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Glendale picks AEG to manage Gila River Arena, still hopes to keep Coyotes

Coyotes Future Hockey

FILE - In this April 12, 2011, file photo, the Arena, home of the NHL hockey Phoenix Coyotes, sits empty before a Stanley Cup playoff game in Glendale, Ariz. The city of Glendale has called for a special meeting on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, to determine whether to end an arena lease agreement with the Coyotes, further clouding the team’s future in the desert.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


The City of Glendale has not given up on keeping the Coyotes.

That’s the main takeaway of today’s news that the city has selected AEG to manage Gila River Arena.


The Coyotes currently hold the contract to manage the arena. The Coyotes had the option to submit a proposal to the city to continue to manage it, but the team opted not to participate. AEG and two other global management firms submitted proposals.

New Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps said he hasn’t given up on keeping the Coyotes.

AEG executives and city officials plan to meet with team owners in the coming weeks in an attempt to persuade them to stay. “We still think the story is far from written,” Phelps told The Arizona Republic on Wednesday

For the past few months, the Coyotes have been pursuing alternative arena options, while noting there’s a been “strong voicing from our fanbase and from our sponsors that if we had an opportunity they’d really like to see us back in downtown Phoenix or in the east side of the Valley.”

AEG owns 50 percent of the Los Angeles Kings. It also owns the Staples Center, where the Kings play, and manages a number of other NHL arenas.

The Coyotes’ lease in Glendale expires after next season.

Related: Coyotes expect to make arena announcement by end of regular season