Coyotes ‘disappointed’ by Glendale’s decision, committed to staying in Arizona
Aug 19, 2021, 4:05 PM | Updated: 5:55 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Arizona Coyotes CEO and president Xavier Gutierrez released a statement on Thursday in response to the City of Glendale’s decision to end its agreement with the Coyotes over Gila River Arena at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
We are disappointed by today’s unilateral decision by the City of Glendale to break off negotiations on a multi-year lease extension agreement. We are hopeful that they will reconsider a move that would primarily damage the small businesses and hard-working citizens of Glendale. We remain open to restarting good-faith negotiations with the city.
Most importantly, the Coyotes are one hundred percent committed to finding a long-term arena solution here in Arizona, and nothing will shake our determination to do what is right for our organization, residents of the entire Valley and, most important, our fans.
The city said its decision was due to “increased focus on larger, more impactful events and uses of the city-owner arena.”
“We are thankful to the NHL and the Arizona Coyotes for being part of the Glendale community for the past 18 years,” Glendale city manager Kevin Phelps said. “The decision to not renew the operation agreement with the Coyotes was not made overnight or in a vacuum. We carefully weighed input from key stakeholders, our expert economist, our arena management firm and our City Council.
“Over the next year, the city will be announcing many new projects that will generate incredible excitement for residents, visitors and stakeholders. As amazing as the Sports and Entertainment District is today, the next several years will be even more transformative as this momentum continues.”
Some of that intent that Gutierrez mentions to stay is discussions with the city of Tempe in July on a development space where the franchise could put a new arena. Those talks were confirmed by both the team and the city.
In 2016, the Glendale City Council voted to end a long-term lease with the Coyotes for Gila River Arena. They have since been operating on a year-to-year agreement.
The Coyotes previously had a deal with Arizona State University to build a shared arena but the school backed out.