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Burns & Gambo

Glendale playing waiting game with Coyotes, Cardinals

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said the wait is continuing for his city when it comes to the Phoenix Coyotes and the Arizona Cardinals.

For one, he is still waiting to see if the Coyotes will have a new owner.

"I do know that there's been several different folks interested," said Weiers. "I spoke with (NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman) over a week ago. He told me that he thought he would have something for me possibly this past Monday. I still haven't heard from him, so apparently they're trying to put some things together."

He realizes the National Hockey League, which owns the Coyotes now, has to make sure it has the right guy to take over as owner.

"They have to find an owner that's capable and financially has the wherewithal to pull it off," Weiers said. "Once they do that, I hope to have something that we can present, I hope."

Weiers said he has not spoken with Greg Jamison for several months, and believes he no longer is a potential Coyotes owner. The city had been negotiating with Jamison on an arena lease deal.

Meanwhile, the mayor said he's aware of other people who want to buy the team.

"I've had a lot of names talked about, but I'm not at liberty to discuss that right now," said Weiers. "When I talked with people, I gave my word that until something's actually done, I'm not going to spread the fire. I'm not going to fan it."

Weiers wants the Coyotes to stay, but not at the expense of it costing the city money it should be spending on police, fire and other vital services. He said he's going to be cautious with negotiations to keep the team in Glendale.

"I'm a firm believer that when you want something really, really, really, really bad... you normally get it really, really, really, really bad," Weiers said.

He wants to make sure the Coyotes deal is "good" for the city.

As for the Arizona Cardinals, they still have to decide whether they are going to have their training camp in Glendale, Flagstaff or somewhere else.

When it comes to the possibility of the Cardinals having it in Glendale, Weiers said "I don't have anything to report to you. I wish that I did. There's still some negotiations going on trying to put something together. Obviously, I would love to have it, but it has to make sense for our city."

Weiers said the camp would bring much needed dollars into Glendale during the summer, which is normally a slow time for business.

"I truly believe that, with the summer camp, we will be pulling people in from all over Arizona and other states. We have the hotels, the restaurants and the gas stations. There will be income derived from it. The question is how does the cost compare with what Glendale will get out of it? I don't know."

Like the Coyotes, Weiers said he isn't willing to sign a deal with the Cardinals that isn't right for the city of Glendale.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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