January 31 has come and gone in the Valley, and it appears the Phoenix Coyotes’ three-year saga may have hit yet another road block in the desert.
Prospective buyer Greg Jamison had until midnight Thursday to complete his purchase of the Coyotes from the NHL under the terms of a 20-year, $308 million lease agreement with Glendale for Jobing.com Arena.
“We will not be able to complete our purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes today in time to meet our deadline with the city of Glendale,” Jamison said in a statement. “However, our journey to purchase the Coyotes will continue. We realize this will require additional conversations with the city of Glendale and the NHL. We still believe we can reach an agreement that satisfies everyone. We hope negotiations with the city proceed as smoothly as possible, as everyone involved wants the Coyotes to remain in Arizona.”
While Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns & Gambo Thursday that he would honor any deal agreed upon by the City of Glendale’s previous council members, since Jamison could not pull the necessary capital together by the non-negotiable deadline, all bets are off moving forward.
“We want a professional hockey team here, but not when it’s literally tied to the backs of our taxpayers at the same time that we’re letting our law enforcement jobs go by the wayside and our fire,” Weiers said. “Public safety has got to be our very first priority, and as much as I want the Coyotes here, it can’t be done on the backs of the taxpayers by sacrificing, trading public safety for hockey.”
With Jamison failing to meet the lease deadline, the door has now been left wide open for any other potential bidder to meet with Weiers regarding a possible purchase of the team.
The league has owned the team since the fall 2009 and has attempted to find a buyer on multiple occasions without success.
The Associated Press contributed to this report