Local Business Owners Worry About Glendale's Conflict With Arizona Coyotes

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 6:17pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 7:59pm
Alexandra Olgin/KJZZ
Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, Arizona.
(Alexandra Olgin - KJZZ News)
Owner Adam Kariotoglou opened Opa Greek Life Cafe in Glendale last December.

Glendale city officials didn’t say much after a closed-door meeting Tuesday, but indicated the city will defend itself in a lawsuit with the Arizona Coyotes.

Last week, the city council voted to end the contract with the hockey team. It’s a decision business owners near the arena were not happy to hear.

Opa Greek Life Cafe is about 300 feet away from Gila River Arena. On nights when the Coyotes have a game…

“We have a line out the door," said owner Adam Kariotoglou. "After the games out the same thing occurs, line out the door.”

Kariotoglou said he sells 70 percent more food and drinks on game days. He opened the restaurant at Westgate Entertainment District in December because of the foot traffic from the arena. 

“47, 48 games plus playoffs," he said. "Coyotes also provide concerts. I think there is a couple dozen concerts a year. So you are talking a huge, huge revenue stream.”

Kariotoglou thought the lease agreement was going to be in place for another 13 years. Interim Assistant City Manager Tom Duensing said the lawsuit isn’t about hockey, it’s about the law.

“We continue to believe in the strength of our case and those facts will come out," Duensing said. "Over time, those facts can only come out in the appropriate venue. That venue is in the court of law.”

Glendale is citing a conflict of interest law as the reason for ending the contract. Last Friday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge issued an order that temporarily keeps the contract in place until a hearing for an injunction is at the end of July.

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