ARIZONA COYOTES

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman believes Coyotes will stay near Phoenix

Aug 19, 2021, 6:36 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm
NHL hockey commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, after attending an ...
NHL hockey commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, after attending an NHL owners meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said it was his belief that the Arizona Coyotes front office was committed to staying in the greater Phoenix area, despite finding out that the City of Glendale decided against renewing its lease with the NHL franchise.

The news broke in the middle of an interview Bettman was giving to New York-based radio show Carton and Roberts.

“First of all, I don’t think the Coyotes franchise is going anywhere,” Bettman said. “I think the City of Glendale is negotiating. There’s no secret that Alex Meruelo, who is the owner of the Coyotes, is looking at his options to build a new arena somewhere else in greater Phoenix.”

There has been a discussion among the Coyotes and the City of Tempe to build a new facility near the corner of Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway.

Bettman thinks the posture by Glendale could be a negotiating tactic as the team and city have been operating on a year-to-year basis regarding the arena lease.

“I think the City of Glendale basically said to the Coyotes ‘You have to sign a 20 year lease or we’re not going to renew,'” Bettman said. “I just think they are just negotiating. I’m not worried about the Coyotes. I think their future stays in the greater Phoenix area.”

In a Twitter thread, Glendale said it informed the Coyotes this year will be its last at the arena that opened in 2003.

The city said its decision was due to “increased focus on larger, more impactful events and uses of the city-owner arena.”

Bettman thinks the posture by Glendale could be a negotiating tactic as the team and city have been operating on a year-to-year basis regarding the arena lease.

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