The City Council of Glendale on Wednesday night voted, 5-2, to cancel its arena lease agreement with the Coyotes – a 15-year deal established in July of 2013.
“This was an extremely difficult and painful decision for me and for our City Council. We have worked for months to resolve the inequities in this contract," said Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. " Only recently did we learn that the integrity of the process had been compromised. We can’t and won’t support a contract that favored the sports team over the interests of Glendale citizens. Tonight’s public comment was replete with warnings, litigation threats and the team assured the community that ‘it’s not going to happen’ when asked about the possibility to renegotiate. In a way, I am thankful that our citizens have seen the obstacles we have faced to make this agreement work.”
After the vote, attorney Nicholas Wood said the team would file for injunctive relief and a temporary restraining order, and file a $200 million lawsuit against the City.
"What we have witnessed here tonight is possibly the most shameful exhibition of government I have ever witnessed," Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said. "The citizens of Glendale should be very concerned about the government that they have leading them right now, because this was not appropriate… We have been absolutely wronged this evening by a group that is acting in incredibly bad faith."
He added: "Our view is the team will remain here, but the City is not acting in a business-friendly way and should be ashamed."
While the City Council meeting was taking place, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told Hockey Night in Canada viewers: "I'm not concerned about the Coyotes. If I lived in Glendale, I'd be concerned about my government."
LeBlanc said he was pleased by the number of Coyotes fans who attended the meeting and especially pleased by those who took the time to vocally support the team during the portion of the meeting designated for public comments.
"One thing that was illustrated tonight is that we have fantastic fans,” LeBlanc said. “God love them for coming back to this council chamber after all the times they’ve been in here over the years."
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