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Coyotes arena deal approved by Glendale Council; now comes hard part

Greg Wyshynski
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As with every development in the ownership saga for the Phoenix Coyotes, the good news arrives with a foreboding cloud of doubt.

On Friday, the Glendale City Council voted 4-2 to approve an arena management fee to the prospective ownership group of Greg Jamison, costing the city $300 million over 20 years or roughly $15 million annually.

The next steps for Jamison: Finding the equity partners necessary to buy the team from the National Hockey League, which would also have to approve him as an owner.

Commissioner Gary Bettman presented a chicken-or-the-egg scenario last week at the Stanley Cup Final, saying that Jamison had to get approvals from the city before finalized the rest of the ownership group. Now he has it.

This vote is an important step, but there's still the matter of the Goldwater Institute, which lost on its attempt to delay the vote but vowed to continue to fight its validity.

From Council Member Joyce Clark on KTAR:

Another issue facing the Coyotes eventual sale and the arena agreement between the city and prospective owner Greg Jamison was the lack of two exhibits in the contract approved on Friday, exhibits the Goldwater Institute said are essential to the deal: a budget for the arena and a performance standard for the arena management company.

"We knew what it would bring into Glendale financially," said Clark. "And quite frankly, I consider the Goldwater Institute to be throwing up a smoke screen. The two documents that the [Goldwater Institute] was referring to have not been prepared yet and it makes perfect sense why they have not."

It looks like the runway's clear for Jamison, but we've been here before. Hopefully one way or another, this is the last summer for this saga.

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