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Glendale Extends AEG’s Gila River Arena Management Contract

Gila River Arena

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Glendale, AZ has extended AEG Facilities’ Gila River Arena management contract into the summer of 2026. 

AEG has been operating Gila River Arena for the last two years, and had three years remaining on an original five-year agreement with the city. Under the terms of that agreement, the city manager was given an option that would allow for a five-year extension.

Glendale city manager Kevin Phelps revealed on Wednesay that he has authorized the extension, effectively carrying AEG’s Gila River Arena management contract until June 30, 2026. The extension allows the current revenue-sharing terms to remain in place, but includes a condition that AEG install a new LED lighting system in the arena. Improving financial numbers were a reason behind Glendale’s decision to extend the agreement, while AEG believes that there is momentum behind Gila River Arena and the surrounding area. More from The Arizona Republic:

Dale Adams, who manages the arena for the Los Angeles-basedAEG, said the company realizes the huge potential for the arena, Westgate Entertainment District and Glendale, and wants to be involved.

“In my eyes,” he said, “It was pretty simple. There is so much potential for growth in this area.”

Phelps said the city has been pleased with the arrangement, especially after bringing in more revenue from the arrangement than expected for the last two years.

The city collected $1.6 million after the first season and $1.68 million after the second season, after expecting $1 million. Because it paid $5.6 million in management fees each year, its net loss was $4 million the first year and $3.92 million the second.

That’s a sizable improvement from a net loss of just under $10 million in fiscal 2015 and a net loss of $22.8 million in fiscal 2011, which The Arizona Republic previously reported.

Gila River Arena is home to the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, but is used for plenty of other events as well, as concerts there have been particularly successful in recent years. The city ended an agreement with the Coyotes to manage the arena in 2015. The team is currently playing at Gila River Arena on a year-to-year lease with the city and has expressed an interest in landing a new facility, but there is no firm proposal for a new arena on the table at this point.

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