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[Report] Coyotes will stay in Phoenix for now


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A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has ruled the Glendale City Council's approvalof a Phoenix Coyotes deal should stand.

The ruling by Judge Dean Fink comes more than a week after the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute argued that a vote to approve an arena lease agreement with Coyotes suitor Greg Jamison should be invalidated based on a lack of necessary votes to allow the deal to immediately go into effect and a failure to put an arena operations contract up for bid.

The City Council on June 8 approved a 20-year, $324 million lease agreement with Jamison. Less than a week later, the Phoenix-based conservative watchdog group sued, alleging improprieties.

Last week, attorneys for Glendale and the Phoenix-based conservative watchdog group argued the points.In a ruling filed Thursday morning, Fink concluded Goldwater's arguments were not strong enough to overturn the vote.

The judge rejected Goldwater's assertion that the city should have allowed multiple companies to submit bids for arena operations rather than to simply accept Jamison's offer. He based the decision on previous court rulings and the Glendale City Charter, which allows the city to avoid public bids for professional services.

Goldwater had argued arena operations were not a professional service.

Goldwater attorney Carrie Ann Sitren also cited the city's rule that most contracts larger than $50,000 be put up for bid.

Fink wrote that Glendale's arena management contract which Jamison, which has the city paying $10 million to $20 million annually over 20 years, is an exception.

"Although there may be no recognized academic degree in arena management, plainly a wide range of specialized knowledge, predominantly mental or intellectual, is critical to success in the field," Fink wrote in his ruling.

The decision follows Fink's immediate ruling that Glendale and Goldwater attorneys agree to a wording change in the lease agreement ordinance to clarify the lease with Jamison would not go into effect until July 8, a month after the council vote.

City officials had initially tacked an emergency clause onto the measure in hopes there would be enough council support to allow it to be effective immediately. However, only four council members approved the deal rather than the five required for the clause.

Since the deal did not immediately take effect, it opened the door for a potential referendum against the Coyotes deal.

Two Glendale residents are working to gather signatures in hopes of a November ballot item that could overturn the lease with Jamison.

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Jamieson still needs to get all his money from his mystery investors.

I've heard rumours that he only has about 50 million.

That city is so disfuctional, I can't believe there isn't a bigger public reaction to all this wasted money considering they've fired firemen, policemen etc. and are willing to mortgage city buildings to pay off ridiculous sports debts.

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It's a bit too late to do that now... I guess that's why the yotes will be staying in Phoenix one more year.. And yes, they better move the team soon for the 2013/2014 season! Come on Seattle!

With Doan leaving the team, I'm sure the sales of tickets will plummet big time for this season... That will (hopefully) force them to move the team somewhere else (like Seattle)..

Doan is the only biggest star for the team.

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Unfortunately for the Coyotes and their fans, it's a double-edged sword. The economy is still in the toilet, meaning that most people won't be able to go to the games due to lack of funds. However, if the Coyotes were to move, that's going to mean more thousands of jobs that are lost (restaurants, arena staff). It's a no-win situation, and they're just trying to keep afloat until some semblance of recovery occurs.

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