As ThinkProgress has noted, the city of Glendale, Arizona, has laid of public sector workers and cut social services in order to hand millions of dollars to the Phoenix Coyotes, its National Hockey League franchise. The Coyotes are currently owned by the league itself, after the team declared bankruptcy, and the city had pledged $15 million per year over 20 years to any future owner.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the Arizona Republic reported that the city considered offering both its city hall and its police station as collateral for a loan in order to cover payments to the NHL (and payments related to a baseball spring training stadium in the city):
Glendale officials this week considered offering up City Hall and the main police station as collateral to obtain a $41 million loan to cover sports-related debts.
The city would use the money to cover payments to the National Hockey League and potentially to make payments on Camelback Ranch stadium, the city’s spring-training ballpark.
Glendale officials acknowledged the proposal wouldn’t bring the city any savings. […]
The City Council on Tuesday decided there were too many unknowns for staffers to proceed with the plan now.
A referendum that would cut the support the city has pledged to the Coyotes could appear on the ballot in November, so the city shelved its plan to offer the buildings as collateral. Meanwhile, Glendale is far from the only city facing a professional sports related budget boondoggle: in five others, teams want taxpayer money to publicly finance stadiums, even though such structures rarely deliver on their economic promise.