STATEMENT OF GOLDWATER INSTITUTE ON GLENDALE-COYOTES DEAL
Based on the information available to us at this time, we do not believe that the Glendale arena management deal would be held unconstitutional. Changes made to the agreement during the course of negotiations partially bridged the gap between the market cost of arena management and the amount of the payment to the team owner, thus bringing the deal into conformity with cases interpreting the Gift Clause of the Arizona Constitution.
The initial deal proposed several years ago would have included not only a substantial annual arena management fee, but a $100 million up-front payment to subsidize the purchase of the team. We are proud to have played a constructive role in protecting the taxpayers and taking an illegal deal off the table.
Glendale’s long and painful experience illustrates why local governments should focus on providing basic and essential public services and avoid the temptation to subsidize private enterprises such as sports teams.