Attach all the necessary “maybe” and “however” caveats, but Friday brought what appeared to be fantastic news for the Phoenix Coyotes, as Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports that the City of Glendale agreed to an arena lease deal in principle with Renaissance Sports Entertainment.
Perhaps the best part for beaten-down Coyotes fans is that the lease would cover 15 years, which is a far cry from the five-year out-clauses that darkened optimism earlier in the process.
As the Sportsnet report notes, Glendale’s city council needs a majority vote (at least four out of seven) on Tuesday to make this official. So hold off on your “Forever in Glendale” Coyotes tattoos for the time being.
This news comes on the heels of a Fox Sports Arizona report that the two sides bridged a significant $9 million annual gap in the deal.
It also likely puts an end to speculation about a “mystery buyer,” although if you’ve followed this saga long enough, you probably know that it’s never really safe to assume that anything’s certain.
Many wondered how two deadlines (a Glendale City Council meeting on June 25 and an NHL Board of Governors meeting on June 27) would affect this process, but now it seems that those dates are less threatening.
Of course, it’s again important to remember that nothing is set in stone until official announcements about the team staying are made. Still, this at least appears to be a big break in favor of avoiding relocation.