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What's next for the Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation?
The Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation has been a stress-inducer for local hockey fans, the National Hockey League, and Glendale residents and elected officials. Earlier this summer it seemed that former San Jose Sharks president Greg Jamison was ready to take over, but more complications popped up, both with Jamison and the City of Glendale. The NHL wants to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, but that may be a financial challenge. To make matters even more convoluded, the NHL may be on the verge of a labor-related player lockout, just a few weeks before training camps are set to open.
Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, elected in 1993 and now in her final months of office, is saddened by the current situation. She said the City of Glendale's finances are being drained by this winding road. The city council is divided on the issue, and Scruggs said she doesn't think the lease agreement is sustainable. She would like to see the Coyotes remain in Glendale and believes the NHL wants that as well.
Glendale activist Ken Jones led an effort to have the city's voters decide whether to approve a more than $300 million, 20-year arena management deal with potential Coyotes owner Ken Jamison. Jones is concerned with the cost of deal and what the citizens will lose as a result. However, he was not able to get enough signatures to get his initiative on the ballot.
Arizona Republic reporter Lisa Halverstadt covers the City of Glendale and the Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation. She interviewed Jamison, who said he has his finances in order and is ready to move forward, but needs the City of Glendale to sign the deal. Halverstadt said one hang-up may be the potential lockout situation. The current deal would pay Jamison $10-20 million per year to operate Jobbing.com Arena. She said the NHL has told her the goal is to keep the team in Glendale. Halverstadt said the looming ownership issue has had an impact on fan interest.