Reports: Coyotes can stay in arena after meeting bill deadline

Arizona Coyotes players and coaches pause on the ice during NHL hockey practice at Gila River Arena, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo)

The Arizona Coyotes have met a deadline for paying bills and will avoid being locked out of their arena, according to multiple reports.

After the Coyotes said all their bills were paid earlier this month, Gila River Arena's management company sent a letter to the team saying it still owed more than $2.706 million for rent and other expenses.

The City of Glendale announced recently that it will not renew its agreement with the franchise beyond the 2021-22 season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called out Glendale at the league's board of governors meeting earlier this month.

“It’s clear that the City of Glendale has either an agenda or an edge in the way they’re dealing with the Coyotes,” Bettman said. “I think there was miscommunication. All of the outstanding obligations have been brought current.”

The Coyotes have played at Gila River Arena since moving from America West Arena, which they shared with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, in downtown Phoenix in 2003.

In September, the Coyotes proposed a $1.7 billion development in Tempe, a city just east of Phoenix, that included a hockey arena, restaurants, shops and apartments on a 46-acre tract of land near the city's downtown.

The team said the arena would be funded by private investors, but would seek city sales tax revenues to help pay for $200 million in additional costs, including infrastructure work.

The city of Tempe said the evaluation process would take several months and will include extensive examinations, with opportunities for community feedback.

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