Scottsdale Discovers Glendale for the Wrong Reasons

From a recent letter to the editor in The Arizona Republic

If Matthew Hulsizer understands hockey and knows how to market it, according to your editorial (“Stirring end or new tomorrow?” Friday), then let him buy the team with his own funds and keep the taxpayers out of it.

I applaud the stance of the Goldwater Institute in looking out for the taxpayers.

Okayfine. Except the comment is from someone who lives in Scottsdale. He doesn’t live in Glendale. He doesn’t work in Glendale, most likely. And, given the history of East Valley residents when it comes to us in the West Valley, he sure as hell doesn’t come here to spend money and pay our sales tax.

(True story: a couple of years ago I was talking to some people from Scottsdale, a city connected to Glendale via a 20-minute drive on Loop 101. Apparently it’s 20 minutes to get to Scottsdale and three hours to get to Glendale, but that’s another story. In any event, these folks were stunned to learn we had a mall in Glendale. “Is it an outdoor mall,” I was asked. “No,” I said. “It’s indoors. And it even has escalators and everything.” Arrowhead Towne Center opened for business back around 17 years ago. And these fine people from Scottsdale didn’t know it existed.)

The other night at happy hour I was arguing with another real estate agent who prides himself on his fiscal conservatism. To hell with them, he said, in not so many words.

Except …

Regardless of what you think of it now, the City of Glendale already is invested in the Phoenix Coyotes and Jobing.Com Arena. That decision was made nearly a decade ago when plans for the arena first came into being.

Right now, the only question is what can be done to best protect that investment. If it’s selling bonds to keep the Coyotes here, even if the Coyotes only represent 42 to 50 dates a year at the arena, then that’s what needs to be done.

As good as Trans Siberian Orchestra may be, it doesn’t fill the house and lead to all the ancillary spending like a Coyotes game does.

“But what benefit do I get,” asks Mr. Glendale Taxpayer. (Sorry Mr. Scottsdale, you don’t have a dog in this fight. And, by the way, before you talk about our sales tax being high maybe you ought to check out the basic price levels in your community. Buy some gas here and then buy it in Scottsdale and let me know if the extra 15 to 20 cents a gallon you just paid was worth the cash. Maybe your gasoline is gilt in gold.)

We do have a dog in the fight, my fellow Glendale residents.

For all the moronic arguments that come from the other side of Central Avenue saying that there’s nothing in the West Valley, that the arena was build in the middle of nowhere …

For the importance of perception in real estate, that a thriving Westgate area (something which hasn’t totally come to pass given the timing on the project coinciding with the market downturn) and thriving commercial development overall means the city itself is thriving and it’s a “good” place to buy …

For the negative perceptions that comes from having for lease signs in vacant store windows … I’m not the only one who shook his head when Garcia’s closed at Bell and 59th Avenue after a 20-plus year run …

For the winter visitors who may not purchase specifically in Glendale, but buy homes in the surrounding retirement communities and then spend their dollars here in the city …

For the above reasons alone and several others, you do have a vested interest and you do derive a benefit from the presence of the NHL here as surely as you derive a benefit from the presence of the Arizona Cardinals, albeit on a smaller basis given the shorter schedule.

We have a Coyote in the fight. With apologies to Scottsdale, you folks don’t seem to know we’re here except when you’ve got an ax to grind. So keep your ax in your own city, okay?

About Jonathan

Jonathan Dalton is a 30-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.

  • One might wonder aloud how their take might be modified if it was the Scottsdale Coyotes instead. 🙂

  • Possibly no different since it’s a position borne of philosophy rather than practical reality. It’s easy to argue the position that there should be no subsidies for professional sports teams; it’s also incredibly impractical given such is the norm across the country, and also since the city already made that decision years ago.

    Watching the team leave won’t undo what was done, it simply will guarantee there will be zero return on the investment made by the city.