Friday, August 17, 2012

Glendale Mayoral Candidate Walt Opaska Urges Renegotiation of Arena Lease to Prepare for NHL Lockout

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Anson Clarkson
August 15, 2012 602-345-1491
Glendale Mayoral Candidate Walt Opaska Urges Renegotiation of Arena Lease to Prepare for NHL Lockout.
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Today, Glendale mayoral candidate Walt Opaska sent a letter to Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs and the Glendale City Council, urging revisions to the Arena Management Agreement between the town and prospective Coyotes owner, Greg Jamison. The changes are necessary to protect Glendale taxpayers if revenue from the upcoming hockey season is lost due to a National Hockey League lockout. The letter to Mayor Scruggs and the Glendale City Council reads:
Dear Mayor Scruggs and Members of the City Council:
Under the Arena Management Agreement, Glendale will be forced to pay the Jamison Group $17 million dollars this year, even if the Coyotes do not play a single game in the Arena. Glendale should immediately renegotiate the payment terms of this agreement and require the Coyotes to use before Glendale pays Greg Jamison, the prospective owner of the Coyotes, $17 million.
The hockey season is scheduled to begin in one month. However, NHL owners and players have not come to a collective bargaining agreement for the season, and a strike, or lockout, is likely. The last three times the NHL’s contracts with the players expired, a lockout occurred. This is what caused the cancellation of 2004-2005 hockey season. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week, if an agreement with the players is not reached by September 15, the league will lockout the players.
Under the current agreement, Glendale has to pay the Jamison Group $17 million, even if the entire NHL season is cancelled. That is a bad deal for Glendale and should be changed. Glendale should not have to pay Mr. Jamison the full price for the Arena Management Agreement if he cannot provide 42 hockey games. Mr. Jamison and the NHL, not hardworking Glendale taxpayers, should shoulder the loss if they cannot reach an agreement with their players.
I am asking you to renegotiate the payment terms under the Arena Management Agreement. Glendale’s payment should be prorated based on the number of NHL hockey games played in the arena during the 2012-2013 season.
Now is the time to renegotiate the payment clause. Mr. Jamison has yet to buy the Coyotes and sign the Arena Management Agreement. Glendale should immediately withdraw its approval of the agreement until this problem is fixed.
Walt Opaska
More about Walt Opaska
Walt Opaska is the son of a teacher and a small businessman. A graduate of the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, Opaska works for Bryan Cave LLP, where he specializes in intellectual property rights.
Opaska is a long-time leader in the Arizona conservative movement. He serves on the executive board of Arizona Right to Life, and he co-founded the Arizona Republican Attorney Association with Phoenix City Council Member Bill Gates. He has been active in the fight to lower taxes and end corporate welfare. In 2007, Opaska chaired the No New Sales Tax for Glendale campaign, a grassroots effort opposing Glendale's ballot initiative to raise the city's sales tax. In addition to professional and political involvement, he has been actively involved in numerous charitable groups, including the 20-30 Club and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Opaska is married and has a four-year old daughter. To learn more about Walt Opaska and his campaign to be the next mayor of Glendale, please visit
Paid for by Friends of Walt Opaska
P.O. Box 10487
Glendale, Az 85318
(602) 345-1491

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