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Glendale approves new lease settlement with Arizona Coyotes

LISTEN: Monica Lindstrom

PHOENIX — In what was nothing more than a formality, the Glendale City Council voted unanimously Friday to approve a lease deal agreement with the Arizona Coyotes.

“This revised agreement represents a positive outcome for both the city and the Coyotes,” Glendale Acting City Manager Dick Bowers said in a Thursday press release. “It also allows us to move forward in a way that keeps an important economic driver in our community.”

Under the agreement — which expires June 30, 2017 — the much-maligned out clause for the team to leave after five years would be removed.

LeBlanc told the council Friday he does not intended to move the team, despite the short-term deal.

“We did not agree to a two-year deal so we could relocate later,” he said, adding the team is not positioning to a get a new arena.

“The Coyotes are committed to Glendale and the state of Arizona … We believe in this market,” he said.

The Coyotes will collect all hockey-related revenue — naming rights and parking and ticketing fees — that went to the city under the original agreement. The city will pay the team $6.5 million, instead of $15 million, annually to manage the arena and has the option of taking over management next year.

The city voted to cancel the agreement in June. Glendale issued a statement prior to the cancellation vote, stating that it was open to resolution, but at a price.

“It must be one that provides certainty and fairness to both parties, especially the taxpayers,” the statement said. “The council has agreed to stand for transparency and the highest standards of ethics for any future agreement with the Coyotes.”

While the city took plenty of backlash from team ownership for backing out on the deal, KTAR legal analyst Monica Lindstrom said court documents showed Glendale may have had a valid case.

Glendale said it originally canceled the lease because of a conflict of interest between then-city attorney Craig Tindall and former assistant city manager and communications director Julie Frisoni. Tindall was hired by the Coyotes after working for the city and Frisoni consulted with the team.

As part of the settlement, Tindall was let go by the Coyotes.