Mayor accuses watchdog group of 'hindering' Coyotes sale

The Associated Press
3/3/2011 10:15:26 PM
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Glendale mayor Elaine Scruggs has accused the conservative Goldwater Institute of "significantly hindering" completion of the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer.

Scruggs made the accusation at a news conference Thursday, saying the city has provided the institute with thousands of pages of documents. She also said the institute has "taken the unprecedented step" of warning bond-rating agencies that the city's agreement on a new lease for the Coyotes to play at the city-owned Jobing.com Arena violates the Arizona constitution.

"The Goldwater Institute is obstructing the city's ability to sell the necessary bonds," Scruggs said.

In response, the Goldwater Institute referred to an Op-Ed piece in Thursday's Arizona Republic by institute president Darcy Olson saying it would be wrong to give Glendale "a free pass" to break the state's ban on government entities subsidizing private enterprise.

The city must sell US$116 million in bonds to provide Hulsizer with money to complete the transaction. Hulsizer would buy the team from the NHL, which purchased the Coyotes in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the fall of 2009.

The Coyotes have lost tens of millions of dollars virtually every season since moving from Winnipeg in 1995.

Last week, during the telecast of a Phoenix game in Chicago, Hulsizer said that the Goldwater Institute's concerns are raising interest rates on the bonds Glendale has to sell.

"The rate that the city would have to pay is unnecessarily high," he said, "to the tune of $100 million over the next 30 years. That is due to the Goldwater Institute's questions."

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