Glendale Votes To Cancel Lease Agreement With Arizona Coyotes
The future of the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale is uncertain. Glendale City Council voted 5-2 Wednesday night to cancel its lease agreement with the team’s home, Gila River Arena.
The 15-year, $225-million deal was signed in 2013. The city leases Gila River Arena to IceArizona which co-owns the hockey team.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said he voted to end the deal because of a conflict-of-interest law.
“I don’t care how good of a deal it is," Weiers said. "If you break the law, you’re breaking a law. There is no exception — period. If you’re breaking a law, it’s wrong.”
Weiers is referring to former Glendale City Attorney Craig Tindall, who now works for the Coyotes. The city is claiming because he received part of his severance while working for the team, it can legally cancel the contract.
Council members said they feel the deal it isn’t mutually benefiting the city and the Coyotes and asked the team to renegotiate earlier this week. The team declined and co-owner Anthony LeBlanc claimed that’s what spurred the city’s decision to cancel the deal.
“The actions of the council over the last several weeks when rumors have been floating to the actions of the last two days have been detrimental to the Coyotes,” LeBlanc said.
The team is planning to file a injunctive relief — a temporary restraining order and a $200 million lawsuit against Glendale.
Coyote’s fans and local business owners filled the meeting to tell the council how important the team has been to them.
Adam Kariotoglou owns Opa Life Greek Cafe at the Westgate Entertainment District. He said he opened the restaurant in December partly because of the Coyotes.
"Thanks to the Coyotes, we've prospered," Kariotoglou said. "You take them out of the equation, there will be a lot of doors closing and a lot of people losing their jobs."
Both the council and the Coyotes said they want the team to stay in Glendale. But with Wednesday night’s vote, its future at Gila River Arena is unclear.