The city of Glendale, Ariz., announced it would be holding a special council meeting Wednesday to consider killing the arena lease deal between the municipality, the NHL’s Coyotes and Gila River Arena. And the Coyotes owners are not pleased about it. To say the least.
For months now, the city of Glendale, Ariz., has been involved in an ongoing political debate regarding its relationship with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, the Gila River Arena in which the team plays, and the lease agreement that keeps the franchise in town. But after the municipality announced late Tuesday it would hold a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the possible cancellation of the arena lease, the Coyotes fired back with a harshly-worded news release from ownership indicating it would “take all actions available” to the team under the law against Glendale.
In the team’s statement, Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc did not mince words in relating his displeasure with the latest development.
“This action by the City of Glendale is completely ludicrous, especially in light of the fact that myself and (fellow owner) Andrew Barroway visited with the City yesterday and the particulars of this were never raised,” LeBlanc said. “In fact, we to this moment have not been advised of this other than the notification on the City website. The City of Glendale is displaying a complete lack of good faith, business acumen or an understanding of a business partnership. We want to reassure our great fans that the Arizona Coyotes are committed to Glendale and playing at Gila River Arena.”
Added Nick Wood, outside counsel for the Coyotes: “This is a blatant attempt to renege on a valid contract that was negotiated fairly and in good faith and in compliance with all laws and procedures.”
The Glendale city council meeting is slated to take place at 6 p.m. local time on Wednesday. A number of municipal council members have stated they believe the Coyotes’ ownership group is in violation of the lease, which was finalized in 2013 during a 4-3 council vote and at a cost of $225 million over 15 years.