Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 06/22/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Just like most games of the Stanley Cup final so far, the city council here is headed to overtime to see whether it can reach a deal to keep the Phoenix Coyotes.
But the fact talks will now continue beyond Friday -- which one local columnist had described as "D-Day" for the future of the Coyotes -- could signal a blow to Seattle's hopes the club might relocate there.
An executive session of the Glendale city council met Friday morning and a spokesperson emerged just after noon to say talks would continue into early next week with prospective new owners of the National Hockey League club. The sides have been given until July 2 to formally approve an arena lease agreement, or the league has warned of a Plan B option that includes relocating the Coyotes to Seattle in time for next season.
City of Glendale spokesperson Julie Watters said the council remains hopeful a tentative agreement can be reached early next week, given a public vetting and then voted on at a July 2 meeting in time to meet the NHL's deadline.
"This is not the type of decision that can be made in a couple of hours," Watters said, adding she expects some type of announcement no later than Tuesday. "As you have all seen, this is taking hours and hours, with lots of questions and thoughts and ideas and comments being put together. So, again, we're hoping early next week that we're going to have some specific details that we can talk about."
That discussions are continuing into next week is an indication of movement behind the scenes toward reaching a deal. Had talks completely collapsed Friday -- as some feared they might -- the hope of reviving them in time to meet the NHL's deadline would have been slim.
Some councillors favor giving any deal a weeklong public vetting before a final council vote, though bylaws require only a minimum of 72 hours. To have a one-week public discussion, and vote by July 2, details of a tentative lease agreement would have to be released by Tuesday.
The NHL has owned the Coyotes since they sought bankruptcy protection four years ago. The team's current potential buyers, Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, need to first reach a separate lease deal with the city to use municipally owned Jobing.com Arena -- home of the Coyotes since 2003.
Renaissance is said to be seeking up to $15 million per year in revenue guarantees from the city. The city has budgeted for only $6 million and the sides are seeking ways to bridge the gap.
If they can't do it, the NHL has warned it could sell the team to New York hedge fund investors Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza, who would move the Coyotes to Seattle. But the feasibility of such a move remains in question, given the Coyotes would have to play in a temporary facility -- 11,000-seat KeyArena being the most likely choice -- and hope a new arena could be built.
As of now, there are no plans for that, though a memorandum of understanding between the city and businessman Chris Hansen had been signed allowing for an arena project if Hansen can secure an NBA franchise. Officials say the memorandum could be modified to allow the project to proceed if an NHL team is landed, but the likelihood of getting it done before teams open training camp in September is far from certain.
This was the second time in three days the seven-member council had met behind closed doors.
-- The Seattle Times
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 22, 2013 C5
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
LA Kings erase 3-goal deficit, move past Blues 6-4
Tennyson, Goodrow lead Sharks past Oilers
Beleskey leads Ducks in 2-1 win over Habs
Fehr's OT goal lifts Capitals over Blue Jackets
Bolland gets winner in SO as Panthers beat Flyers
Comeau leads Penguins over Avalanche 1-0, OT
Faulk has goal, assist in Canes' win over Leafs
Jets' ailing defence suffers another blow
NHL seeks to reduce its carbon footprint
Oilers, Barons end affiliation agreement
Predators place F Viktor Stalberg on waivers
Penguins star Crosby nearing return from mumps
Senators release Lazar to play for Canada
Vet looks to return to Flyers lineup
Lehtonen the difference early for Stars
Lehtonen, Stars shutout Canucks 2-0
Eriksson's OT goal gives Bruins 3-2 win vs. Wild
Ottawa's Anderson makes 34 saves, blanks Devils
Habs face choices as Galchenyuk shines
NHL fines Predators forward Neal for diving
Crosby returns to ice, 3 Penguins tested for mumps
Sabres return Grigorenko to AHL Rochester
Panthers outlast Capitals in longest NHL shootout
Hamonic helping kids heal
Coyotes pull out 2-1 win over Oilers in OT
Rick Nash powers Rangers past Flames 5-2
Kane's late goal lifts Blackhawks past Wild 5-3
Roy's SO goal lifts Preds to 3-2 win over Bruins
Panthers outlast Capitals in longest NHL shootout
Tarasenko scores 3 in Blues' comeback win over LA
Jenner, Johansen lift Columbus over Detroit in SO
Bernier solid in Leafs' 6-2 win over Ducks
Stamkos, Johnson lead Lightning past Flyers 3-1
Blackhawks D Keith to miss game versus Wild
Isles delay hospital visits due to mumps outbreak
Penguins Bennett joins Crosby sidelined with mumps
Sabres, Blue Jackets swap minor-league forwards