PHOENIX — The Glendale City Council is on the verge of approving a taxpayer-funded plan to keep the NHL Phoenix Coyotes in the Valley.
And that is going to spell bad news for the West Valley city, according to Councilman Phillip Lieberman.
The council will vote on the plan Friday morning. It calls for the city to pay potential new Coyotes owner Greg Jamison $300 million over the next 20 years to operate Jobing.com Arena.
Lieberman said that money should be going for more police officers, firefighters and better streets and libraries, not to subsidize a pro sports team.
“I’m more than willing to let the Coyotes go. We do not have a Plan B. Our general fund in the past few years has dropped from $72 million to $2 million. We have no reserve at all to back anything that happens in Glendale.
“There are so many stadiums and arenas around the country that are managed by professional services that don’t receive massive investments from the city. The idea is to turn that arena into a profitable arena, which it is not.”
Lieberman also opposes a planned city sales tax boost, which could be approved in a matter of days, to deal with a $35 million deficit. He said that will drive customers and businesses out of the city.
A statement from the city about the upcoming meeting and draft of the arena-use agreement can be found at the city website.