GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Glendale City Council has voted to end an arena lease agreement with the Arizona Coyotes, thrusting the franchise’s future further into doubt.
The council voted 5-2 Wednesday night to end a 15-year, $225 million lease agreement signed by Glendale and IceArizona shortly after the team was purchased from the NHL in 2013.
Members who voted in favor of dissolving the deal cited a state statute that allows an agency to cancel a contract if an employee directly involved with the agreement becomes an employee or agent to the other party. At issue was the Coyotes’ hiring of former city attorney Craig Tindall as general counsel in 2013.
“We’ve all taken a beating (Wednesday night) here, and I think it’s all unjust because most of the fans don’t understand the complexity of this issue,” Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers said before being interrupted by several Coyotes fans in attendance. “The complexity of this issue is the fact that you don’t have all the information. When you have more information, I think you will have a better understanding.”
The city of Glendale issued a statement before the meeting that it would be open to renegotiating the arena deal, a proposal the Coyotes flatly refused.
Nick Wood, the Coyotes’ outside counsel, said the team will file for injunctive relief, a temporary restraining order, and file a $200 million lawsuit against the city.
“At this point the damage has been done,” Wood said. “How do we negotiate our way out of being shot in the head by the city?”
Thumbnail photo via Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports Images