Original Source: The Arizona Republic
Phoenix Coyotes fans, including Arizona Sen. John McCain and Westgate business owners, were relieved and joyful Wednesday after the Glendale City Council approved a multimillion-dollar deal that will keep the team in the Valley for at least five years.
National Hockey League executives still have to give formal approval to an investment group called IceArizona to complete its purchase of the team, but NHL executives are expected to approve it by an Aug. 5 deadline.
The Coyotes had played under a giant cloud of uncertainty since 2009, when the NHL bought the franchise in Bankruptcy Court. Potential owners would emerge only to have the deals fall apart. The newest agreement — the last chance for the team to stay in Arizona — calls for Glendale to pay the investment group $15M a year to manage the city-owned arena.
Councilman Manny Martinez said he supported the deal after the potential team buyer offered more financial guarantees to the city, including a partnership with a successful events-management firm and repayment under certain circumstances if team revenue projections don’t pan out.
Several business owners at the meeting said the Coyotes are vital to Westgate, the retail and office complex anchored by the Coyotes arena.
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