Possible arena announcement for the Arizona Coyotes could come in the next couple of months

Jan 27, 2016, 12:00 PM | Updated: 10:07 pm
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LISTEN: Anthony LeBlanc, Arizona Coyotes President and CEO

Arizona Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf that recent discussions for a possible new arena have turned, “relatively serious in the last couple of weeks.”

“I’m very positive that we will have something out in the community if not in the next month or two but certainly by the end of the regular season,” LeBlanc said. “We need to partner with a community or institution that wants to be a partner and that’s the first and foremost thing. The good news is that all of the discussions we have had have been pretty open as have other organizations — be it the city of Phoenix or Tempe or Arizona State. Everybody has been pretty open that we have had discussions with and they have all been positive.”

The team has been looking at potential new arena options since this past summer when the city of Glendale voted to terminate the team’s 15-year lease to play at the city-owned Gila River Arena.

Since then city leaders in Glendale have been taking bids for a new arena management company. It’s a move that LeBlanc said is going to be worse off for the taxpayers of Glendale than if the city would have had with the Coyotes.

“The city is going to lose the cost certainly that they have with the Coyotes,” he said.  “It’s unfortunate. We did not ask for this but it is what it is.”

Under the old lease that was signed by the Coyotes and Glendale in 2013, the city paid the team $15 million a year to manage the arena. However, after the city council voted in June to terminate the lease, the city and team agreed on a two-year lease that allowed the city to look for a new arena management company.

The city is currently going through bids from AEG, Comcast Spectacor and SMG, management companies that LeBlanc said the Coyotes are very familiar with.  AEG owns the Los Angeles Kings, Spectacor is part of the Philadelphia Flyers and SMG is a massive arena operator that operates a bunch of arenas in the NHL.

The arena issues are yet another uncertainly for an organization that has been plagued by them for a large part of this decade with rumors of possible relocation. However, LeBlanc once again firm on his commitment to the state of Arizona.

“The only rumors that I would like hear stopped is the foolish ones that have slowed down considerably,” LeBlanc said. “The ones that say we are going to leave the state. Those are the ones that drive me bonkers.”

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