It is crunch time yet again in the Phoenix Coyotes ownership saga and it comes at a familiar time for the city of Glendale.
Executives from the National Hockey League and the latest potential Coyotes buyer, Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, will meet with Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers and city councilmembers this week to try and work out an arena management and lease deal at Jobing.com Arena.
The goal is to forge an arena deal that helps Renaissance close on the purchase of the NHL-owned Coyotes and that is acceptable to Weiers and a majority of the council.
The new mayor and council took office in January promising to be more frugal with tax-payer dollars when it comes to arena deals aimed at keeping the Coyotes from moving.
The May-June time frame is also familiar territory in the calendar for the Coyotes ownership soap opera.
May and June of 2010 saw Glendale agree to its first $25 million payment to the NHL to help the league manage the area and absorb some of the team’s costs and loses. Glendale and the NHL also worked during that time frame with ownership bids from Ice Edge Holdings LLC and Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
The 2010 Glendale payment to the NHL came after the league hinted the Coyotes could be sold and moved to Winnipeg.
In May 2011, Glendale also approved another $25 million to pay the NHL to run the arena.
June 2011 saw the end of Chicago investment executive Matthew Hulsizer’s pursuit of the Coyotes. That came after opposition from the Goldwater Institute that scuttled a Glendale bond plan to help Hulsizer’s bid. After that, city officials again started courting Reinsdorf and other bidders.
The same month in 2011 also saw foreclosure notices come out for Westgate City Center, the retail complex adjacent to the Coyotes home arena, as well as the sale and relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg.
The NHL talked to the same group that bought and moved the Thrashers about also buying the Coyotes.
June 2012 saw the first set of controversial city arena deals aimed at helping Greg Jamison buy the team. Those arena deals faced legal and political challenges and Jamison could never get the money together to buy the team.
A year ago also saw the departure of Glendale city manager Ed Beasley from his job. Beasley was the driving force behind building the arena that brought the Coyotes to the West Valley.
He also sought to forge deals to sell the team to Reinsdorf and business partner John Kaites.
Now it’s the end of May and Glendale is feeling the Coyotes heat again.
Bids to manage and market the arena are due into the city on Friday, May 31. Renaissance will definitely be one of the arena bidders. And, the NHL and Coyotes boosters will again be looking to the city to help finalize a sale and keep the team from moving.