Coyotes’ biggest question: Is there a future in Glendale?
Even Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc “can’t sit here and predict what the future is going to bring.”
Maybe the club works out a long-term deal to play in its current home in Glendale. That would be the team’s preference.
Or, maybe the Coyotes partner up with the NBA’s Suns to get a new arena built in downtown Phoenix.
The other option, of course, is relocation. Perhaps to Seattle. Or possibly Portland.
What’s for sure is that the Coyotes have just two seasons left on their renegotiated agreement with the City of Glendale, so the clock is ticking.
“I do think it works here, but look, it’s only a two-year deal,” LeBlanc conceded to Yahoo Sports. “It would be foolish for us to not listen to expressions of interest of other potential spots in the Valley, but we do believe in Glendale. We always have.”
Speculation that the Coyotes could move into a new downtown arena, along with the Suns, gained momentum during the hockey team’s recent legal spat with the City of Glendale. In June, Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton said that he’d reached out to both the Coyotes and Suns and that “both sides want to engage in conversations.”
Whether or not something will come of that remains to be seen. Even if both sides have an interest, it’s not clear what kind of deal the Coyotes could get as a co-tenant in an arena that’s owned by the City of Phoenix. Safe to say it wouldn’t be quite as fruitful as the one they originally got from Glendale, the one that kept them from moving, before that contract was canceled.
Whatever the Coyotes end up doing, certainty can’t come soon enough for a franchise that’s been in limbo for what seems like forever.
“I would like to see us structure something with the City of Glendale on an extended basis sometime over this next year,” LeBlanc told the Arizona Republic in late July, “because I don’t want to go into free agency next year having (general manager) Don (Maloney) dealing with the same uncertainty he was dealing with this year.”