The City of Glendale has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET to discuss the possibility of terminating its current lease agreement with the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes are not pleased. Nick Wood, of the law firm Snell & Wilmer, has issued the following statement on the behalf of the club:
“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. In the event the City Council initiates any action to revoke, repeal or otherwise rescind the agreement, the Coyotes will immediately take all actions available to them under the law against the City of Glendale.”
Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc added, “This action by the City of Glendale is completely ludicrous, especially in light of the fact that myself and Andrew Barroway visited with the City yesterday and the particulars of this were never raised. 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.”
It is worth noting that the subject of the organization’s relationship with the City of Glendale was raised during Tuesday’s state of the union and LeBlanc mentioned the Barroway meeting with Mayor Jerry Weiers, Vice Mayor Ian Hugh, and city attorney Michael Bailey. LeBlanc categorized the meeting as “good” and said that they talked about how the franchise and city could work more closely together.
“The mayor, you know, on August 5th of 2013 when we closed the deal — actually I guess it was in July when we had the vote with the city of 2013, he came up to me afterwards, and he said, look, at the end of the day I wasn’t a supporter of the deal, but I want to do what I need to do to work with the Coyotes and make things work, and I take him as a man of his word, and he reiterated that yesterday,” LeBlanc said during the press conference.
This also comes after a TSN report in May that said senior elected city officials were exploring legal grounds to void the arena management contract. The Coyotes refuted that report.
Update: Glendale’s legal challenge would focus on Arizona statute 38-511, according to Fox Sports’ Craig Morgan. The full statute is here, but subsection A states:
The state, its political subdivisions or any department or agency of either may, within three years after its execution, cancel any contract, without penalty or further obligation, made by the state, its political subdivisions, or any of the departments or agencies of either if any person significantly involved in initiating, negotiating, securing, drafting or creating the contract on behalf of the state, its political subdivisions or any of the departments or agencies of either is, at any time while the contract or any extension of the contract is in effect, an employee or agent of any other party to the contract in any capacity or a consultant to any other party of the contract with respect to the subject matter of the contract.
Very little case history on this so tough to say if Glendale has a leg to stand on here. Will pursue that in the morning.
— Craig Morgan (@cmorganfoxaz) June 10, 2015