The Arizona Coyotes' days in Glendale became numbered in August when the city announced it wouldn't renew its operating agreement with the team. A new development between both sides may speed up that timeline.
Glendale is threatening to lock the Coyotes out of Gila River Arena, according to a report from The Athletic. The city is citing delinquent tax bills and unpaid arena charges as why.
The Arizona Department of Revenue filed a tax lien notice against IceArizona Hockey LLC, the company that owns the Coyotes, for over $1.3 million in unpaid state and city taxes last Friday. The Coyotes owe $250,000 of those unpaid taxes to Glendale, per The Athletic, and the rest to Arizona.
If the Coyotes fail to pay their outstanding tax bill and outstanding arena invoices from the 2020-21 season by Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. ET, ASM – Gila River Arena's management company – will deny all team employees and arena vendors access inside the arena, per Glendale's request.
The Coyotes have 10 days to request an informal meeting on the issue, should they desire one. Neither the team or NHL has publicly commented, but Glendale city manager Kevin Phelps told The Athletic he informed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday.
On Aug. 19, Glendale ended its 18-year relationship with the Coyotes after the sides negotiated a lease extension and arena renovations for months. The city justified its decision by saying it wanted to focus on "larger, more impactful" events such as concerts.
With an increased focus on larger, more impactful events and uses of the city-owned arena, the city of Glendale has chosen to not renew the operating agreement for the Arizona Coyotes beyond the coming 2021-22 season.— City of Glendale, AZ (@GlendaleAZ) August 19, 2021
Arizona has 28 home games remaining past the Dec. 20 deadline, starting with a Dec. 23 contest against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning.