Coyotes and Glendale amend arena lease, ‘putting this dispute behind us’

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It’s over — for now.

On Thursday, the Coyotes announced they’ve resolved their arena lease dispute with the City of Glendale, agreeing to an amended agreement that will, per Fox Sports Arizona, keep the team at Gila River Arena for at least the next two seasons.

The city will vote on the amendment Friday morning at 9 a.m. MST.

“We have come up with a resolution that works for both sides and is best for the team, our fans, the city and most importantly the taxpayers,” said Arizona co-owner Anthony LeBlanc said in a statement. “Neither side benefits from a long, drawn out legal battle. What’s important is putting this dispute behind us and focusing on growing the Coyotes business and in turn, further growing revenues for the entire Westgate Entertainment District.”

Back in June — on the same night as Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, to be specific — Glendale city officials voted to void the previous 15-year lease agreement. The Coyotes responded by filing suit against the city, getting a temporary restraining order to keep the deal in place, then ordering Glendale to make its quarterly $3.75 million payment to the organization.

With today’s revised amendment, both sides avoid further legal battles — though questions will remain about the Coyotes’ future in Glendale, given this new agreement only goes to 2017.

In the later part of his statement, LeBlanc said the agreement will provide a short-term solution to certain parties, while establishing a longer-term commitment to others… without mentioning Glendale.

“This decision will bring much-needed certainty to our fans and sponsors about our near-term future and an end to the uncertainty brought about through this legal action,” he said. “We know that hockey works in the Valley and we are committed to Arizona for the long-term.

“We thank Coyotes fans and sponsors for their incredible support throughout this process. They have proven that they are among the most loyal and ardent in the NHL.”