The NHL will act as the arena management team for Jobing.com Arena for another year as the Glendale City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night after three hours of community and council input to approve $25 million of payments to the NHL to arrange for events at the arena, including a guarantee of another full season of Phoenix Coyotes hockey.
Once again, the agreement isn't $25 million up front. Instead, the money goes into an escrow account that will be tapped by the NHL if team losses exceed that amount. Last season, the losses claimed by the NHL were $37 million, so the possibility of the full $25 million being pulled from escrow is strong.
All of this is intended to buy time for the NHL to find a buyer and an arrangement that Glendale, the NHL, the potential buyer (which could still be Matthew Hulsizer), and various litigious parties (which could still include the Goldwater Institute) find amenable. Considering the vile tone towards the latter group in the meeting, that could take some work. Winnipeg waits in the wings.
The meeting itself was largely courteous on the topic, with 27 speakers mostly in support of passing the measure. Those who weren't included economists, Robert's Rules of Order fans, and a Goldwater Institute lawyer. (No cupcakes, sorry!) Those not-so-courteous include the person who threw money onto the floor, the person who demanded NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly leave town, and the person who yelled about a bankrupt city during the break.
The NHL has currently lined up only five events for summer 2011 at Jobing.com Arena, including a Yanni concert and FOX 10 Dance Day.
The Coyotes released the following statement after the vote from COO Mike Nealy:
"On behalf of the entire Phoenix Coyotes organization, we are very pleased that Glendale City Council voted in favor of keeping the Coyotes in the Valley for the upcoming 2011-12 NHL season. We are grateful to Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, City Manager Ed Beasley and Glendale City Council for their unwavering support. The City of Glendale and the National Hockey League are committed to hockey in Arizona and we will continue to work with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and Mayor Scruggs to find a long-term ownership solution that will keep the Coyotes in Glendale for many years to come."