There was a big ol’ showdown in the Wild, Wild West last night.
The city of Glendale, Arizona voted 5-2 to bail on its agreement with the Arizona Coyotes, just two years into a 15-year lease. In the deal, the city pays the NHL club $15 million a year to operate its arena where the Desert Dogs are the main tenant.
The meeting was colourful with one of the co-owners of the team scolding the mayor and council. There were taxpayers who were miffed with the whole arrangement in the first place, and passionate Coyote fans sporting jerseys and crowing about how great the team was in the community.
After the vote, the team threatened litigation. All this while the NHL’s premier event, game four of the Stanley Cup final was going on in Chicago.
The whole stage show could have been avoided; as it was revealed a couple of hours before the “landmark meeting,” the city would be willing to renegotiate a new deal with the club.
Andrew Barroway became the majority owner of the ‘Yotes in December. He had never sat down with the mayor since taking over the club until Monday of this week.
The special meeting was leaked to the media and the NHL got annoyed. The people in Seattle, make that a smattering of people in Seattle, and plenty more in Quebec City got their hopes up about getting the troubled Coyotes. The media groaned about another Coyotes woe is me tale.
And it all could have been avoided with just one phone call, not a text. Either by the city, “Hey we are not fond of this arrangement.” Or by the team, “Nice to meet you, we are the new owners, why don’t we have lunch and get to know each other.”
Instead of exchanging pleasantries, the relationship gets off to a horrible start with each side dissing each other.
Although the grandstanding was tres entertaining, all sides should