A Maricopa County Superior Court judge heard arguments Tuesday on the legality of the agreement between the City of Glendale and the likely buyer of Phoenix Coyotes. That agreement was approved by the Glendale City Council earlier this month.
The Goldwater Institute challenged the agreement on several grounds, most importantly that the city code requires that the contract for "arena management services" at Jobing.com Arena should have been put out for competitive bids.
Attorney Carrie Ann Sitren, arguing on behalf of the Goldwater Institute, told Judge David Fink that the agreement awards the contract for arena management services to Greg Jamison and The Jamison Group, the likely buyer of the team. Sitren argued that competitive bids are required when the city contracts for "professional services".
Attorney Gary Birnbaum, on behalf of Glendale, said the city didn't seek bids because The Jamison Group insisted it wouldn't buy the team – and promise to keep it in Glendale for 20 years – without being allowed to be the manager of all events at the arena, including non-hockey events.
If the city separated the arena management services from ownership of the team, he said, the deal would be off and the Coyotes would likely move elsewhere, at a great loss of revenue to the city.
Judge Fink took the matter under advisement and promised to issue a ruling "in short order."