Proposed Glendale Voter Referendum Could Stop Coyotes Sale

A 20-year arena leasing deal that would keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona could be in jeopardy thanks to a voter referendum that could put the team's future up to the voting public in November and scuttle a potential sale. But as Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal reports, it's unclear whether the group behind the referendum is on track to get the referendum on the ballot — or even how many signatures that would require.

A Glendale law requires citizens to get signatures from 10 percent of the voting public to get a referendum on a general election ballot. Sunnucks wrote on July 6 that Joe Cobb and Ken Jones, organizers from the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute that is behind the referendum, were told that the 2010 turnout of 11,309 voters meant that they would need to get only 1,131 signatures, down from the 1,800 the city is holding as the correct number. But Jones told Sunnucks on Monday that the magic number may be closer to 1,600.

In any case, it's unclear how many signatures are still left to collect, and if Cobb and Jones will end up getting them in time. Summer temperatures in Glendale have made the process arduous, and the interpretation of another rule about how soon signatures must be collected after a city council measure passes — it was approved at a meeting on June 8, but may have taken several more days to be legally passed — may close the initiative's window.

If the referendum fails to make it to the November ballot, the path should be clear for a group led by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison to finalize its purchase of the team.

For more on the Coyotes, visit Five For Howling and SB Nation Arizona.

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