The Phoenix Coyotes are one step away from having a new owner and a permanent home in Arizona. The Glendale City Council approved the updated arena management agreement on Tuesday night and the table has been set for Greg Jamison’s group to buy the National Hockey League’s orphaned franchise, per a recent report.
The city approved the arena management agreement by a 4-2 vote and gave Jamison’s group until January 31, 2013 to finalize the purchase of the Coyotes. A valid arena management agreement was the main hindrance in getting the team sold.
Essentially, Glendale will spend an average of $15 million annually to maintain Jobing.com Arena for the Coyotes. The 20-year agreement will cost the city approximately $308 million.
Glendale can recover some of their annual arena costs in a few ways. The city will receive $2.75 per ticket sold for Coyotes’ games for the first five-years of the deal and during the remaining 15-years of the agreement they will receive $3.00 per ticket. The city will also receive 15% of the naming rights for Jobing.com Arena.
The Coyotes will have to pay rent to use the arena. For the first five-years of the deal they will pay Glendale $500,000 annually in rent. For years six through twelve the rent is $650,000 per year and for the final eight-years of the contract the rent is bumped up to $800,000 annually.
Jamison, a former executive with the San Jose Sharks, is leading a group that is attempting to purchase the franchise from the NHL. The NHL has owned the Coyotes since 2009 because the club’s prior owner, Jerry Moyes, who was forced to dump the team after he filed for bankruptcy.
Currently the NHL is in a lockout, due to the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association, and all regular season games through December 14 have been canceled. Beyond the cancellation of 422 regular season games, the NHL also canceled the Winter Classic and the NHL All Star Game Weekend.
If Jamison’s group takes ownership of the Coyotes, while the lockout continues, they will pay Glendale $60,000 per canceled game at Jobing.com Arena.
There was one facet of the recently passed arena management agreement that will finally correct the geography of the franchise. According to section 8.6.5, “The Team Owner shall use commercially reasonable efforts to have the name of the Team changed to the “Arizona Coyotes” as soon as is commercially feasible.”
It never made sense to me, and I can’t read a map, that the Phoenix Coyotes played in Glendale, Ariz. Someday soon this geographic anomaly will be no more and the Coyotes will have a permanent home in Arizona. Maybe those rumors about the franchise moving to Quebec, Seattle or Kansas City will finally go away too.