the council has no control over. The Coyotes fans were amazing, there were only a handful of us but we were eloquent and courteous and stuck to the point.

There are basically 3 council members that still have our backs. 1 is on the fence and 2 that haven’t got a clue about anything that is going on and 1 that was absent so I couldn’t get a read for where he stands on the Jamison Group’s offer.

Councilman Fraates was absent from the meeting but I haven’t heard about him changing his opinion or else he has decided to play his cards close to his vest and stay out of the line of fire from either side. He has been in favor of keeping the team as long as the costs don’t do any more harm. 

Councilwoman Alvarez continues to make me sincerely glad I do not reside in her district. She appeared sleepy and confused again. More like the querulous Auntie on the porch that you feared waking up… they deliver ferocious lectures about weird ass stuff then drop back off to sleep, leaving you wondering WTH? After one person asked that any member of the council recuse themselves from voting on a liquor license if they had received any donation or consideration from WINCO (who had applied for the liquor license) Councilwoman Alvarez lifted her head and went on a long rambling monologue about not believing anything about wrongdoing without proof. 3 looong minutes of saying she wouldn’t give credence to that sort of talk and how wrong it was to hurt people, then she slumped back into her normal somnolent pose as if she had never spoken… scary thing.

Councilman Lieberman has probably been a wonderful leader… in the past. He has clearly passed his sell by date/shelf life/viable use cycle. A fractious and clueless and persnickety Miss Emily Latella is what he has turned into. (Any one not old enough to get that reference… check out Gilda Radner’s Miss Emily from old SNL skits.) He jumps into discussions without fear and without correct information, rambles through stories like some demented narrator from the Twilight Zone. He mixes metaphors in a word blender that makes your brain mushy and just generally drags the proceedings into the realm of the absurd every time he opens his mouth.

Council members Knaack, Martinez (attended a playoff game and loved the hell out of it) and Clark are solidly in the corner of not losing a valuable resource. These are not the same charmingly naïve council from 3 years ago who truly believed that there would be a white knight that would come along and save them from the Blackberry Dragon, the Swift Snake in the Grass and other dire consequences of owning an arena in a perilous economy.

Council woman Clark was amazingly candid in her opinion about the deal and about what is actually at stake in both scenarios (if the team stays and if the team leaves). All three actively stated that they are confident that this can get finished and get done in a way that benefits both the team and Glendale. Loved Clark’s GO COYOTES! at the end of the night.

Here is the clarification that I got that night.

1. The management fee that is causing such a ruckus has only been in play since the BK. That’s right, the team had always covered the booking of the arena with a team of people who were experienced in contracting entertainment and scheduling time around the team’s 41 plus nights. This service was provided within the arena lease agreement. The City did nothing on that front at all. With the lease invalidated and no new owner willing to take on the task, the City is responsible for that job. The fee is around $11 – $14M for a venue like the Jobarena. The NHL is charging $25M for that service but we all know that this is basically a place holder fee not a REAL management fee. This needs to stop, regardless of the ownership situation. I am a fan but the City is basically being raped on this deal and can’t afford to continue to bend over.

2. The difference between what the CoG would have to pay to manage the arena if the Coyotes left (11-14 milllion in realistic fees) and what Jamison wants(approx. 17 million) is about $3M. A lot of anti-Coyotes pundits are slinging these huge numbers around (I’ve heard $20-40 M, depending on who is hawking the hate at the time). Apparently what may be on the table is a more realistic figure of approx. $17M (which, if Jamison is as smart as I think) he will make a deal that allows him to use that money to hire an EXPERT team to fill the arena when the Yotes are dark and have this deal yield him AND the City a percentage of the profits on those bookings which would add to his coffers AND help the City mitigate the initial costs.*In the past this was not handled well and I don’t believe there was a mechanism in place to share the results* SOOOO it boils down to this:

$11 – $14 million if the team leaves (upkeep/maintenance/staff/utilities) + debt service

i.ZERO revenue back *unless a self-sustaining event or a concert series of magnitude is booked*
$17 million to Jamison to keep the team here and reap the following possible returns: 

i. – the $6 million payment from lease to Coyotes***

ii. – the possible % of any non-hockey revenue from bookings

iii. – the possible % of per seat charges for every ticket sold for all events

iv. – the possible % of other revenue streams i.e. rebranding/naming possibilities within the arena & its parking area/premium parking fees… etc

***the must have payment that services the original arena construction debt, that the City is paying one way or another***

If Jamison can get all his dough back in one wallet, it seems like he’s being very, very smart and fair. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Dear Mayor Scruggs,

You have served during really sweet times and now during very turbulent times. You have been the consummate lady and politician. I have admired your grit and determination to make Glendale Arizona a place to be proud of.

I hope you remember the plan, the plan to make Glendale a sports megaplex city. I hope you remember that jettisoning the Coyotes removes one huge chunk of the supporting infrastructure of the Plan. I hope you remain on the side of the hockey angels even though you are leaving. If you can hold on, get the deal done with Jamison and finish what you envisioned all those years ago, I think you can look back from your comfy spot in civilian life and know what a great job you did and be proud of what you built despite all the naysayers and road blockers that stood in your way.

I wish you well as you journey back to civilian life. Thank you.

Last but not least… I had a little run in with Liebs at the end of the night… When the cameras are off and there is no audience to play to I have to say Councilman Lieberman is not acting. He really is that befuddled, sway in the wind, ranting, little mean man. Liebs, you are rude and belligerent and thoughtless. You interrupted a conversation you were not invited to be part of and then had the nerve to get in my face. I’ll probably read in some interview somewhere how you were savaged by an irate Coyotes fan unprovoked or something equally ludicrous but telling you off felt really good. Somebody find a baby who does a really cute howl, dress it up in a mini jersey with Lieberman on it and distract this guy into voting for Jamison. His closing statement about how the fans that show up don’t live in Glendale and he was sorry we were going to lose our team but if 50 fans that actually LIVED in Glendale showed up or talked to him, he might reconsider his vote. If you live anywhere within Glendale’s borders please email or call Councilman Lieberman with your opinion on the Coyotes situation and the ways new ownership would affect you. CC me here: (that way I will have exact numbers and maybe a few quotes to throw at him the next time he uses that tired refrain)

It is important to put your butt in a seat at the arena. It is important to hie off to the airport to welcome back the conquering heroes. It is important to show up en mass to the City Council meetings where the Yotes are on the agenda… but it is equally important to show up at the meetings in which nobody expects to discuss the team. Bad things happen when the little things aren’t taken care of. I hope to see a lot more of you at these things, especially those of you who REALLY want to support and keep your team. Especially those who actually live and are affected the most… the Coyotes fans of Glendale.