Yet Another Coyotes Ownership Update: Lease Extension

By Jaime Eisner

On Tuesday, the National Hockey League and the City of Glendale agreed to add a 31-day extension to their current lease agreement at no cost. The lease will now expire at the end of August or when Greg Jamison signs the city council approved new lease.

The last couple days have been interesting for the Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation. On Monday, a Maricopa County judge sided (mostly) with the City of Glendale regarding the initiative seeking to put the city council approved sales tax increase on the ballot. The opposition to the city now has five business days, from July 30, to appeal the decision to the Arizona Supreme Court. While the sales tax is not legally tied into the Coyotes deal, the extra revenue will make it easier for the city to make the arena management fee payments.

Last week, a report by Forbes surfaced that Jamison may be $20 million short of the NHL’s asking price. The Forbes article cited “sports bankers” as the source for this knowledge. The NHL continues to insist that Jamison does indeed have the funds to purchase the team and that they are continuing to push forward to complete the sale.

The sales tax initiative was and is the last pending pre-lease concern for Glendale and Jamison after the lease referendum was rejected a couple weeks ago. The Jamison group may be waiting for the final shoe to drop on the initiative before finalizing the purchase of the team. A legal challenge to the lease still may be brought on by the Goldwater Institute if the group feels that the lease violates the Arizona gift clause. The institute remains unsure if they will challenge the lease but will only be able to do so once the lease is signed.

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