AEG Signed To Manage Gila River Arena

The City Council of Glendale, Ariz., unanimously approved a $28 million, five-year contract for AEG to manage , home of the Arizona Coyotes, April 26.

Photo: Paul Kucher
in Glendale, Ariz. 

The contract guarantees AEG Facilities $5.6 million annually to operate the 20,000 capacity arena, with the first $3 million in profits each year being split down the middle between the city and the company. Additional profits will be divded 75/25 in benefit of the company, according to KJZZ-FM.

Beyond this, $920,000 formerly used for naming rights and rent will also now go to AEG, according to KTAR-FM. The agreement also stipulates that AEG can renegotiate or terminate the deal if the Coyotes leave the arena. Prior to this contract, the Coyotes managed the venue with Spectra. Practical plans regarding the transition between current management and AEG have not yet been announced, but the current two-year agreement reached between the city and the Coyotes is set to expire in 2017.

Coyotes president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said in December that chances were “strong” the team would leave Glendale in the future but likely remain in Arizona.

Following the announcement of the deal, Leblanc stated: “AEG is a company we know well and are in fact partners in the National Hockey League. We look forward to working with them, and will now await official notice from the City of their plans to transfer management of the arena.

“At that point, we will begin the 90 days (or less) transfer process. The Coyotes are committed to playing the 2016-17 NHL regular season at Gila River Arena and remain focused on securing a long term arena solution in the Valley that is based upon a true partnership.”

AEG Facilities COO Chuck Steedman said the company has already had preliminary talks with the Coyotes and has not considered a situation in which the Coyotes leave Gila River Arena. AEG already owns the Los Angeles Kings, as Phillip Anschutz acquired the franchise with Edward Roski in 1995. The Coyotes filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and the team was sold to Renaissance Sports and Entertainment in 2013, although the franchise almost relocated to Seattle when negotiations regarding a lease agreement were delayed.