Glendale council offers little information on lease proposal
GLENDALE, Ariz. — We went to Glendale City Hall on Tuesday, hoping to get reactions from city council members and the mayor to a Jobing.com Arena lease proposal from Renaissance Sports and Entertainment.
But Mayor Jerry Weiers had no comment, while Vice Mayor Yvonne Knaack and council members Sam Chavira and Ian Hugh did not address the media. Council member Norma Alvarez left early, accusing RSE of getting preferential treatment, and we’re not exactly sure what council member Manny Martinez meant when he said he didn’t anticipate any decisions being made by the council’s June 25 session.
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“We had long discussions as you can see, because we’re just now getting out, but we just don’t have the right decision yet,” Martinez said.
All a Glendale spokesperson would say is that the council was continuing negotiations while Martinez noted that was more work to do in reviewing the proposal.
So where are we now? It’s impossible to say. The Twitterverse was awash in speculation over Martinez’s vague statements, but in truth, it’s impossible to gauge the mood of the council because not enough of their voices have been heard.
The only one who spoke at length was Gary Sherwood. When reached afterward by phone, here’s how he characterized the session.
“What I thought would happen, happened,” Sherwood said. “When you go through some of the deal points, I thought there would be a hang up or two, and there were.
“But I think they are easily overcome, and I think there will be another meeting this week. I’m optimistic because I think that what we need to do is pretty simplistic and it’s easily doable.”
When asked about a timeline for a vote on RSE’s proposal, Sherwood said: “I’m optimistic we’ll get it done and hopefully it can be vetted by the public next week. We have a place for a vote on (June) 28th or it may drop into the week after.”
It’s unclear whether that timeline will work for the NHL, whose Board of Governor’s meeting is scheduled for June 27. Addressing media members earlier this week at the Stanley Cup Final in Chicago, commissioner Gary Bettman said “stuff’s gonna happen” by the time that meeting arrives, and deputy commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged that the Coyotes might not be playing in Arizona next season.
But Daly also told Sherwood recently that if the NHL knows a deal is forthcoming from Glendale, the league would be amenable to the vote stretching into July. July 2 is believed to be the drop-dead date for such a vote to occur.
When asked why he thought Martinez said no decisions could be made by June 25, Sherwood explained that the timing would be too rushed.
“To come to a public vote by the 25th, we need to vet it in public for a week. That’s just the process, so that means we’d have to come out (Wednesday) with all of the deal points, and they’re just not ready yet. “
It is not a requirement that the city give the public a week to vet the process, but Sherwood said: “I think it is something that we would want to do.”
The council is expected to hold another executive session on Friday. If they reach a resolution, there could be public discussion on the deal June 25.
Council members did not provide any further details on RSE’s proposal or the two remaining outside bids to manage the arena on Tuesday. A decision to go with either of those bids would lead to the Coyotes’ departure, because RSE’s deal is contingent upon managing the arena.
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