Hockey looks to be staying in the Valley after the Glendale City Council approved a 20-year arena lease agreement with the Phoenix Coyotes Monday night.
But in order to stay in Glendale, the organization apparently had to agree to one small stipulation.
As part of the new lease, CBSSports.com’s NHL writer Brian Stubits reported the team will apparently need to agree to a name change before being sold to potential buyer Greg Jamison.
Here’s what the lease says, as it was dug up by Sports Documents.
The Team Owner shall use commercially reasonable efforts to have the name of the Team changed to the “Arizona Coyotes” as soon as is commercially feasible.
While not everything in the lease can be described as such, this actually seems pretty reasonable. The City of Glendale built the arena and is going to pay a lot of money every year to keep the team in its city, after all. It makes sense they wouldn’t be too appreciative of the franchise continuing to bear the name of another city when Glendale is taking such a big risk and paying so much out of its stretched budget to keep the team.
The change likely won’t have any effect on the team’s jerseys, color schemes and logo. The franchise has always focused on the Coyotes mascot and not the city name.
This would be the second such change for a Valley team. In March of 1994, owner Bill Bidwill had the Cardinals change their name from Phoenix to Arizona.
If the change is approved, the Suns and Mercury would be the only teams in town with Phoenix in front of their names.