If the Phoenix Coyotes’ skeleton staff is ever afforded enough time for creative thoughts, it will have to manufacture a new team slogan. "Hockey the hard way" just doesn’t do this team justice any more. In the latest twist (we warned you more were on the way) in this four-year-old ownership soap opera, the City of Glendale produced a counterproposal to Renaissance Sports and Entertainment’s arena-lease bid at its Friday executive session, then delivered the deal points in a public workshop -- before delivering them to RSE. This counterproposal supersedes the proposal that was discussed by the council on Thursday in preparation for a vote next Tuesday. In a statement that even the most ardent judges of the term would have to agree is ironic, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers talked about the importance of not negotiating a deal in public or with the media, then did exactly that when the council delivered the new deal points before RSE had seen them. A Glendale source said the counterproposal was supposed to be sent to RSE in the early afternoon, but RSE attorney Nick Wood didn’t see the deal points before they were posted on the city’s website about 8 p.m. PST, and other RSE representatives found out about them by following reporters’ feeds on Twitter or watching the session online. You can read the changes here. The full text of the new proposal is here. The changes include an altered structure of parking revenue, altered language to prevent one side from suing the other over issues at the arena and an increase in the city’s percentage of naming rights from 15 percent to 20 percent. But the big one was Glendale’s call for a five-year out clause that mirrors RSE’s five-year out clause. If the city’s losses total $50 million or more over that time period, it wants the ability to walk away from the Coyotes. “What we worked on this morning extensively and what we’re proposing to them is some red lines that they took out that we put back in; some things that they put in that we took back out,” Weiers said. “(We’re) trying to make certain that the city is left as whole as possible, because right now the city is carrying all the burdens, has all the liabilities, and that’s not a good place for the city to be.” The problem with Glendale’s stance? "The city’s proposal for an out clause is a non-starter,” RSE spokesperson David Leibowotz said. "The city must remove that and return to the initial framework of the deal that was already negotiated." Anthony LeBlanc, one of RSE’s principals, declined comment, but RSE’s representatives were clearly miffed by the latest turn of events, not the least of which was finding out about the counterproposal online -- a circumstance Weiers said was due to the city having only arrived at the new proposal in its morning session.
Glendale wants out clause; Coyotes deal in jeopardy
Fox Sports Arizona | Jun 29