PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey said he would like to see the Arizona Coyotes remain in the state, but the problem between the team and Glendale is a city issue, not a state matter.
“I’d like to see them stay here, but right now, the ball is in Glendale’s court,” he said Thursday.
At a special session Wednesday, Glendale voted to terminate its 15-year, $225-million lease agreement with the Coyotes. The city has said it wants to renegotiate the contract, but the team said there is no chance.
Ducey said he wants to see the city make smart — and difficult — financial decisions, but also realize what it takes to hold on to a professional sports franchise.
“What I want to see is what’s in the best interest of the state, and when you can keep a professional franchise here and they can make the proper decisions to do that, I’m all for it,” he said. “I’m very curious as to what their solution set is.”
Calling Arizona a “major-league state,” Ducey said the sports fan in him wants the Coyotes to continue to call Arizona home.
“I think any sports fan would like to see the Coyotes stay,” he said. “We’ll probably see a Blackhawks victory in this year’s Stanley Cup, but in future years, we’d like to see a Coyotes victory.”
But ultimately, Ducey said his office will only deal with the situation when it’s presented to his office. Until then, the battle will be fought in the West Valley.
“This is a Glendale issue,” he said. “Let’s see what Glendale solutions they have.”
KTAR’s Bob McClay contributed to this report.
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