|If the lease is approved, Greg Jamison might finally purchase the Coyotes. (Getty Images)|
Tuesday night will be devoid of any games on the NHL schedule thanks to the lockout, but there will still be something to keep your eyes on -- specifically, in the never-ending saga that is the Phoenix Coyotes' precarious situation in suburban Glendale.
Catching you up to speed in one graph, the Coyotes have been up for sale for almost three years and appear to have a potential buyer in Greg Jamison. He must first work out a lease with the city of Glendale, which crafted a lease that would pay Jamison millions per year to operate the city-owned Jobing.com Arena.
Did you get all of that? Good, because Tuesday could be the day of reckoning. The city council in Glendale is expected to vote on whether to approve the lease. If the lease is approved, it would open the doors for Jamison to try to close the deal with the NHL to buy the team and keep it in Arizona. If it fails, then uncertainty will run more rampant than ever regarding the future of the franchise.
The lease calls for the city to pay a total of $308 million over the life of the lease (20 years), a steep price to pay for a city that is as financially dry as the surrounding desert. The flip side is that the price to pay is worth it in comparison to losing the Coyotes, running the arena, anyway, and missing out on the guaranteed events as well as foot traffic to the area around the arena.
It's a tough call for the council members. It's almost a damned if they do, damned if they don't scenario. However, it must be noted that the man who drafted the reworked lease agreement, interim city manager Horatio Skeete, doesn't even think the city should approve it. That probably tells you something.
This could be the last shot at keeping the Coyotes in town. If this vote doesn't pass -- and that is very much up in the air -- new council members and a new mayor will take office in January. They have made it pretty clear they won't be as friendly with the Coyotes as the current administration.
If the lease does pass, then it would seem that the only thing left is for Jamison to close the deal, something that has been a long time coming. It would be expected that he would move on closing it right away.
Just spoke with Jamison: we fully intend to buy the team but we are waiting for the vote. Then we'll move as quickly as we possibly can.— sonu munshi (@smunshi) November 21, 2012
Tuesday night could be the beginning of the end of this looooooong story and attempt to keep the Coyotes in Arizona. Or it could reopen the talks of relocation of the franchise that strugles to draw fans. You just have to believe that, at this point, if Jamison withdraws from the picture, the league will have to consider the relocation options.