The Arizona Coyotes will be on the move following the City of Glendale’s decision not to renew the team’s Gila River Arena lease.
UPDATE: The Coyotes have released a statement regarding the City of Glendale’s decision not to renew their lease following the upcoming season.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 19, 2021
Could the Arizona Coyotes be on the move? It sure looks like it as news broke today that the City of Glendale has opted not to renew the team’s lease at the Gila River Arena following the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. The decision comes after months of negotiating between the team and the city.
This will end an 18-year run for the Coyotes in the City of Glendale, Arizona.
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“The decision to not renew the operating agreement with the Coyotes was not made overnight or in a vacuum,” said City Manager Kevin Phelps via AZFamily.com. “We carefully weighed input from key stakeholders, our expert economist, our arena management firm, and our City Council.”
The then-Phoenix Coyotes began play in Arizona to start the 1996 season following a move from Winnipeg where they were established as the Jets in 1972. Since their move to the desert, they seem to have been dealing with various money and stadium issues. Most notably during the last 12 years after entering bankruptcy in 2009. This was preceded by a period of time in which the NHL paid the team’s expenses because of a lack of revenue.
Back in 2016, there were plans to build an arena in Tempe in cooperation with Arizona State University that ultimately fell through leaving the Coyotes with looming stadium issues.
What the future holds for the team is uncertain at this point. Under owner Alex Meruelo, the Coyotes have often been in the news for the wrong reasons both professionally and financially as outlined by The Athletic back in February. How that plays into where the Coyotes play remains to be seen.
Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.