Greg Jamison took another step toward keeping the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona when councillors in the suburban city of Glendale put a payment of $17-million (all currency U.S.) into their preliminary budget for the 2013 fiscal year.
The payment is called an "arena management fee" for Jobing.com Arena that is necessary to help cover the NHL team's massive annual losses. The Arizona Republic has the details on the fee, which will probably be included in the budget that will be voted on Tuesday night.
At this point, four of the seven councillors indicated they will support the annual payment, although a formal lease for the arena is not in sight. The NHL said last week it tentatively agreed to sell the team to Jamison, the former president of the San Jose Sharks, as long as he reached a lease agreement with Glendale. One councillor told the Republic she expects a lease agreement to be struck by the time council meets on Tuesday.
Glendale officials are struggling with a $35-million shortfall in the budget and announced earlier this week that as many as 49 city employees will be laid off. Property taxes will be raised and there will be cuts to city services.