Glendale lease “framework” ups Coyotes offer to $15m a year for 15 years

That didn’t take long: Word broke late on Friday that the city of Glendale and the Phoenix Coyotes had agreed on a framework for a new arena lease that had “bridged a $9 million annual gap” between the $15 million a year that the team was demanding in order to stay put and the $6 million a year that the city was offering. According to Fox Sports Arizona, citing “multiple sources”:

it is believed Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, the ownership group headed by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc that already has a purchase agreement with the NHL, was able to find multiple Coyotes-related revenue streams for Glendale that will provide the city between $8 million and $11 million annually on a 15-year lease.

What “Coyotes-related revenue streams means is anybody’s guess: It could be anything from an actual new share of hockey revenue (doubtful, because it’s not really $15 million a year in lease subsidies if the team is giving the city money to pay itself with) to something along the lines of “Hey, we found a consultant who’ll say that having a hockey team to talk about makes people more productive at work, so let’s count all that money as being due to the Coyotes, okay?” One possible upside: Glendale appears to have gotten the new Coyotes owners to agree to stay put for 15 years, up from just a few years in their initial plan, though if the city would really be on the hook for $15 million a year of subsidies, having to pay it out for even longer might not actually be a positive.

More details of the lease proposal should be clearer by tomorrow, when it’s expected to be reviewed by the Glendale council tomorrow; a vote could possibly voted on the following Tuesday, though that’s not a given. The NHL Board of Governors meets two days after that, and commissioner Gary Bettman has been actively using that date as a threat, adding to his backhanded threat that the team could move an additional, even more backhanded threat that the team could be put on hiatus for a year:

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t deny that the Coyotes — a franchise that has been under league control for three years — could go on hiatus.

“There are a myriad of options,” Bettman told reporters before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at United Center on Wednesday. “Obviously we’ll have lots of choices, options and decisions. At the time, if we get to that point, and hopefully we won’t, then we’ll focus on which one is the best.”

It seems inconceivable that the league would effectively contract by one team for a season — not only would it throw the schedule into disarray, but it would presumably need to be negotiated with the players’ union, since the league would be eliminating jobs — but, hey, why turn down a good threat when one is handed to you? Bettman was more direct about alluding to the possibility of moving the Coyotes, telling reporters, “There are a number of markets that have been expressing interest to us over the years. The phone keeps ringing more regularly the longer that the Coyotes situation stays unresolved. Based on the dates we just happened to talk about with the previous question, it’s causing the phone to ring even more.” Of course, all those phone calls may not have come with offers of $15 million annual checks, which is just one thing that Glendale officials are going to need to consider over the next week.

9 comments on “Glendale lease “framework” ups Coyotes offer to $15m a year for 15 years

  1. Glendale pull the save ? What will Seattle’s incumbent mayor do to secure his spot in the primary ?
    If plans fall apart in Arizona, the Phoenix Coyotes appear to be headed to Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn recently met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and investors who want to purchase the hockey team and move it to Seattle.

    “Our message to all parties has been the same: We believe we can support an NHL team as a tenant at KeyArena and as a potential tenant of a new arena, subject to all parties reaching agreement on terms,” McGinn said in a statement.

    Two weeks ago, McGinn and the Seattle City Council worked out a tentative deal with investors Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza for the use of KeyArena for the 2013-14 season if they can to secure the team and relocate to Seattle.

  2. Who the heck are Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza? I mean, not that the NHL usually cares who its owners are, but I thought the Seattle Times might be, you know, curious.

  3. Probably this guy.

    Back in early 2011 the two were leading a group trying to buy the Mets.

  4. I like Bettman’s new targeted lockout approach. Hey, it worked on the whole league (several times), why not one team at a time?

    A legitimate (?) Seattle buyer is news to me. I thought Quebec City had more of their ducks in a row but who knows. It will be interesting to see how Seattle reacts to trading down to the NHL. From what I’ve read about the Sonics, I think that’s what they really want.

    With a one-week deadline in AZ, I think Seattle is getting played again- only by Coyotes, not Kings. What’s it been, four years of no-deal in AZ? What makes anyone think a deal in Seattle could be in place in time for the NHL to work out a game schedule?

  5. Well, they’d have to move to KeyArena right now, then hope that they could work out a deal with Hansen for his place if and when it gets built. But yeah, that sounds like more useful as a blunt object to threaten Glendale with than as a serious option.

  6. Key Arena might be an option as a temp home for a new Sonics club, but it would be a very poor place to put an NHL team. Regulation ice surface doesn’t fit in there properly… I’m told the ‘upper deck’ seats on one end overhang the goal line, and several rows of rinkside seating have to be taken out as well – meaning that the ice level seats aren’t… (a bit like the T&M in Vegas, you can put ice in, but the fans have their feet level with the top of the boards in the first row).

    If you absolutely knew that Hansen’s building was under construction, maybe you consider it for a year (and maybe keep the team in Glendale and eat the losses there for a year too), but if you aren’t sure a new building is coming, its a big gamble IMO.


    They can open up the upper bowl seats behind those black curtains, but obviously there’s some problems with seeing any goal shots from fans on one side of the rink. Although you’ll be real close to the ice from those seats.