Coyotes Take Glendale To Court

The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes face off against the city of Glendale in court after officials last week voted to end a 15-year, $225 million deal with the team.

Photo: Paul Kucher
in Glendale, Ariz. 

A Superior Court judge granted a request from the Coyotes June 12 for a temporary injunction to keep the city from going through with the termination, the Arizona Republic reported. City councilors who’d voted to dissolve the deal claim the team’s 2013 hiring of a former city attorney as general counsel violated a state conflict-of-interest law.

The team fired back in court documents obtained by the paper, noting that the decision damages the Coyotes’ relationships with sponsors, vendors, fans and others, and also diminishes the Coyotes’ ability to attract free agents.

“Fan and team loyalty has suffered and will continue to suffer,” the documents state. But the city may still be open to keeping the team around. In a statement, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said he was open to continuing negotiations. “An opportunity for the two of us to discuss the issues has presented itself, and I am optimistic that with continued dialogue we can come to an agreement that satisfies both parties,” Weiers said.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 29. Should Glendale and the Coyotes fail to reach an agreement, there’s another city that appears poised to make the team an offer – Las Vegas. Insurance businessman Bill Foley and his partners the Maloof brothers, who previously owned the NBA’s Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings, have already collected more than 13,000 season-ticket commitments for the under-construction MGM-AEG arena being built on the Strip, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“I’m sure Mr. Foley is aware of the (Coyotes arena situation) and is exploring his options,” Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak told the paper. “This gives Mr. Foley and the Maloofs more flexibility.”

Foley was reported to have said previously he’d prefer to start a new team rather than buying an existing franchise, but perhaps he’d reconsider if the price was right for the Coyotes.