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New Phoenix Coyotes lease not yet official

Edmonton Oilers v Phoenix Coyotes

of the Edmonton Oilers of the Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL game at Arena on April 3, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.

Christian Petersen

The Phoenix Coyotes and the city of Glendale, Arizona have not yet officially altered the lease that is hampering the sale of the franchise. Rebekah Sanders of the Arizona Republic writes that - contrary to what was reported by ESPN -the city has “not officially ‘approved’ proposals because the discussions have occurred only during private meetings” and that nothing is final until a public vote.

The council was scheduled for another private executive session on Tuesday. Elected officials can give broad guidance to staff at such meetings.

But the council must vote at a public meeting to finalize any changes to the current Arena lease so that taxpayers can see what is being offered. The next regularly scheduled public meeting is April 13. It is unclear whether the council will vote on a lease then.

...The city has the authority to call a special meeting on emergency measures with 24 hours’ notice.

But a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that the city must make available all records of negotiations with potential new Coyotes owners prior to a vote to give the “institute sufficient time to analyze and bring to the attention of the public . . . any proposed changes to the lease of Arena . . . and comment on any proposed concessions and incentives offered.”

Well, it certainly would be interesting if more information about the negotiations were made public.

This isn’t to say that a promising breakthrough is for naught; instead, it just shows what many people probably guessed already: this saga is far from over. As you may know, the two major parties looking to own the team are Ice Edge Holdings and a group led by Jerry Reinsdorf. Sanders wrote that the lease can be approved even if more than one group is looking to own the team, so this hiccup could be little more than a formality.

We’ll keep an eye on the Coyotes’ ownership (or lack thereof) situation as it develops. Stay tuned.