NHL NEWS: Coyotes to remain in Arizona… for now.

Jobing.com Arena sits with the University of Phoenix Stadium in the middle of the desert. Image courtesy of 101thingstodosw.com.

As most of you will know by now, and as per TSN, the City of Glendale Council has agreed to ratify an arena lease agreement with RSE, the prospective owners of the Phoenix Coyotes.  Currently owned by the NHL, the Coyotes have been a state of mass confusion the last several years as to whether they would even exist much longer, but it appears that they will be among the league’s 30 teams for a few years yet.

Glendale Council only just let the motion carry with a 4-3 vote, on a 15 year, $225 million lease with Renaissance Sports & Entertainment.  The Mayor of Glendale was among those expressing extreme concern with the deal, as the City has put a considerable amount of money into running the Arena, racking up debt.  “I don’t know if we’re fixing a problem or delaying a problem,” he said at the special session.

With hockey not being  as popular as sports like the NFL down there — it’s the desert, of course it’s not — coupled with the team struggling on the ice for many seasons until coach Dave Tippett came along, it’s not exactly a recipe for financial success, but kudos to the NHL for standing up for a franchise under threat, and you have to feel happy for the fans they do have.

That said, this does look like it could be a massive mistake for Glendale, due to the financial risks.  I’m no expert in economics and such, so this post by Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy should provide some more information.

And so we move on in this part of the Coyotes’ saga.   I’m one of those odd people who doesn’t actually hate the Desert Dogs, in fact I have a soft spot for them.  They’ve had a turbulent history — as turbulent as life can be for a sports franchise at least — and I enjoyed seeing them finally get some on-ice success under Tippett, despite it not being the most vibrant style of hockey.  There won’t be any relocation to Quebec or Seattle, at least not yet, and the hockey fans in the desert finally have some stability for their Arizona Coyotes.

Oh, I didn’t mention that earlier?  Yeah, they’re renaming the team to the Arizona Coyotes.  Makes sense I suppose, given that the team was located several miles away from Phoenix, but I’m not sure it has quite the same ring to it, do you?


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