Goldwater Plans To Sue Glendale If It Makes Coyotes Deal With Hulsizer
The Goldwater Institute yesterday announced that it "would sue Glendale," claiming that the city's deal with prospective Coyotes Owner Matthew Hulsizer "would illegally subsidize a private business and put taxpayers at risk," according to Sanders & Chan of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The Phoenix-based watchdog group said that it "wouldn't file the suit until Glendale completed the deal" with Hulsizer. The NHL, which is trying to sell the Coyotes to Hulsizer, "downplayed the announcement." NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said, "From our perspective, Goldwater's announcement doesn't change a thing. We are still pursuing a sale of the bonds. Hopefully, the announcement (Tuesday) will not negatively affect that." Daly blamed Goldwater for "interfering with the city's deal, trying to derail it without filing a lawsuit." He said, "It's more of the same with Goldwater. Trying to chill a deal without putting their money where their mouth is. We will see if they are successful" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/16). NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, "I assume the Goldwater Institute is going to do what it thinks is appropriate. ... Let them do what they have to do" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 3/16). But Glendale City Council member Phil Lieberman, the "most prominent opponent of the bond deal on council, thinks Goldwater’s announcement will sink" the $116M municipal bond deal that is supposed to finance the NHL's $170M sale of the Coyotes. Lieberman: "I don’t know when the bond deal will close because no bond company will buy bonds if there is a lawsuit right after. There is no way we can justify the $100-million to Hulsizer" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/16).
STILL ON THE LOOKOUT: Former Coyotes investor John Breslow, part of Hulsizer's prospective ownership group, said that Glendale is "searching for new bond-buyers to finance part of its Phoenix Coyotes deal, after others demanded the city pay too high an interest rate." Breslow noted that the city is "receiving help in finding bond buyers" from the NHL, Hulsizer and bond underwriter J.P. Morgan Securities. He added, "They're out aggressively trying to sell the bonds. The goal is to find a lower rate and to have a payment (for the city) that is lower." Breslow said that Bettman, who was in Glendale last Tuesday for an update on the deal, "met the next day in New York with a potential bond buyer" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/15).