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Glendale to cover Coyotes losses — for now

Phoenix Coyotes

The Glendale (Az.) City Council will spend up to $25 million to keep the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes at Arena for the 2010-2011 season — but where the team ends up after that is still under debate.

The council will spend up to $25 million on the franchise, which is still owned by the NHL, to cover losses next season. If a buyer is found for the Coyotes, then the city’s liabilities will end.

The NHL has been unable to find a buyer for the Coyotes. Both Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls, and Ice Edge Holdings have put in bids for the team, but both bids have had serious strings attached: Reinsdorf, for instance, made his bid conditional on the city covering any operating losses for the foreseeable future. Still, discussions are ongoing, and NHL officials say they expect a sale to take place this summer. Famous last words.

The agreement means for now the franchise will not return to Winnipeg, as the league’s contingency plan included a move to MTS Centre for the 2010-2011 season; two schedules were prepared for the coming season, with one have the team play out of Winnipeg.

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