Arizona Coyotes owner Anthony LeBlanc made his long-awaited announcement yesterday about new arena plans, and it’s that: He’s picked a site, but he’s not saying where it is. Seriously:
Coyotes president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said Thursday afternoon that the team has chosen a site for its new arena and is working through the legal documentation of the real estate agreement.
LeBlanc declined to provide any other details, or name the site.
This is officially the weakest non-announcement ever, especially since there’s no way even to know if he’s telling the truth about having settled on a site. (I suppose the people he’s working out the real estate agreement with know, but if he later switches to another site before revealing what it is, how will anyone on the outside tell?) Technically, it’s an announcement in advance of tonight’s NHL draft, which is what LeBlanc promised, but it’s still not much more than waving a piece of paper in the air and claiming it has specifics on it.
It’s still pretty likely that the report from earlier this week is correct and LeBlanc is aiming for a site in Scottsdale that’s part of the Salt River Pima Indian Reservation, but it’s also possible that he isn’t, or that he is but he’ll change his mind later if a better offer comes along. I’ve been saying for a while that LeBlanc’s best leverage here is to get a bidding war going among various Phoenix-area governments, and it sure looks like he’s trying to drag that war out as long as possible.