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Mayoral candidate concerned about Camelback Ranch payment

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The proposed sales tax to help Glendale with its budget deficit and keep the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena is getting a lot of attention.

But one candidate for mayor is worried about how the city is facing another financial burden next year.

Glendale is facing a payment that’s due involving Camelback Ranch, the spring training baseball home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.

“That’s the elephant in the room that no one is speaking about,” said Democratic candidate Manuel Cruz.

Cruz said the city will owe a payment of at least $13 million on that stadium next year.

“It’s a payment for debt service for the bond that they took out to build that facility,” he said.

No one knows how the cash-strapped city is going to pay it, but Cruz said one idea is being floated around.

“They’re going to try to do a lease-lease back to come up with some additional revenues to pay for those debt services,” he said. “It’s the city hall and the police station that they’re going to do the lease-lease back with in order to make up for the first year’s payment and some other programs that they want to fund.”

The Glendale Executive Committee proposed the idea to the Glendale City Council, which decided to postpone a vote on it. Cruz said that it is unclear whether the city council will vote on it this year, or leave it for the new city council to decide next year.

Cruz said he has another idea where Glendale would work with other partners to share the costs of the stadium. He wouldn’t elaborate on his plan, except to say that he thinks Glendale would “break even” on the stadium if he is elected and can put that plan into place.