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City of Glendale to hold special meeting to explore Coyotes’ future at Gila River Arena

LISTEN: Monica Lindstrom, Legal analyst

The city of Glendale has scheduled a special council meeting Wednesday evening to discuss and perhaps take “possible action” in canceling the professional management services and arena lease agreement between the city and IceArizona, the acquisition group that owns the Arizona Coyotes.

Though the on-again, off-again relationship between the city and the Coyotes has been well publicized, news of a meeting to discuss the formal agreement between the city and the organization could potentially put the franchise’s future in Glendale in jeopardy.

Nick Wood, of the Law Offices of Snell & Wilmer who serve as outside council for the Coyotes, issued the following statement regarding the scheduled city council meeting.

“This is a blatant attempt to renege on a valid contract that was negotiated fairly and in good faith and in compliance with all laws and procedures. In the event the City Council initiates any action to revoke, repeal or otherwise rescind the agreement, the Coyotes will immediately take all actions available to them under the law against the City of Glendale.”

Coyotes Co-owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc added, “This action by the City of Glendale is completely ludicrous, especially in light of the fact that myself and Andrew Barroway visited with the City yesterday and the particulars of this were never raised. In fact, we to this moment have not been advised of this other than the notification on the City website. The City of Glendale is displaying a complete lack of good faith, business acumen or an understanding of a business partnership. We want to reassure our great fans that the Arizona Coyotes are committed to Glendale and playing at Gila River Arena.”

Early Wednesday the National Hockey League released its own statement.

“We have been advised by the Coyotes that the City of Glendale’s contentions are without merit and we fully expect the Coyotes to continue to play at the Gila River Arena and for the City to continue to honor its obligations to the Coyotes. After everything that has transpired, it is extremely disappointing that the City of Glendale would do anything that might damage the Club.”

The City of Glendale also gave a statement regarding the council agenda item.

“The City Council has scheduled a discussion and possible vote regarding Glendale’s contract with the Arizona Coyotes. Discussions and negotiations regarding the contract have been ongoing for months. Specifically, the City is open to a resolution but it must be one that provides certainty and fairness to both parties, especially the taxpayers. The Council has agreed to stand for transparency and the highest standards of ethics for any future agreement with the Coyotes.”

The meeting is set to take place 6 p.m.