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Coyotes' future just a blip on Phoenix sports radar

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WINNIPEG - While Winnipeg hockey fans wait anxiously for the result of tonight's vote by Glendale city council, the metropolitan Phoenix area is not as enthralled.

The seven-member council of Glendale, Arizona will vote tonight on a proposal to allow city manager De Beasley to satisfy all the NHL's requirements to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona for the 2010-11 season. One of those requirements is believed to be covering off the club's losses, expected to be $20 million or more.

The vote is expected to pass, allowing Glendale more time - as much as another year - to work with the NHL to find someone to keep the team in Arizona. If that effort fails, the club could move to Winnipeg or elsewhere.

Metroplpolitan Phoenix is less than engrossed with the saga. The NHL ranks sixth or seventh among the most popular sporting leagues in the region, after the NBA, NFL, major-league baseball, college football and college basketball.

The latest story in the Arizona Republic about the Coyotes' possible relocation takes up five paragraphs in a round-up of briefs on Page B2.

About 100 fans in Coyotes jerseys are expected at tonight's meeting, but the loss of the team may amount to a shrug to most Phoenix residents.

The issue of spending tax dollars on a pro hockey team is also not contentious to many residents of greater Phoenix, as Glendale accounts for only 253,000 of the roughly 3.5 million people in the region.

 

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