Arizona Coyotes owner Anthony LeBlanc already once declared that there was no way his team could play any longer at Glendale’s arena now that they didn’t manage it (and get paid handsomely for doing so), and then agreed to extend his lease for another year. So it should really be no surprise that, despite vowing not to do it again, LeBlanc’s successor Andrew Barroway has done it again:
“We are absolutely planning to play next season at Gila River Arena and are focused on building a winning hockey team, positively contributing to our community, and achieving success in all aspects of our business,” said Ahron Cohen, the team’s chief operating officer told The Arizona Republic...
The Coyotes had until Dec. 31 to notify AEG, the arena manager, whether the team plans to play elsewhere for the 2018-19 season. If the team does nothing, the lease automatically renews for one more year in Glendale.
Cohen noted the Coyotes have an “evergreen lease,” meaning it can continually renew annually with AEG.
Dale Adams, AEG general manager, said the Coyotes never gave him the impression that they would leave.
“I don’t know where they would go,” Adams said.
That’s an excellent point, since Coyotes arena plans are continuing to go nowhere fast. It’s entirely possible that the team will continue to bumble along (both on-ice and in terms of getting fans to show up) in Glendale for the foreseeable future, since apparently that’s still more lucrative than spending their own money to build a new arena in a better location elsewhere in the Phoenix area, and nobody seems to think that moving to Houston or Quebec, say, would be a better option. This is why one generally shouldn’t believe team move threat ultimatums: On rare occasions they’re true, but at least 90% of the time they’re just hissy fits.