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Sen. John McCain: Glendale has explaining to do in Coyotes situation

LISTEN: John McCain, U.S. Senator for Arizona

PHOENIX — The city of Glendale has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to canceling the Arizona Coyotes’ lease, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) said Friday.

A guest on Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Friday, McCain said he was perplexed over the entire situation.

“Why would you just out-of-hand cancel a contract which, not that long ago, they negotiated and were committed to?”

McCain felt the team was finally on track after years of doubt, as did most of the fan base. It seemed the relocation rumors had finally died off, but Wednesday’s decision threw everyone for a loop, including the longtime senator.

“I don’t understand why the city of Glendale wouldn’t first say ‘Look, we don’t like the deal we have and we want to negotiate,'” McCain said.

While he did admit he does not have full knowledge of the reasons behind the council’s decision, McCain said he hopes the city reconsiders its position.

“Was this necessary? Was this necessary to go to the wall and set up this gunfight?”

As the situation plays out in court, the Coyotes are being forced to consider their options. The team said it would not negotiate with the city for a new agreement and has begun legal proceedings.

“I’m no expert … but it seems to me, the options are with the Coyotes rather than with Glendale,” McCain said.

One of those options could be a shared arena with the Phoenix Suns, something McCain said he supports. Whether that is the existing US Airways Arena (soon to be Talking Stick Resort Arena) or a new home in the downtown area has yet to be decided.

When it comes down to it, McCain said he empathizes most with Coyotes players and the team’s fan base.

“Don’t we owe them more than that? Don’t we owe the fans who have loyally shown up at that arena, even though they had one of the worst records in the league and yet they were still loyal and showed up for the Coyotes? Don’t we owe them something?”

However, the senator is not ready to close the book just yet.

“I am more than willing to listen to Glendale’s side of the story,” he said. “I am not making a final judgement.”