NHL to renew Phoenix arena deal for another month

The Globe and Mail

A lone pedestrian walks past Jobing.com Arena (Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press)

Glendale city council will be told Tuesday at an in-camera meeting that the NHL will renew its operating agreement for the Phoenix Coyotes arena for another 31 days as part of its effort to unload the financially crippled team.

The agreement, which was already extended after its original expiration date of July 1, ends at midnight Tuesday. John Shannon of Sportsnet reported the deal will be renewed for another 31 days.

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This is the latest move to keep in motion the halting efforts of Greg Jamison to put together a group to buy the Coyotes. The former president of the San Jose Sharks has been trying for months to raise the $170-million (all currency U.S.) the NHL wants for the Coyotes. The Phoenix Business Journal recently reported Jamison is still $20-million short of the purchase price.Two legal hurdles were cleared recently when petitions that could have seen the $324-million, 20-year lease for Jobing.com Arena overturned were rejected. Jamison needs the money from the management fees in the lease to attract enough lenders and investors to complete the sale.

Glendale city council, which is on its summer hiatus, was summoned to an in-camera meeting Tuesday to deal with the matter, according to city spokeswoman Julie Frisoni. The councillors will receive an update on the sale and the NHL`s intentions from the city manager and a city lawyer as well as advice about what to do next.

But if the NHL is stuck with the Coyotes for another year it is unlikely to receive $25-million from the city for “arena-management fees” this season. The city simply does not have the money and both candidates for mayor as well as many candidates for council seats are opposed to further payments for the team.

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