About six weeks after the City of Glendale voted to terminate their lease agreement with the Arizona Coyotes, the two sides appear to have reached a settlement that will keep the team in the desert. The city council will vote Friday on an amended arena-lease agreement, the team and city announced in a joint news release.
Should the council approve the amended agreement, and it is expected to, it will run for at least the next two seasons and end the legal back-and-forth between the two sides.
Craig Morgan of FoxSportsArizona.com has more on the new agreement:
Per terms of the deal, the Coyotes will collect all hockey-related revenue streams that previously went to the City of Glendale, including a portion of naming rights, ticket surcharges and parking revenue, while the city will pay $6.5 million a year to the Coyotes to manage the arena. The out-clause that was part of the original 15-year, $225 million agreement has been removed.
That $6.5 million management fee paid to the Coyotes is down from $15 million under the previous lease. Additionally, as Rick Westhead of TSN reports, the city can terminate the team's management agreement with 90 days notice.
“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 Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc 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. 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. 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.”
"This revised agreement represents a positive outcome for both the city and the Coyotes," said Glendale Acting City Manager Dick Bowers in a statement. "It also allows us to move forward in a way that keeps an important economic driver in our community. That’s important for business and it’s important to our citizens."
The two sides were due for a hearing in court on July 31. The Coyotes filed a $200 million lawsuit against the city after having its lease agreement terminated. That will be dropped as a result of this settlement, pending Friday's vote.
The fact that this renewed agreement is only in place for the next two years means we could be headed for more challenges in the future, but what else is new with this situation? The current agreement at least provides some certainty for the short-term. A sudden and unexpected relocation, even if it was just to Phoenix for the season would have proven difficult for all parties involved.
This unfortunately will do little to quash speculation of the potential for relocation once the agreement is up, but it’s a step forward after the curve ball the city threw with their lease termination and allows