Glendale’s sports dream turning into a nightmare

By Lisa Halverstadt

The Arizona Republic

Glendale leaders did more than pay big money for a hockey arena, a spring-training ballpark and facilities such as a top-notch media complex and convention center. They guaranteed payment of the sports and entertainment debt with sales-tax dollars, the lifeblood of city operations.

That allowed Glendale to move quickly on deals with no need for a vote by residents. But it also means that Glendale could use as much as a quarter of its general fund to feed the city’s sports and entertainment district, a commitment that’s led to layoffs and service cuts.

The city also grabbed $50 million from water and sewer funds to keep the Phoenix Coyotes at the city-owned arena for the past two years.

That’s not how city leaders envisioned it. They initially structured the deals so the sports venues could pay for themselves by spurring high-end development. That hasn’t happened, in part because of the recession.

Continued:

Also: Glendale, potential Coyotes buyer appear near agreement on renegotiated deal/The Arizona Republic

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