Frequently Searched

Fighting for Transparency from the City of Glendale in Its Efforts to Keep the Coyotes from Leaving Town

Goldwater Institute v. City of Glendale (public records in Coyotes negotiations case)

Case Status

Date Filed

June 26, 2009

Last Step

Briefing complete on motions for Iafrate file and Jamison deal/contempt. City filed new motion for in camera review.

Next Step

Await hearing date(s) on Iafrate file and Jamison deal/contempt. Respond to in camera motion.

Case Overview

Several media reports have indicated that the City of Glendale intends to offer some form of taxpayer subsidy to a new owner of the Phoenix Coyotes as an incentive to keep the hockey team in Glendale.

Hockey in the Phoenix desert has proved to be less than profitable. So it wasn’t surprising when the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team filed for bankruptcy in 2009. What was surprising was the lengths the City of Glendale would go to to keep potential team buyers from moving the Coyotes to colder – and more profitable – climes.

The Goldwater Institute began requesting documents related to potential buyers who were promising to keep the team in Arizona. Over the years, the city has frequently refused to turn over public documents, claiming that negotiations are confidential. A judge ordered Glendale to turn the records over to the Goldwater Institute, and if there were any records the City felt could harm its negotiations with a potential owner of the Coyotes, to turn those records over to the judge for an in-camera inspection. The City turned over some documents at first then many months went by without Glendale turning over any other records, even though it indicated to the Goldwater Institute that it had more documents.

What has emerged is that the City of Glendale intends to offer some form of taxpayer subsidy to a new owner of the Phoenix Coyotes as an incentive to keep the hockey team in Glendale. This is a potential violation of the Arizona Constitution’s Gift Clause and puts taxpayers on the hook for city debt. And this after Glendale’s credit rating was recently downgraded.

The Goldwater Institute will continue to enforce public records laws and the judges rulings in court as necessary to make sure taxpayers are not kept in the dark and have an opportunity to analyze and comment on the City’s proposed course of action before they are committed to a deal.

Donate Now

Help all Americans live freer, happier lives. Join the Goldwater Institute as we defend and strengthen freedom in all 50 states.

Donate Now

Since 1988, the Goldwater Institute has been in the liberty business — defending and promoting freedom, and achieving more than 400 victories in all 50 states. Donate today to help support our mission.

We Protect Your Rights

Our attorneys defend individual rights and protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Need Help? Submit a case.

Get Connected to Goldwater

Sign up for the latest news, event updates, and more.