Bid for referendum on Coyotes lease deal comes up short

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Some citizens of Glendale, Arizona are feeling a bit more empty tonight.

Melissa Leu of the Arizona Republic reports a bid to get a referendum on the city’s $300 million lease agreement for the team fell short on the number of signatures needed to put it to a vote.

A group calling themselves “Back To Sanity” failed to get the 6,900 votes needed to put the lease agreement to a vote. In an odd twist of fate, one of the group’s founders, Ken Jones, cited a lack of money needed to pay professionals to go out and help gather signatures.

“As soon as we learned that money wasn’t going to be available to us, we realized our chances were going to be pretty slim,” said Jones, who estimated needing $16,000 to pay professional signature gatherers. “But we didn’t quit trying until the last day.”

With the possibility of a referendum out of the way, the only thing getting in the way of the team staying put for good is prospective owner Greg Jamison not completing the purchase of the team. According to the lease agreement, he has until January 31 to do just that.