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June 15, 2015


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Once again you have nailed it. Public funded venues for rich sports teams are a major boondoggle in my opinion.
Hockey in the desert was never going to be successful.The "kookracacy" is more widespread the West Washington St.
Ned Warren and Charlie Keating would have loved doing "bidness" with the Mayors and Councils of Glendale.

I think you need to mention Scottsdale, who balked and balked and balked. Finally, the Coyotes could no longer stand the delays and the wound up in Glendale.

More to follow...

Here's the real conundrum...


If you want good jobs, or a new factory, or a sports team, if other cities or states will offer them and you don't, then you're not going to get them.

And the owners of the sports teams and the companies know this and play them all against each other.

Personally, I abhor the subsidies in all cases. Much like Glendale, I think the taxpayer usually gets hosed- the state and city leaders have stars in their eyes, and the tax increase projections hardly ever come to fruition.

A good website and Facebook page that chronicles the ridiculous government subsidies sports teams (including the Coyotes) receive is Field of Schemes (a good book as well)-

Great analysis of the problem. I agree that it was the wrong deal from the beginning, but at this point not having them there is going to cost Glendale much more than leaving the issue alone.

Why'd they have to rock the boat, it only spotlighted the city in the most negative fashion.

Scottsdale and Mesa didn't balk at the Coyotes and Cardinals. The teams were/are subpar products and we didn't buy the scam. We turned them down multiple times.

Spring training is a proven money making product, so we pay and support that activity.

Why not call all this what it is: Organized Crime. We certainly have enough space in Arizona's private prisons for a few thousand rich crooks. And we could charge them for their stay. And they could hire all those illegal dishwashers, house keepers and gardeners we have locked up to do their bidding.

Dawgzy, I posted you a follow up on the SunnySlope blog about "Crazy" not so crazy Frank Melluzzo.

In the late 50's I ran the sweet potato sheds for Carol Arthur Farms in Glendale at approximately 59th Avenue and the Arizona Canal. The Arthur family house is still occupied at 59th Avenue and just south of Northern. And when the season was over myself and another person plowed 24 hours a day in 12 hour shifts, stopping only to service the machinery.
Life's pace was slow and steady, except for an occasional attempt to out run Cal Boises sheriffs deputies. A good sheriff. His guys were the good guys and the city cops were the bad guys.

Jon, On Slope I posted and in doing so mentioned the Gosnells. I am the Robin Hood on the right dressed in Green and Red that parked your car, in the following photo.

@Mike: Thanks for the “Field of Schemes” link. Good stuff. I especially liked the 11-10-2014 post: “Glendale’s lease deal with Coyotes is now officially most godawful of all time”


Don't forget my Arizona's Continuing Crisis page. Field of Schemes has been posted there.

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers gets tased by coyote fan.
Jerry seems like a big Teddy bear guy with some business experience. But he and Glendale politicians are no match for Chicago and Kansas City mobsters. Organized crime in sporting events whether it's gambling, prostitution or ball games had been in charge in the Valley of the Sun since the 30's. And if you don't believe that I got a great deal for you on some fanatistic sand and Sahuaro land.
Another Indian Casino. Take a look at the books to see who is running that game. Had we left Baptista in Cuba, Vegas would probably still be a one watering hole stop in the desert.

Cal- thanks. I went to HS with Wayne M. Nice, unassuming kid, had lotsa friends, honor roll. Sort of an anti-Dawgzy

There are a lot of things that fall under the rubric "economic development". What they all share is significant public investment. For those of you who are squeamish, stop calling sports' palaces (the kind that made George W Bush a major player in various Texas rackets) welfare for the rich. Call it "infrastructure". The rich will make their money anyway, just less flamboyantly.

Arenas and stadia are arguably bad investments. They don't deepen the economy so much as scoop the cream from the existing one. That said, we are in the bread-and-circuses phase of our so-called civilization. Nothing animates people from all social strata better than identifying with a professional sports team. Question: who are you really rooting for when you buy your season tickets? The logo? The team mascot? The players? Short answer: the owners and management, who purvey this artificial product for your calorie-free enjoyment.

We could as a society (and as a civilization) invest in better things than our own narcotizing entertainments. We won't. Still, I would sooner see the rich get richer than scrap this rickety edifice called the "common good". We would be better off adequately funding education than, say, building more freeways that have turned the Sonoran desert into a hellish moonscape of stucco, red tile, and crushed granite. Phoenix is what it is not because we privatized the American dream but because we are basically Homer Simpsons imagining ourselves to be Montgomery Burns, "rugged individualists" preaching private initiative while sipping from the various revenue streams the government makes possible.

I was at a local pub with my running group watching an NBA Finals game. The fans appeared mostly white while the players are not. I thought how great it would be if we had stand-your-ground laws on the basketball court. Instead of cops and vigilantes shooting unarmed black kids, we could let the kids shoot the refs and heckling fans. Okay, that was a daydream. I don't want to see anyone hurt, even Republicans who want to imprison as many non-NBA black males as possible.

The real question here is how low we will go. Arizona, Louisiana, and Kansas are the vanguard of a revolution turning complex polities into libertarian outposts that look like resort economies in Mexico. Yes, you will increase the car rental tax to build some rich fuck a new arena but that's okay. He is, after all, white. What we won't do is tax ourselves sufficiently to make genuine democracy feasible.

Let's face it none of you losers enjoy and probably ever played sports!!! You complain about whether games are in Phoenix, West Valley or East Valley! The best was the clown who states mainly whites go watch non-whites play!!! Obviously you have never been to a Cards, Dbacks or Suns game!!!

Wrong Tom. I played HS and amateur sports. I have been to PRO or what is now called drugged up THUG sports. I put folks in prison for the assualts that occur on the Pro sport circuits. And now days at 74 i think hockey and football should be outlawed.

Soleri writes:

Still, I would sooner see the rich get richer than scrap this rickety edifice called the "common good".

But that's the problem.

Sports facilities help the economy. Art museums enrich the common man. The "common' good" has got to include solar subsidies, doesn't it? Increase the minimum wage, and we'll all be better off. We need a capital gain preferential tax rate cause it will lower the net cost of capital, and everyone will be better off. And of course, a 15% tax on labor will help everyone cause it provides a safety net. Tax free health insurance? Well, yeah- it's for the common good. Public employee unions? Sure- it helps us all.

You sure you want to cut defense? What about our security? Isn't that part of the common good?

Everyone pitches their cause as for the common good.

But no one wants to pay for it.


You're right, but you're wrong.

Assume you're right.

Why should my tax dollars subsidize you going to a sports event that you enjoy but that I have no interest in?

Speaking of the common good, an article in today's WSJ states that the Inspector General cannot determine if the $2.8 billion paid from the Federal Government to private insurers for Obamacare from January 2014 to April 2014 is an accurate reflection of what the insurer's are owed.


Well, the systems that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid were to develop to determine the correct payments won't be ready until the end of 2015.


Carry on.


The OIG report you cite reflects routine government procurement procedures. Such procedures evolved over the years mostly through Department of Defense contracts with defense contractors. Federal contracts provide for future offsets against contractor payments at the closing audit of the contract.

Typical of the WSJ and right wing media to mislead the public regarding the operations of federal programs they oppose. Why hasn't this contracting procedure been "exposed" by the WSJ for the Department of Defense pork barrel contracts?

Stick to selling cars or real estate INPHX. The core industries in the hellhole you claim to live in.

Phoenix biggest industry is food joints. Two new ones open every day. Don't know what the failure rate is.
But suspect many new businesses are Cartel investment money laundries.
Hellhole: The weather improved to a drier 112 heat. Looking forward to a new record, maybe 124 in Phoenix.
But unfortunately unlike before residential refrigeration, few people, except Canadians, leave town.

Re: “, Phoenix was not a hockey town.” (RC) Neither is Atlanta. Per Wiki:

The National Hockey League (NHL) has had two Atlanta franchises: the Atlanta Flames began play in 1972 before moving to Calgary in 1980, while the Atlanta Thrashers began play in 1999 before moving to Winnipeg in 2011.

How’s life in Seattle without the Sonics? I suppose there are diehard fans who lament the loss. I think the real issue was “how could they leave us for OKC?”

A bit of trivia. The Mariners are the 2nd MLB team for Seattle. Prior to them there had been the Seattle Pilots, who left to become the Milwaukee Brewers.


Keep drifting.

I discussed the WSJ article but I linked the actual Inspector General Report. You know, the one that included:

The internal control deficiencies that we identified limited CMS's ability to make accurate payments to qualified health plan (QHP) issuers.

IF that's routine government procedures, well, then the problems a lot bigger than I though it was.

I wonder why it wasn't front page news on the NYT??

The big problem in Glendale of course isn't the Coyotes' lease; it's the arena itself. Glendale maxed out its credit card and thinks lowering the interest rate by a few points will make a difference.

Re “So Mayor Stanton, meet your crisis.” (RC) I don’t see where he has a crisis at all. If the Suns aren’t happy with the arena, I think he should talk to them about upgrades to the facility – but that’s it. In fact the facility should be periodically improved anyway. Most of these facilities are used for a variety of different things; rodeos, monster truck shows, large venue concerts, conventions, circuses, touring Broadway shows, etc. The city and its citizens deserve a reasonably state-of-the-art facility for such uses. Keeping it that way is good business. If the Suns can cut a better deal out on the Rez, good for them. Go for it. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Jon, you're missing a key piece to the puzzle. America West Arena was structurally unsuitable for hockey. Because of it was designed to be an intimate arena for basketball only, there was no way to physically fit a regulation seat of ice in a way that offered clean sight lines of both goals for every seat. In fact, there were up to 4,500 seats where only one goal was visible. This is the fault of the Winnipeg group for not forcing Colangelo to lay down a sheet of ice before they shook hands. It's not that the Coyotes and Suns could coexist, it's that the team literally could not fit in the arena.

Let's face it none of you losers enjoy and probably ever played sports!!!

Well, that was devastating.

For those of you who think Phoenix is this edgy city with a world-class arts scene filled with hipsters even Seattle can't match, behold Tom. You want to put a human face on your city? You found it.

I don't mean to put the bad-mouth on some well-meaning goober who's life peaked when he was selected for the JV football team, but there is rough poetry in his pleading. What else does Phoenix have going aside from 4 million people looking for some reason to feel good about themselves? Look at me! I played sports!

Give that man a hug. Just make sure your wallet is securely tucked away inside your trousers.

And don't forget, "It's sunny!"

... with championship golf!


I don't mean to pile on, but if a public company has an audit that results in "internal control deficiencies" (that's what the IG said about the Medicare agency),well, the CEO is gone, the CFO is gone, the Controller is gone, the Board resigns, the stock stops trading after the 50% reduction in its price, it's probably in default of lender covenants, and the shareholder lawsuits are just getting started.

And then the SEC knocks on the front door.

But with government agencies?

Just another day.......

Great observation by John about the inability of AWA to accommodate an ice hockey team. That's a huge part of why the Coyotes wanted out.

I went to a playoff game and was able to pay a little less for seats with obstructed views. You couldn't see the corners.


Of course I remember the Seattle Pilots. I would bet I've read "Ball Four" at least a dozen times- the first time in 7th or 8th grade.

It was Jim Bouton's "tell all" story of his season with the Pilots, a team in the minors when he got sent down and the Houston Astros where he was traded.

It revealed (for the first time) MLB players using drugs, drinking, and sexual escapades.

INPHX, your fairy tale of good corporate governance is the exception to the rule. The rule is low-level scandal, mismanagement, self-dealing by insiders, and looting the corporate treasury and shareholders for outrageous executive compensation.

The reality is gigantic corporations working in concert with big government, the Military-Industrial Complex being only one example.

Gigantic corporations. While at a friends home I watched an interview of Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE by Charlie Rose. Immelt outgunned Charlie and made his pitch of the world loves capitalism. He is one enthusiastic and very involved CEO with an Elmer Gantry delivery. The one thing that he seemed to not want to go there about is, Resources. But then god will provide.

What is the compulsion in Phoenix to change the name of the metropolitan area to "Arizona" if a team plays its games in a suburb?

This peculiar fickleness is somehow found only in metro Phoenix. What compels Phoenix's parochial potentates to resent the identity by which the world knows them and everything from Buckeye to Apache Junction?

Jon, your speculation that moving a Suns arena to a contiguous (to the metro area) Indian reservation might result in renaming the 47 year-old seminal Phoenix major league franchise "Arizona" is a legitimate fear. Having owners without roots in a community famous for being exploited, this practice is a public pronouncement that these teams don't really belong to the community (think Chicago Bears), but rather just to their owners who would name them the "Bidwill Cardinals," if they could. (And, note that a couple of years ago Mike Bidwill was named chairman of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council! Only in Phoenix can an enemy of Phoenix be named chairman of the Phoenix economic development authority!)

Anyway, this behavior is radically harmful to the metro area's sense of its common identity ("esprit de community"), as well as its economic competitiveness, yet there is no outcry. It's bizarre - and the result of having "shakers" who are interlopers with no regard for the community beyond their personal financial interests.

That's why, when US Airways essentially acquired American Airlines out of bankruptcy, the CEO didn't take more than 30-seconds considering whether the combined operation's headquarters should be in Phoenix versus Dallas-Fort Worth. Doug Parker moved to DFW without a second thought. (I'm not saying there wasn't a business reason to do so. I'm merely saying that regard for Phoenix wasn't an issue the way it would have been in the case of LA, Chicago or Seattle.)

Finally, a last word on the geniuses of Glendale: the US Census uses a consolidated area definition for each MSA, like Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue. Phoenix was changed from Phoenix/Mesa/Glendale to Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale. Hah! (Karma for Glendale's insistence that the Coyotes change their name?)

INPHX and RC , you are both correct. Small to medium corps. Operate in inphx's scenario. The big corps operate in their own universe, above the governments and countries they


Some pretty heated comments on this blog.

To an extent it is a pretty clear literal argument that sports are ultimately frivolous and/or useless in and of themselves. The same could be said of a lot of artistic exploits -- ballet, theater, opera, music, the visual arts -- that do not produce widgets, generate a good return on investment, or otherwise make financial sense. The value in sports, as in art, is in the impact it has on people's lives. For better or worse, sports have a tremendous impact on Americans' lives as a whole, perhaps more than most forms of art outside of TV/radio/movies.

I used to work as a sportswriter, and certainly it is odd to see a bunch of lowly scribes standing around waiting to be condescended to by millionaires standing in their underwear (so to speak). But that's what the people are interested in, and whether we like it or not it's big news, big business, and unfortunately because of how many millions of people are so invested in their teams' fortunes...many of them also turn a blind eye to rampant profiteering and criminal activities from the owners to the players.

whats up with the downtown Sheraton sucking away all the money to "improve" and or build a new arena downtown for the Suns.

I for one would prefer Phoenix to not be a 4 sport town so we don't have to deal with this hockey thing every other year.

BUT if they stay, the new Suns arena should absolutely be built to house both.

Aside from the Rez rumor, others have the new arena being built on the southern/old remains of the convention center and US Airways Arena becoming a parking lot.

I for one would prefer tearing down the existing arena and building a new one on its remains. And the SUns playing in the madhouse on Mcdowell for a season. Imagine the sight lines in that old palace.

@Phil re “What is the compulsion in Phoenix to change the name of the metropolitan area to "Arizona" if a team plays its games in a suburb? This peculiar fickleness is somehow found only in metro Phoenix….”

It’s not all that uncommon. Last night the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship. The current NFL champs are the New England Patriots.

Re “Enter Glendale, which, at the risk of oversimplification, saw its economic future in professional sports.” (RC) Actually sports can be an arrow in the economic quiver. Two cities that are very successful at it are Indianapolis and Charlotte. While both have major pro teams, that isn’t their main focus. Indianapolis went after amateur sports, particularly the minor sports like cycling or archery. The NCAA was in town so often, they decided to move their headquarters there (with some inducements of course).Helps that it’s a sports crazy town anyway – especially basketball. Has always been a big player in car racing. Charlotte is a big NASCAR town. Almost all of the teams are based in the area, along with the engine-builders, etc.

Anyone else notice it was two former Suns coaches who led the Warriors to the championship.

Kind of shows how the Suns organization aims for mediocrity at the middle of the pack.

Mediocrity doesn't deserve a new stadium on our dime.

What exactly is wrong with AWA (other than not being big enough for hockey)? Can it be fixed?

Mark in Scottsdale; good perceptive post.
And I like your comment on Millionaires in their underwear. Reminds me of how one of those Tattooed thugs danced around in his shorts for the dictatorial murdering ruler of North Korea.
I recall basketball played in a small rural Iowa gym with no bleachers. Spectators just stood on the 3 foot wide out of bounds lines and up against the wall. And the mere touching of a opponent was a foul. I know, a bunch of Pansies, those big strapping Iowa farm boys. Now you have to nearly send someone to the hospital for a foul call.

It's called BB.

Before Barkley. "I'm not your role model"

Before Barkley's declaration, athletes were role models.

AB, after Barkley, they were no longer role models.

Now we have Caitlyn, be she's just a model. She turned role into roll (of money).

@Cal: That tattooed thug would be Dennis Rodman whose father was the aptly named Philander Rodman. According to Philander, DR has 26 – 28 (he’s not sure how many) siblings on his father’s side; from almost as many different mothers.

To my fellow losers who just don't really care all that much about sports (a regrettable character flaw): there is a victory parade for the Golden State Warriors tomorrow morning in Oakland. Just be glad that you don't have to ride the BART Fremont-Richmond line tomorrow to get to and from work. It has three stations in downtown Oakland. I (and several thousand other working shnooks) do.

I wonder how many among the flood of extra riders would oppose taxpayer funding of public transportation. But, of course, the price of their tickets fully covers the cost of their ride.

AKA, occasionally I enjoy a track meet, running events. And HS and College Wrestling and Gymnastics free floor exercise and still rings. But some of the sports eluded to here are attended by many beer slobbering spectators roaring to the violent death of another Christian in the Jaws of a Roman Lion.
And are U sure there will be any fresh water in Oakland, tomorrow?

@Cal. “Track” is the only sport more boring than “field”. I think the real test of a sport is: “Do I enjoy watching this even if I don’t care who wins?” I’m not a golf guy, but I find the Masters and the U.S. Open compelling. Baseball puts me to sleep. I enjoyed the NBA finals for no other reason than: “Can LaBron carry this sorry-ass team to a championship?” If you want to see mass insanity, you need to be in the Southeast during college football season.

wkg enjoy your popcorn. I guess even engineer's need some escape downtime In actuality I find all sports boring and a waste of my precious time, as is TV.

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