San Tan Valley Area Information

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Glendale City Council votes to end arena lease agreement with Coyotes

"We're disappointed w/ City's decision to violate its obligations under agreement that was entered into only 2 years ago," Coyotes' co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc tweeted shortly after the vote. "We'll exhaust any & all legal remedies against Glendale for this blatant violation of its contractual obligation to us."

Members who voted in favor of dissolving the deal cited a state statute that allows an agency to cancel a contract if an employee directly involved with the agreement becomes an employee or agent to the other party. At issue was the Coyotes' hiring of former city attorney Craig Tindall as general counsel in 2013.

"We've all taken a beating tonight here, and I think it's all unjust because most of the fans don't understand the complexity of this issue," Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers said before being interrupted by several Coyotes fans in attendance. "The complexity of this issue is the fact that you don't have all the information. When you have more information, I think you will have a better understanding."

"This is a blatant attempt to renege on a valid contract that was negotiated fairly and in good faith and in compliance with all laws and procedures," said Nick Wood, of the Law Firm Snell & Wilmer, in a statement on behalf of the Arizona Coyotes before the vote. "In the event the City Council initiates any action to revoke, repeal or otherwise rescind the agreement, the Coyotes will immediately take all actions available to them under the law against the City of Glendale."

The Coyotes' co-owner, president and CEO, Anthony LeBlanc calls the move to end the agreement "completely ludicrous" and said they weren't notified of the meeting except for the city's website.

"The City of Glendale is displaying a complete lack of good faith, business acumen or an understanding of a business partnership," LeBlanc said in a statement. "We want to reassure our great fans that the Arizona Coyotes are committed to Glendale and playing at Gila River Arena."

The city had said it was open to renegotiating the 15-year, $225 million agreement that was signed after IceArizona bought the Coyotes from the NHL in 2013. The franchise, however, was not interested.

Nick Wood, the Coyotes' outside counsel, said the team will file for injunctive relief, a temporary restraining order, and file a $200 million lawsuit against the city.

"What we have witnessed here tonight is possibly the most shameful exhibition of government I have ever witnessed," LeBlanc said. "The citizens of Glendale should be very concerned about the government that they have leading them right now, because this was not appropriate."

 

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