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Glendale rehires manager for Arizona Coyotes arena, pending council approval

PHOENIX — Glendale has rehired a company to manage Gila River Arena, the home of the Arizona Coyotes, the city said Wednesday.

In a press release, the city said it selected AEG Facilities to manage Gila River Arena. The selection still needs to be approved by both the mayor and city council.

Los Angeles-based AEG operates 120 venues worldwide, including the Staples Center, which is the home of the Los Angeles Kings and both L.A. basketball franchises.

“Making Gila River Arena a top facility in North America while supporting the Coyotes and synergies with Westgate Entertainment District is a priority for the city and a vision AEG shares with us,” Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps said in the release.

AEG operated Gila River Arena from 2006 to 2009.

This is good for the taxpayers, good for local business and the best option for keeping the Coyotes in Glendale in the current state-of-the-art facility,” Phelps said.

In a statement, Coyotes co-owner and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said the organization is looking forward to working with AEG.

Glendale and the Coyotes agreed to a two-year lease agreement in June after a protracted legal battle that began when the city cancelled its original 15-year, $225 million lease agreement with the team. Glendale claimed the team had broken its agreement by hiring several former city employees.

At the time, LeBlanc told the Glendale City Council he did not intend 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.

However, the team is now exploring arena options and LeBlanc told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug & Wolf that talks for a new home have turned, “relatively serious in the last couple of weeks.”

The city hopes to have the deal with AEG finalized within 60 days.

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