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Glendale to vote on whether to kill arena deal with Coyotes

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Fans line up outside of Gila River Arena last season.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Fans line up outside of Gila River Arena last season.

The City of Glendale, Ariz., will consider whether to end its arena lease agreement with the Arizona Coyotes in a special meeting Wednesday.

The meeting calls for the city council to consider whether to cancel the professional services and arena lease agreement between Glendale and IceArizona, which co-owns the Coyotes with Andrew Barroway.

Glendale currently leases Gila River Arena to the Coyotes and pays IceArizona, the team ownership group, $ 15 million annually to manage the arena. The deal is worth $ 225 million over 15 years and was just approved officially by the NHL’s board of governors on Dec. 31.

Wednesday’s meeting agenda references an Arizona statute that allows an agency to cancel a contract if an employee significantly involved with the agreement becomes an employee or agent of the other party to the contract.

Coyotes officials denied being in breach of the contract.

“This action by the City of Glendale is completely ludicrous, especially in light of the fact that myself and Andrew Barroway visited with the City (Monday) and the particulars of this were never raised,” Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc said in a statement. “In fact, we to this moment have not been advised of this other than the notification on the City website.

“The City of Glendale is displaying a complete lack of good faith, business acumen or an understanding of a business partnership. We want to reassure our great fans that the Arizona Coyotes are committed to Glendale and playing at Gila River Arena.”

The NHL released its own rebuke Wednesday, saying in a statement: “We have been advised by the Coyotes that the City of Glendale’s contentions are without merit and we fully expect the Coyotes to continue to play at the Gila River Arena and for the City to continue to honour its obligations to the Coyotes. After everything that has transpired, it is extremely disappointing that the City of Glendale would do anything that might damage the club.”

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