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Glendale approves Coyotes lease

Phoenix CoyotesAfter a contentious meeting that lasted will into the night, the Glendale City Council approved a $197-million deal that will keep the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) in Arena through 2040.

Under the terms of the lease, Glendale will float bonds backed by the facility and immediately pay new team owner Matthew Hulsizer $100 million, which he will use to buy the Coyotes for $170 million. Over the next five years his group will be paid $97 million to operate the facility for non-sports events like concerts. After that, the Coyotes will have the option to buy the arena or enter into a new management contract.

In return Hulsizer and the Coyotes will commit to a 23-year lease paying around $6 million a year in rent, give up a parking lot containing 5,500 spots, and work to change the name of the team to the Arizona Coyotes.

A big point of discussion: what would happen if the city were sued — as could happen, as the Goldwater Instutute is warning it may take legal action against the agreement under state laws that prohibit undue enrichment of corporations by municipal action — and the lease was voided. The original lease proposal let Hulsizer keep the $100 million; that was changed to allow a 120-day lease rengotiation period.

RELATED STORIES: Could lawsuit sink Glendale arena deal?; Glendale proposal: pay Hulsizer $197M to run $170M team

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