It’s not so much the added financial risks of the Arizona Coyotes’ amended arena lease deal with the City of Glendale that bugs COO Anthony LeBlanc. Instead, he’s not a huge fan of the agreement being merely two years long.
Then again, there’s an element of beggars can’t be choosers, either.
“A two-year deal is better than no deal,” LeBlanc admitted during Friday’s press conference.
LeBlanc refuted bad blood with Glendale officials, noting that “business is business and politics is politics.” Even so, he said that he hopes to begin carving out a lengthier agreement with Glendale, possibly beginning in early August.
Some might see this as yet another Band-Aid, but it was needed nonetheless, with the Coyotes official hitting the theme of certainty repeatedly through his presser.
This seems like a short-term win for GM Don Maloney and the on-ice product, even if the revenue stream alterations bring on a greater risk/reward venture for ownership.
“I don’t want to go into free agency next year with Don dealing with the same uncertainty as last year,” LeBlanc said.
To some extent, free agents looking for term may look sideways at the Coyotes’ situation for some time, especially if progress isn’t made on another lease agreement in the coming months. Even so, two years of relative comfort is almost a luxury to a franchise that’s dealt with an almost unending torrent of turmoil.
The latest wrinkle in the arena lease crisis between the Arizona Coyotes and the City of Glendale comes down to a $3.75 million payment that may just end up in limbo.
As Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan reports, Glendale filed a motion in court to withhold a $3.75 million fourth-quarter payment to the franchise. (KTAR News phrases it as delaying rather than withholding the payment, if that makes any difference.)
KTAR News points out that the payment is supposed to be due on July 1.
The Coyotes decided not to comment on this latest issue, according to Morgan.
Here are Morgan’s tweets, in case it seems clearer to see them in full:
(The Arizona Republic has an in-depth article on this.)
This situation makes sense considering the span of events that have happened in about the last week or so.
To review the most recent events, Glendale decided to move forward with its plan to end its 15-year, $225 million lease agreement with the Coyotes. This came after a judge provided a temporary restraining order to keep Glendale from voiding the deal. Glendale going forward with its plan prompted some harsh words from Coyotes president, CEO & co-owner Anthony LeBlanc.
It’s unclear when this nightmare situation might end for Coyotes fans, who’ve been through processes like these for years now.
Following a one-hour closed-door city council meeting on Tuesday, the City of Glendale has decided to go forward with its plans to end a 15-year, $225 million agreement with the Arizona Coyotes.
“Let me be clear. This is not about hockey. We want the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, and we want more than anything for the Arizona Coyotes to succeed in Glendale,” said Glendale interim assistant city manager Tom Duensing, per The Arizona Republic. “As we have consistently indicated to the team, we are willing to negotiate a mutual agreement where everybody is a winner.”
Last Friday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge granted the Arizona Coyotes’ request for a temporary injunction to keep the city from voiding the team’s arena deal.
Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc told reporters last week that the club planned on filing a request for injunctive relief and a claim for damages of $200 million.
“We expect the City of Glendale to honor its contractual commitments. We intend to continue to honor ours,” the Coyotes said in a statement via Twitter.
The club released its preseason schedule for next season on Tuesday. Just one of the six games will be played at Gila River Arena.
The next court date for this case is scheduled for June 29.
Related: Report: Barroway to shift from majority owner to ‘lesser role’ with Coyotes
There’s not much left to do in Glendale to keep the Coyotes there.
Glendale resident Ken Jones and his group of citizens failed, for the third time, to get enough signatures to bring the Coyotes deal to a vote. As Caitlin McGlade of the Arizona Republic hears it from Jones, he felt he was trying to save the city from itself.
“We did not want Glendale to become a miniature Detroit,” Jones said, adding the job was “just too big” for the volunteers.
“They are better citizens than those that did nothing. Shame on those who stood silently by like sheep,” he said.
Jones and his group had to amass 7,000 signatures to bring the Coyotes deal to a city-wide vote but he says he only got three-fourths that amount.
His reference to Detroit is due to that city declaring bankruptcy recently. Of course, Detroit also approved finances to build a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings so maybe the parallels are already a bit too strong.
With this latest effort to block the sale now over with, it’s up to the Ice Arizona group to complete the sale and for the NHL Board of Governors to approve it. The potential ownership group has until Monday, August 5 to complete the sale.
There are just a couple of hurdles left to clear in the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes, but a big one may be out of the way this week.
Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona reports NHL Deputy Commissioner will seek approval of the Board of Governors this week for the sale of the team.
As you know, the deal to sell the team to Renaissance Sports and Entertainment was approved by the Glendale City Council and now it’s just a matter of the final paperwork and procedure being completed. Getting approval of the Board of Governors is a big one as far as the league is concerned.
As for the completion of the sale, Daly says they’re still moving forward with that. There are only baby steps left in ending this saga.