New Glendale mayor warns Coyotes city won't be cash register after tax hike stands
Election Day in Glendale turned out to be an interesting one for the Coyotes. A tax hike that would presumably help them stay was upheld, but the new mayor doesn't appear to be their biggest fan, at least in terms of the city budget.
|Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. (Getty Images)|
As you might have heard, Tuesday was Election Day in the United States and naturally the re-election of President Barack Obama drew the most attention, even in hockey circles. Take Ducks forward Bobby Ryan as an example, or the Coyotes' Paul Bissonnette (a Canadian national), who offered up his thoughts on the election from the United Kingdom, where he's playing during the lockout.
They were hardly the only hockey players with their eyes on the presidential election. That's great, it's good to take an interest in politics -- just don't obsess over them, please, then it's kind of bad. But instead of looking at the macro level that has next to no impact on hockey (thanks for not promising to end the lockout on the campaign trail, Mr. President), don't overlook what happened in Glendale, Ariz.
The voters in Glendale had the chance to turn down a temporary tax hike the city inacted to help fix its budget (and presumably pay for the Coyotes' potential deal with Greg Jamison) but didn't. They backed the tax hike rather resoundingly. That means the city will have more money to straighten out the budget and potentially keep the team in Glendale right? Well, maybe.
A while back, the city laid out some plans for what would need to happen if the proposition passed and if it failed. Since it failed, we'll just look at those two options put forth by the city.
-- If the tax hike and team stay: The city would need to trim $6 million from the general fund.
-- If the tax hike stays and the team leaves: The city would not immediately need to cut from the general fund, although as with every scenario, the city would have to wean itself off the tax hike before it sunsets in 2017.
As you can see, the possibility for the team staying doesn't seem too far-fetched with $6 million needing to be cut. That sure beats the $29 million that would have had to been cut if the tax hike had been rejected.
While the rejection of Prop 457 was mostly good news for the team, the fact that the voters elected Jerry Weiers, the Republican candidate, as the new mayor to replace Elaine Scruggs has to be a bit concerning for fans who want the team to stay. He was against the tax hike and seems a lot more interested in keeping the city's essential officials around instead of the hockey team. Imagine that.
In case he wasn't clear enough, the new mayor sent a message to the Coyotes right after he was elected.
"Glendale is not your cash register," Weiers said, via the Arizona Republic "We all love the Coyotes and Cactus League but we cannot sacrifice our way of life so they can maintain theirs."
Well then, that's pretty loud and clear. The city has a massive budget issue to correct, so Weiers isn't bullish on spending city money to help finance a pro hockey team that, frankly, struggles to stay afloat anyway.
The fact that we've been waiting for months for a deal to be finalized with Jamison to sell the Coyotes, bringing in a mayor who is not interested in a giving any handouts to the Coyotes doesn't inspire a lot of confidence going forward. The mayor's office isn't the be-all, end-all of the chances to keep the team, but let's just say it helps to have friends in high places.
Election Day was supposed to be a pretty telling day for the Coyotes in Glendale but things probably aren't much clearer now than they were before.
For what it's worth, the folks at Bovada released odds on Wednesday for where will be located for Game 1 of the 2013-2104 Season: Phoenix -300 Quebec City +300 Seattle +500 Las Vegas +950 Markham / Southern Ontario +1000.
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