SBD/November 8, 2012/Franchises

Glendale Mayor To Coyotes, MLB Spring Training Teams: City "Not Your Cash Register"

Weiers will be Glendale's first new mayor in two decades
Incoming Glendale, Ariz. Mayor Jerry Weiers, after winning his election Tuesday night, had a message “to the Coyotes and the baseball teams at the city’s spring-training ballpark: ‘Glendale is not your cash register,’” according to Sonu Munshi of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Weiers said that the Glendale council and staff “must strike hard, but fair deals.” Weiers said, “We all love the Coyotes and Cactus League but we cannot sacrifice our way of life so they can maintain theirs.” Despite Glendale’s “tight budget situation, Weiers struck an optimistic note for the city’s future” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/7). SPORTING NEWS noted the election “sent mixed signals about the Phoenix Coyotes' future in Glendale, Ariz.” The city's Proposition 457 went down "big time, with voters rejecting the effort to rollback a sales tax increase passed by the city council in August.” Prop 457 had asked voters to “take Glendale’s sale tax rate back down 2.2 percent.” Keeping the sales tax in place “could help the city afford a new arena deal for the league-owned Coyotes, who are still in the process of being sold to Greg Jamison.” But “ardent Coyotes backer" Joyce Clark also lost her City Council seat, and Weiers, "is against paying Jamison tens of millions of dollars to keep the team in town -- regardless of where the money comes from” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 11/7).

BREAKING IT DOWN: CBSSPORTS.com’s Brian Stubits noted Glendale voters 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.” Instead, they “backed the tax hike rather resoundingly.” That means the city possibly “will have more money to straighten out the budget and potentially keep the team in Glendale.” The possibility for the team staying “doesn't seem too far-fetched with $6 million needing to be cut,” and that amount “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.” Stubits: “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” (CBSSPORTS.com, 11/7).
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