The City of Glendale and the Coyotes’ prospective buyer have done what many thought impossible. Multiple sources have confirmed that the two sides have bridged a $9 million annual gap on an arena lease agreement and the proposal will be presented at the Glendale City Council executive session on Tuesday. Details of the proposal were not forthcoming, but while the city has only approved $6 million in its budget to manage the arena, 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. RSE needs about $15 million annually to manage the arena. The additional revenue streams will, in some manner, account for the difference between the amount RSE is seeking and the amount Glendale has budgeted, although specifics are not known. Councilmember Gary Sherwood said the council will review the proposal on Tuesday and possibly suggest some alterations, and then it is expected to be added to the agenda for the City Council meeting on June 25, possibly for a vote. If the council can’t sift through all of the information it has in time for a vote on June 25, it’s possible the process could be delayed until July. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly recently told Sherwood that if the NHL were confident a deal was forthcoming, it would be amenable to waiting until early July. However, Sherwood noted that a special city council voting meeting has been added on June 28, at which time a vote could also take place. The next step, and likely the last major hurdle in the process, is the council vote, which will require four "yes" votes out of seven. Sherwood has been preparing a report that examines the financial implications for the city with and without the Coyotes that he will present to council members on Tuesday. Based on his task force’s findings, the Coyotes remaining in Arizona would mean about $1.5 million more annually for the city. If the council does not approve RSE’s bid, Daly indicated recently to Sherwood that there are a number of options for relocation. Quebec is considered a fallback option because the league would prefer to procure a lucrative expansion fee from that city. A league source said this week that renderings of a reconfigured Key Arena in Seattle have been circulating, and a report from Seattle said the chilling system and ice-making equipment are currently operational at the arena, which means it could serve as a temporary home while groups begin working on getting a new arena built. Key Arena would only seat about 11,000 people for hockey. But the memorandum of understanding for a new Seattle arena calls for an NBA franchise to be acquired in order to begin construction. It would likely have to be amended in order to begin construction for an NHL franchise. Even without an immediate new arena, multiple sources believe Seattle is a good Plan B because it is a solid financial market, it has a thriving youth hockey program that has been strong for at least four decades and it’s the perfect location for the league’s realignment plan -- some would argue it’s a better location than Phoenix given the travel requirements of Western Conference teams. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has made no secret of his admiration for Seattle, but the first option was and still is Phoenix. If the Glendale City Council is unable to vote on a new deal before the new fiscal year begins on July 1, it is possible the city could ask the NHL to continue to manage the arena on a monthly basis until a deal is secured, Sherwood said. Again, that would require assurances that a deal is forthcoming.
Glendale, RSE bridge gap on Coyotes deal; vote pending
Fox Sports Arizona | Jun 15