The relationship between the Arizona Coyotes and the city of Glendale has seen better days.
Glendale City Council met Wednesday night and voted to cancel its 15-year, $225-million arena lease agreement with the Coyotes that was established in July 2013. Now, the Coyotes are taking legal action.
Coyotes attorney Nick Wood informed Glendale council members the team will file for injunctive relief and a temporary restraining order in addition to a $200-million lawsuit against the city. Wood did not mince words at the Wednesday meeting, telling the council: “If you go ahead with this motion, you will lose this case.”
The team confirmed details of their legal action in a press release.
“What we have witnessed here tonight is possibly the most shameful exhibition of government I have ever witnessed,” Coyotes president, CEO and co-owner Anthony Leblanc told reporters after the vote. “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.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gave his thoughts on the situation during the second intermission of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“I’m actually really not concerned about the Coyotes,” Bettman said on Hockey Night in Canada. “If I lived in Glendale, I would be concerned about my government because all this is about is an attempt to renegotiate a lease that was negotiated in good faith and validly adopted by the city council in Glendale less than two years ago…If this is how Glendale does business, I think they’re going to have far more problems than dealing with the Coyotes.”
Glendale leases Gila River Arena to the Coyotes and pays IceArizona, the club’s ownership group, $15 million annually to manage the arena.
Infographic via The Arizona Republic.