It was an unanimous vote for the Glendale City Council on Tuesday night, but the NHL was guaranteed up to $25 million to keep the Phoenix Coyotes hockey club in the Jobing.com arena throughout the 2010-2011 NHL season.
The NHL requested that Glendale ensures that costs can be covered to maintain the team’s existence in Arizona while a new buyer is found. City manager Ed Beasley and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that a sale is expected by the end of June and said that the payments would not be needed if the ale goes through as planned.
“From our perspective, this is nothing more than an insurance policy,” said Daly. “Trying to keep the Coyotes where we believe they belong, which is in the city of Glendale, for the long term.”
Beasley said that the NHL would not be a tax on the residents of Glendale, which is good news because it’s hard to find anyone in Glendale that would actively support their tax dollars going to cover a…hockey….team?
In all reality, it’s thought that the money to cover the team will have to come from the establishment of a community facilities district of nearby businesses that benefit from having the ‘Yotes at the Jobing.com arena.
In typical American showboating fashion, one councilman said that he was planning on opposing the motion until a young boy draped in a Coyotes jersey “softened his heart” and turned his vote around. The story is sure to be marketed as a way to prove that the NHL belongs in Phoenix, but something tells me there are several thousand similar soft stories in Winnipeg where the team belongs.
Yeah, I said it.
According to Beasley, both Ice Edge Holdings and a group headed by Chicago’s Jerry Reinsdorf are still talking about putting something out there to purchase the club. Media reports had said that both groups were out of the running, but the NHL insists that this is not the case and that the “mass hysteria” has blocked the facts.
Whatever happens in terms of ownership, it looks hockey will be in Phoenix for at least one more year while the NHL continues to insist they can find a buyer for the hockey club. And I think I can say comfortably without going out on too much of a limb here that Winnipeg fans will be going through this all over again next year.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.