Arizona Coyotes Sue Glendale After Council Vote to End Lease

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The Arizona Coyotes sued the city of Glendale after the council voted two days ago to cancel the National Hockey League team’s arena lease over a purported conflict of interest during negotiations.

The owners of the team, formerly known as the Phoenix Coyotes, are trying to stop the city from going through with the cancellation. The team will sustain $200 million in losses if it loses its lease, according to the complaint filed Friday in state court in Phoenix.

The Coyotes allege that the city is using the fact that the team’s general counsel, Graig Tindall, was Glendale’s city attorney until early 2013 to get out of the agreement. Tindall didn’t help negotiate or draft the lease agreement with the city in 2013, the Coyotes said.

The Coyotes play their home games at the Gila River Arena in the Phoenix suburb. The Arizona Republic reported last year the city was receiving less money that it had expected under the 15-year lease signed in 2013 and that some council members had been calling to renegotiate the lease with IceArizona, the team’s owners.

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said he intends to hold a closed-door session on the matter before sending an official letter to the Coyotes confirming the council’s vote.

“I am optimistic that with continued dialogue we can come to an agreement that satisfies both parties,” Weiers said in a statement posted on the city’s website.

Tamra Ingersoll, a spokeswoman for the city, declined to comment further on the lawsuit.

The case is IceArizona Manager Co. v. City of Glendale, CV2015-007216, Maricopa County Superior Court (Phoenix).

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